Do you remember the first words Grunt Labor uttered to me on our wedding day?
Let me refresh your memory if you’ve forgotten or haven’t read that story (but be sure to read the story after this one because its a good one):
“He doesn’t speak any English.”
I was in my mermaid style wedding dress wearing my sapphire blue Manolo Bhlaniks, my hair was perfectly coifed (although it had looked like a football helmet about an hour earlier – think Sally Field in Steel Magnolias), my makeup professionally applied and those were his first words to me.
Classic Grunt Labor.
In his defense we were in the middle of nowhere in the Dominican Republic and most everyone spoke no English. The ones who did speak it were a little hard to decipher.
Put two southern people in the middle of that trying to figure out what the hell is going on and it gets real comical real fast.
I do Sí and then proceeded to sign where the non-English speaking priest tells us to sign.
I have no clue what we signed.
Neither does Grunt Labor.
And let’s be honest when the resort is all inclusive and that includes alcohol, no one really knows what’s going on by the end of the week.
You think that 5:00 pm in the Dominican is a perfectly reasonable time to get married and that it should totally be cooled down by then.
You may also find yourself with a monkey on your head.
You thought I was kidding.
Side note: That picture adorned our Christmas cards one year.
Anyway, for all we know we may have signed away all our worldly possessions to the Dominican priest that we didn’t even understand.
The next day we received a package of our “wedding documents.”
We think, “Great! This is what we need to prove we’re married back home!”
Excitedly, we open the package and look for our marriage certificate.
We don’t see it.
We look again.
We finally find something that says, “Certificado de Matrimonio”
Um excuse me?
Ok, so this is our marriage certificate?
After spouting off a stream of expletives concerning why they couldn’t give us a translated version considering we had just paid all this money to be married on this resort in the middle of nowhere, I calmed down a bit.
Its just written in Spanish. No problem, we’ll just go back home, show it to someone important and its all legal.
We go back home.
I called the court house.
They kindly tell me they don’t issue marriage certificates when you have been married outside of the country and that the Spanish one should work for our needs.
I march on down to the DMV to update my license with my new last name. I mean, really, that was half the reason I married Grunt Labor. He had a fantastic last name. Everyone remembers the name, LaFevor.
I bounced into the DMV and handed all my Spanish paperwork to the not-nearly-as-bubbly-as-I-am attendant.
He handed it back and stated that if he can’t read it, he can’t give me a new license.
Yea, I kind of saw that coming, but was hoping all my bubbliness would just convince the attendant to give me a new license anyway.
I walked out of the DMV half in an uproar and half on the verge of tears. What possessed us to get married in a country that was so hot our knees were sweating and they didn’t even give us a marriage certificate we could read?
Then I sucked it up and did what any smart, intelligent, well-educated woman would do in my situation.
I went home and translated our Spanish marriage certificate with Google.
After an hour or so, I had a typed-up, printed out marriage certificate in English.
Minus a line or two that even Google couldn’t translate.
Whatevs. I’m sure those lines weren’t that important.
The next hurdle: Convincing someone to notarize this new document.
Once more I put on my bubbly face and my I-just-got-married-don’t-make-me-upset grin, skipped into our bank, and asked for a notary.
They pointed me in the direction of a guy who looked to be not a day over 19 with a crooked tie and a look on his face of, “How did I get here?”
Honey, I was wondering the same thing.
This was going to be a piece of cake.
I told him I had an account there, explained the situation, leaving out the part about me translating it via Google, and could he be so sweet as to notarize this for me so I could change my name?
I was in and out in under five minutes.
With a notarized (Google translated) marriage certificate.
I had a new license and new name that same afternoon.
Our marriage actually being legal?
Neither Grunt Labor nor I are 100% sure about that one.
I’m cool with that. Its just another star on my freak flag.
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