Today, I went downtown to the New York City Marriage Bureau to obtain an extended copy of my marriage licence. The French Consulate made me do it in order to procure a French birth certificate for my daughter. Apperantly, my trustworthy face wasn’t enough… go figure!
That initial Consulate trip was hard, even with my daughter’s swift and zippy Bugaboo Bee stroller (the “city” stroller!). I made the mistake of trying to switch fom the local train to the express at 59th street… I found myself stranded in third-rail hell. No elevators. My choices were a skyscraping escalator or a flight of medieval-looking stairs. Of course, safety and commonsense prevailed and I chose the stairs – but, I’m a little embarassed to admit, not without some serious back and forth trying to devise how I could safely maneuver a stroller up an escalator.
You can’t, by the way.
I picked the stroller up, baby and all and climbed the three separate flights of stairs. In retrospect, I should have waited for the next train back and used that stations elevators. When we finally made it to the FC, waited an hour before being seen only to be turned away because I didn’t have the ‘long form” of my marriage license.
What is the difference, you ask, betwee a short form and long form? Six sentences, that’s what, SIX. The extended form lists both spouses’ parents’ full names and whether the spouses were married before. I don’t know if I’m more upset with the City Hall for not giving me those six extra sentences in the the first place when I got married, or with the the French Consulate asking me to piece together an intricite dossier with documents dating back to my grandparents’ time. I might add that procuring the other documentation from France was still less of a hassle than picking up this extended form downtown – and cheaper. City Hall charged me $35!
The silver lining was since I was downtown already I could make a pit stop in Chinatown on my way home!
More on this trip in a later post!
– Maintenent Manger!