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A Couple Walks Into City Hall

2022-04-06 | 🔗

It’s 2022, the year of matrimania. Roughly 2.5 million weddings are expected (a bump not seen since 1984), and other trends are wildly taking off — ceremonies for pets, weddings on weekdays, a revival of epic poofy dresses.

While the business of nuptials is evolving, we revisit Pauline Miller’s essay from 2017 about one tried-and-true approach: tying the knot at City Hall (a decision fueled by Pauline’s desperate need for health care). Then, our host, Anna Martin, and producer Julia Botero take to City Hall in downtown Manhattan to see it for themselves. They talk to a swirl of people getting married — from a duo who met on Myspace to a divorced couple giving it another go. They also get the scoop on the most unforgettable wedding ever witnessed by the city clerk.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Before the work messages begin to pour in. Let's give ourselves a good morning a good morning as a moment to pause and ease into the day. It's a moment to run and chase the sunrise or it's gently. Settle into your route in a good morning as a moment to be present, to find clarity and be grounded for the day had good days start with good mornings and good mornings start with Yogi T Yogi T tease me to do more than just he's good now and stronger, and I love you more than from the New York Times. I manner Martin. This is
modern love podcast. Today's essay begins with a couple make a choice just as they're running out of options, and it turns out their act of desperation is also an act of love. the essay is called getting married is better than dying right. Written by Pauline Miller and read by and is should we just get married. Chris asked okay, I said then passed out from exhaustion. I didn't know what was wrong with me. My body felt like it was shutting down. I needed to go to the hospital, but I was struggling actor.
I had no health insurance. I had to take part time jobs to pay the bills Chris, and I had been happy together for three years living in our separate New York City apartments. Neither of us was eager to get married He was divorced and not ready to rush into anything. I wanted to be with when I loved but thought of myself as way too progressive. for something so conventional, I was cynical about love or perhaps cynical about what marriage could do to love. My childhood memories of my parents, marriage haunted me when I was five My mother married my stepfather four months after meeting him
I how difficult how difficult it would be to merge different, vastly different families. Both of them had lost their first spouses to unexpected illnesses, but they had approached single parenthood from opposite perspectives. Basically, she became strict. And he became lacks, which meant combining our families was like leave it to Beaver, meets shameless. they stayed married, but much of my childhood was a painful mass that convinced me. There was no such thing as Love only a temporary delusional euphoria, but here I was defying my convictions and accepting a proposal of love and health benefits
who is had sneaked up on me gradually. I didn't recognize the gravity of the situation until things got bad one Sunday night at Chris's parents house, I was sitting at the dinner table and I got ridiculously cold and didn't even have the strength to keep sitting up. I'm getting the flu. I sad got to lie down buried under three blankets on the couch I was still shivering, Chris's father joined me in the den that's no flu. He said you have to go to the after I procrastinated for two days then called my internist friend in Reno Nevada. I described my symptoms, including the bizarre rash on my
face and newly swollen ankles. He ordered me to go to the emergency room. Do I have to my capacity for denial was astonishing. There might be something seriously wrong with your kidneys. He said. Go I tried not to panic, as I spent the next two is exploring options for health insurance. I was freaking out just as much about money as I was about the idea of dying freelancers union insurance turned out to be too expensive and declaring bankruptcy seemed like courting disaster. That's when Chris asked me to marry him, it wasn't what most people would consider a dream proposal, but he was doing what he could, because he loved me and wanted to save my life
What's more romantic than that, I worried I might be using him because, although I loved him very much, I didn't believe in marriage. I didn't see how a piece of paper could our relationship other than we'd be living in one small apartment. Instead of two, though, of course we could do without marrying? In any case, I didn't have the capacity to think about it right then, Chris called in sick Monday morning then asked his human resources department. How long it would take for his health insurance to go into a.
for a new spouse. The answer immediately. He asked his best friend frank to be our witness at City hall in a few hours, Frank was a cautious man and he said, ah, let's wait a minute and think this through Chris hung up on him. I called my actor friend Rachel, who was overjoyed to help next Chris headed to his place, to get the required copy of his divorce papers. He took the subway downtown and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to call his therapist for support.
parental consultation would have been too complicated on all fronts, so we skipped it. I put on my nicest jeans, my favorite black lace, top with embroidered, pink and red flowers and pulled the sides of my hair back. I was so sick. I didn't have the strength to make a real effort. But I didn't want to look like a total slob at my own wedding, Chris Rachel and I all converged on the city hall- steps in lower Manhattan, the ones they always
on law and order Rachel gave us the plastic toy rings. She had gotten from a supermarket vending machine. She and Chris half carried me in to buildings to take care of paperwork. The late afternoon, cut off time, quickly approached and then just barely past. Luckily, Rachel, who knows how to flirt, worked your magic on the clerk and he pushed through our pay Work he sent us to a third building for the ceremony. The dank municipal room looked like it was frozen in the nineteen. Sixty is our judge. Vaguely resembled judge duty ass. She spoke Chris. held me up on one side and Rachel held me up on the other. The whole thing lasted about five minutes.
