I'm Getting Married

There you go. That's this week's big piece of news, which might come as a surprise, or might not. I'd always viewed marriage as an outdated institution - you're either committed to a person, or you're not, and the presence of a ring isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference. But try telling that to the immigration people here in the States, who are clearly an old-fashioned bunch.

No matter how long I live with my one true love, I'd always be at the mercy of my temporary work residency - were I to be fired from my position as webmaster of trashcity.com, I would theoretically have to leave the country immediately. Though since said employer is also my one true love (for immigration purposes, concepts like "joint partners" aren't any good either), I like to think I have a certain amount of job security.

It will also allow Chris to become a McLennan, divesting herself of another remnant of her previous marriage, a nightmare she is otherwise reminded of every time she signs a cheque. Changing your name any other way is, I'm told, a somewhat troublesome process, but announce you're getting married and it all kinda happens by default. Think the kids are going to hang on to their names - well, they are used to them - which might lead to some interesting times going through immigration. Yes, these are my kids. No, they don't have the same name as me. Nor their biological mother.

As I write this, Chris is looking into booking venues for the wedding and receptions, with her customary fervour. It's probably going to be back in Britain, but she's used to long-range planning, having previously co-ordinated parties, including a surprise one for me, with the aid of much furtive maneouvering and a copy of the London Yellow Pages. Plotting a wedding from 5000 miles away should be a piece of cake - albeit a large cake, with two little figures on the top of it.

Part of me begrudges the money. Many venues appear to work on the principle that bickering over the odd thousand for your daughter's wedding would be churlish, but we are actually paying for the damn thing ourselves. Hell, you could buy a really big plasma screen - or even two - for some of the prices we have heard: we just want to feed and water a few guests, not buy them cars and start them all up in business. I would be happy with a few sausage rolls and a six-pack of Irn-Bru - as long as we got the his and hers pair of plasma screens, of course.

So I come to the end of my first year in America: selling beads for a living, engaged to be married, and perfectly content to be both. How life does change...


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