Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Officially Engaged

Fred and I went to the city hall and officially registered to be married. This is the ondertrouw portion of the process. We'd been there before to apply to get married, after which they checked our documentation for accuracy. The woman who helped us was a rather humorless bull dyke looking woman. Efficient, but not a lot of fun. Today, we had a guy who was sort of the other end of the scale in gender and in humor. No one really comes out and says, "Hey! I'm gay too!" but, you know, that whole gaydar thing. The main difference was that he was pleasant and friendly. (Bully dykes take notice. I like the friendly.) He was not exactly the kind of person I would peg to be a civil servant, but there he was. (Very casual dress code they have there.)

It was mostly just filling out forms in a computer and signing a paper. Interestingly, my parent's names are now in the official data base in Amsterdam. Bet they never thought that would happen. It's just regulation stuff dealing with my birth certificate - and they were involved in that, weren't they?

While our civil servant was off photocopying something, I said, "What is this ondertrouw thing? What does it do?" Fred suggested I ask. I said no. I preferred to do it later, probably online. When the guy returned, he asked if we had any questions. Fred asked what exactly ondertrouw was. The guy explained. It was in Dutch, so this is a paraphrase-translation, but it's pretty simple.

It's an old, pretty outdated thing. Years ago - in the times before computers even - when people said they wanted to get married, a list was made up and posted at the city hall. This gave the towns people the opportunity to say, "Hey, this guy's already married," or "She's not mentally fit to be married." It was up for a couple of weeks and then people were allowed to get married.

These days, it's all done with computers and special effects. I brought a document from NYC stating that I was not married and all of the other stuff is in the official papers that we've turned in. I don't think our names are going to be posted anywhere - although I'd love it if they were. So it really is and outdated process. Fred said that his brothers and sisters usually made a day of it and had a little party. "And I'm just going to work now," he lamented. We did stop and have a celebratory cappuccino and a piece of appelgebak (Dutch apple pie). Then we were off to enjoy or days separately. I'll see him later.

The next step is looking at the boat on which we will be wed and then at some point, we'll meet with the person doing the ceremony. We still need to find a restaurant. And there's the cake issue to deal with. And we need to get our rings polished and engraved. And. And. And.

This card was sent to us by Fred's sister, Ada, and her family. She's good with the cards. This one is really sparkley and campy, which I love. It says, "Al jaren same en nog steeds in love." Roughly translated, that means, "We've been together for years and we're still not sick of each other."
I told Fred so far I only refer to him as my fiancé ironically, but now I can officially say, "The other day my fiancé said..." and "My fiancé gets home about seven." That won't get old, will it? And I can only do it until September 19 when I can start saying, "My husband..."

I'll never refer to him as Fred again.

16 comments:

Shannon said...

Really nice post...Congratulations

Anonymous said...

Congratulations in the UK you used to have your names put up in the Registry Office window - don't know whether they do that with civil partnerships.

Littlelou said...

Brilliant..I'm so happy for you both. From a bitter old spinster (not strictly accurate but I've been engaged for 4yrs!!..still happy)I like the translation of the Dutch phrase on your card!!

Kat said...

Congratulations!

Team Knit ! said...

Congratulations! I'm sure it's a massive headache to file all that paperwork, but it's going to be so worth it! I'm really happy for you both.

- Julie

Charlotte K said...

Congratulations.

This is analogous to the idea of reading/posting/publishing the banns in the Church of England (and as previous anonymous said, in registry offices). It's curious they still do it if they don't publish it. Originally the announcement would have been read in a parish church 20 days in advance to give people a chance to contest the marriage.

(and it IS still done in US Episcopal Churches if members marry--the intention to marry is announced some weeks ahead.)

James said...

Mazel tov! That's great. As cool and disinterested one tries to be, it's really exciting when one (i.e. you) can enjoy being corny and in love and stuff.

Preita said...

What a really nice post. Congratulations! My Mr and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary in September, it's a lovely month for a wedding. :D

sko_G knits said...

omg Omg OMG!! so exciting!! congratulations, and i also love the card!

Breigh said...

First time visiting here, looks like the perfect moment! Congrats on your upcoming wedding! :)

I was married to my Dutch man here in NL 8 years ago and let me tell ya the time goes FAST!! It seems like just yesterday.

I remember the gigglefest when I got to start saying husband.. it was awesome :P

otterpop58 said...

Mazel Tov!

Lindsay said...

congrats!

American Irish said...

Congratulations and may you have many happy years together.

Lexusz said...

Aw... Congrats! Have fun organising it all.

patty said...

Yipee! Love love love to you both.

Andy's Crafts said...

Congratulations!!!!