Congratulations our judge sad. Then she shouted next Rachel, hailed a cab for herself and me, while Chris rushed to his office. To put me on his insurance, he called us as we were stuck in traffic, find out which hospital we were going to and medicine time for my admission processing over the next five days I spent in the hospital a slew of specialists concluded that I had lupus an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its internal organs. I had been on the verge of kidney failure and could have died. Chris was a superhero during our first week of marriage. He would go to his job then to my apartment. If I needed something,
then to the hospital where he would sometimes stay all night, then he do it all again. The next day, our fifth day of marriage was Holloway My favorite holiday and Chris showed up with punk rocker, wigs and Mardi GRAS beads. I was released that night and we were our costumes out of the hospital onto the street and into a diner where I wolfed down real food for the first time in a week best began my adventures as a Lupus warrior and married person. Nine years later, I have had a spinal tat. A kidney biopsy and countless platelet injections. I have taken enough medications to kill a horse. I have seen my doctors every six to twelve weeks without fail completely changed
diet and lifestyle and slept more than I thought humanly possible. It took me years to recover from that initial flare, but I have been fortunate enough to experience extended remission too prison. I are still married and live in a studio apartment with our be shown free, say Willie. We haven't wanted to kill each other a single time. Well, maybe once that, when you are your spouse is almost died here, less likely to be bothered by the small stuff. After my immediate health crisis past, I was able to look back and appreciate how much Chris had stepped up to take care of me as passive side. Appeared the moment he proposed, I had never seen him take charge like that. It was sacked, say he risked major fury from his traditional parents.
He married me anyway. I like to think that if we hadn't been pulled into marriage by circumstance. We would be living much the same way as we are now, but without rings I suspect we would have moved in together of a way I kept my own name, so that would be the same. Family obligations might be different, but maybe not, but would we have grown this close if we hadn't experienced the medical emergency that pushed us into marriage. I doubt it Lupus woke me up and forced me to take a leap of faith with Chris taught me this being married to someone you love is a lot better than being married to your own cynicism.
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I'm here with our producer, Julia say: high, we're sitting outside the city clerks. If this in downtown New York and we're here, because the author of today's essay gets married here, and Julia, and I wanted to talk to some couples on their big day, You want to go on and yeah, let's go we're from the podcast, modern love colleague Anna? Why did you want to get married at the city? Clerks been planning like a ceremony reception with our families, and we wanted to kind of do something for us since there's something special about the Manhattan City Hall he's from Germany, I'm from the Midwest, but the city was where our lives intersected and asked, how did you guys meet online the m. I guess there over Instagram or
or what Well, my space no way out of our minds. We demand for the moment. I other. we were like in a factory for items to Now we just met at a line and what was your first impression of Maria beautiful. you to get her number and what was your first impression of him with this guy MIKE Mix on the city clerk. here in the Manhattan Marriage Bureau of the New York City Clerks office. Is there one cup or a marriage in particular that sticks out to you that you remember, there are few. An older couple is getting married and the bride had a son who was about ten years old and justice
I started the ceremony, I said: is there anyone here? That has any reason to object and the ten year old son started crying at the top of his lungs, and he said I don't want my mom to get married tears, rolling down his face His aunt brought him out. There was a little conversation. His mom went out so his mom and her sister were talking to him and he came back in. He had stopped crying and he said. I'm ok and I proceeded with the ceremony. That's one I'll, never forget hi, I'm with the New York Times that the podcast modern love. Can I ask: when did you both decide to get married? We used to be married before then two years ago we got divorced and then we getting
back together. Again is crazy right, no way, that's amazing! How long did it take you to get an appointment here for the ceremony? This is our second attempt is very difficult to get a date with city hall. We can checking every day to see if there was an appointment available and it wasn't. It was literally on Valentine's day. It was like why I think they did it on purpose. To make people on Valentine's day feel happy. We actually found today when we did her. virtual licence meeting. We thought that was the eyes That was the day we were getting married and my mom put like the actual date. Champagne been so then she understood he was not that day, but it to come in person. You look beautiful by the way. As so much are you guys going to do something to celebrate afterwards I have one, and now I mean that's a vague. We gotta work to go to work right after this yeah wow,
the That's two regulations. Congratulations to Miriam Harvey to sue Yang and Gabriel Talk, mall to Jessica, Olson and Brady Randall, and to Yale Kim and GMO Lee. Felicidades Denise Alvarez and Juan Carlos Pina list, Melgar and Kathleen Dela Cruz to David. This a run off and Maria and Janeiro Modern love is produced by Julia Botero and HANS Beauty is edited Sarah Saracens. This episode was mixed by elites. Should the EU too
The modern lovely music is by Dan Power Digital production by the human body special thing. Two Ryan Wagner at bottom and to Michael Vick Sweeney the city clerk for the city of New York, who gave us the best public, restroom, recommend and in all of lower Manhattan. The modern love column is edited by Dan Jones elite is the editor of modern love projects I met Martin thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-15.