But more importantly, I've discovered that once you're married, you stay married. You don't have to keep doing it. On some level I still believe it's like a driver's license, and we'll have to go renew it every few years or we'll lose it and have to re-sit the test. And this one went fine but what if we get into bad habits and don't pass next time? Or if the rules change? I think I'm afraid that at some point the marriage bailiff is going to come to the door and inform me that, upon review of my actions as an alien, atheist artsy type that I'm not actually qualified to marry a British man and they'll revoke my wifedom and issue Boy to a low-tier aristocrat as a handmaid. And while I realize this is all complete nonsense, after years of underemployment and regular migration, I've gotten used to application forms.
That does lead me to the next item on my agenda: in the next couple of months I really do need to jump on applying for indefinite leave to remain. The wedding was the easy part--and the cheap part. After I've saved up the necessary sum (after paying back the in-laws for our share) I'll be dumping a huge pile of pound coins on the desk of a disgruntled civil servant who will then glare at me distrustfully until no reason can be found to have me deported, at which point I'll get another two years before I can apply for real indefinite leave to remain, pay said civil servant another huge pile of coins, and enjoy a bit more scrutiny. By 2016 I may be able to apply for citizenship. I don't think I'm done with the Lewisham Register Office--they also host citizenship ceremonies (but sadly I can't make the Affirmation in Welsh unless I move to Wales. Ten whole minutes of Welsh lessons for nothing.) once every two months or so, by the look of it. I find it funny though--the granting of indefinite leave to remain is as formal as smushing a sticker into your passport, but citizenship, which is basically tying a bell to the sticker in the passport, gets all sorts of ceremonies and solemn vows and refreshments available in the atrium. While I would like the opportunity to vote for my community representatives, I find it far more important to know I can legally remain in my home with my husband.
Married life is quite similar to pre-married life; while Boy's name has changed to Husband and we've gotten a few letters addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Husband Himself, a practice I find so offensive as to be nauseating, we're still ourselves and continue to enjoy our home life the way we have for the past few years. A few things have gotten easier: Boy's little sister has become my sister-in-law, boy's mum has become my mother-in-law, and boy's brother's fiancée will eventually become boy's sister-in-law but will still not actually be related to me. You'd think we'd be siblings-in-law. Seems like an oversight. Oh well, we can still be friends.
Our honeymoon went quite well after a few initial hurdles relating to a construction site within inches of the bedroom we rented, but we were able to move to a better location and then had a lovely time. It was quiet and fairly uneventful, though we did learn how to use an induction stove (we didn't actually cook anything, just boiled water. Voodoo, I tell ya.) and the view was always beautiful. We hiked, we talked, we gazed out over Torbay, we relaxed and laughed and let the reality of our officially-recognized relationship sink in.
The weather has been messy lately but my tulips are still holding in there. Well, some of them are. The deep violet ones (two of which we snipped for the wedding) are holding up, a few of the yellow and red ones did okay for a few weeks, and the double white and pinks came up but never bloomed. I guess they were too heavily mutated to manage to bloom again on their own. I'll replace them with something more genetically simple this fall.
Still married! We really did it!