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Thank You, New York City

February 13, 2009

Paul and I went down to the new marriage bureau today to get our license.  We had this idea to get married a couple months ago for insurance, and we went to the old office on Centre Street.  Talk about terror.

First, the building was from the beginning of time.  Entire floors were empty and filled with boxes…they could rent them out as apartments and solve the city’s budget problem.  Every surface looked as though, if you scrubbed at it for a while, the original shiny color would come through.  You wait in line to get forms, and then we waited in line for two hours while one clerk served people.  It got so bad that one couple had a fight and decided not to get married.  When we finally got to the clerk, she was one of the nastiest, rudest…I hesitate to use the word person.  She started a fight with us over how Paul’s middle name was listed as “R” on his driver’s license and he couldn’t use his actual middle name “Robert”.  She screamed at us for trying to have a hyphenated name.  She even tried until she was blue in the face to argue with me about how she WASN’T trying to argue with me.  It was so bad, we couldn’t bear to go back and our license expired.

Now I’ve been reading criticism that the city chose to spend millions on the new bureau while we’re in a financial crisis.  People, please.  First of all, this is New York City.  You know that they’ve been “working on” this new bureau for at least twenty years, if not more.  They can’t even begin to rebuild the World Trade Center in ten years.  Second, the work they did is amazing!  Sure, they imported some of the servants of Lucifer from the old place (we had a nice new person who wasn’t trained yet to violently abuse applicants.  In fact, he was actually polite and helpful), but you don’t have to wait in a long security line, information sorts you out with forms the second you step inside, and best of all, you wait on long benches until an assigned number is called.  Our wait went from two hours to twenty minutes!   Its beautiful inside, with backdrops to take wedding photos in front of, and a big gift shop that is making money hand over fist.  

Thanks, New York.  I’ve lived here for three years and no one is more amazed than me that you finally did something right.  Now go spend that gift store money on EZ passes for city workers!

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