Mawwidge. Mawwidge is what bwings us togever…
Okay so he wasn’t Princess Bride bad, but he did have particular difficulty pronouncing the word solemnise. Thus the 11 invited guests (and one guy who’d wandered in looking for the RTA) were invited by the celebrant at our lavish registry office wedding to sodomise the joining of the bride and groom.
But Mick, why get married now? Wasn’t it too late? Hadn’t you already been approved for further processing?
Well there’s a loophole in the DV process that says that you can actually get married after you’ve been selected for further processing by the lottery. Which meant that by making my common law wife Safka (it’s all right, I’m pretty common too) legal, she could piggy back in on the Green Card love.
Additionally, marriaging served a far more nefarious purpose: we still had to tell the parentals about the green card. Announcing we were getting married would serve as a softener to the news, a kind of emotional ‘bait and switch’ if you will.
So, rang the folks, told them Safka and I were getting married and while they howled with joy and rushed to tell that nosy bitch Mrs Ciccita from next door that she could stick her four married daughters (plus the one they don’t talk about who’s now called ‘Brian’) up her judgemental passive-aggressive arse, I casually slipped in that I was also going to the Northern Hemisphere for the foreseeable future and that they may very well die alone.
As intended, that little detail was lost in the mix as prodiguous parental joy over our intended nuptials held sway. Not the most noble move I’ve ever pulled, but at the very least it bought me some time.
So we were getting married. But we had to do it fast. While you can get married after you receive the DV approval notification, you can’t put the actual application in until you do. If you don’t do it fast enough you might very well miss out.
Well the approval for further processing is just that: further processing. Doesn’t mean you’ve got a visa yet. It’s just the start. Way more lottery applicants are selected than there are visas, so hold off too long and you could be left scratching your balls/lady bits and heading back into the expensive hell that is the O1 application, trying to gate crash the photobooth at Flickerfest and dodgying up IMDB to make that 1 line you had on Neighbours sound like a fucking character arc.
Sure a hastily arranged wedding leaves the door open to extra scrutiny of your relationship but we figured we had enough miles on the clock to satisfy the DV Overlords in Kentucky (Praise them. Praise them. Long may they reign.) A random hookup in the bathrooms at Strike in Prahran during a work Christmas party had against all odds and despite our best efforts developed into something that other people referred to as a ‘relationship’.
That was 13 years ago and since then we’d had two cats and a mortgage together which believe me is way more commitment than any marriage and a lot harder to get out of.
The other catch is this: in Australia, before you get hitched you have to lodge a Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) at least 1 month before the intended wedding date. And of course to do this you need to present all that legal confetti that bureaucracies are so fond of: Birth Certificates, Passports, Porn site memberships etc. As evidenced by every school report and employment termination notice I’ve ever received, I’m not the most organised cat going around. By the time we’d sorted that shiz and lodged the NOIM, it was going to be 2 months until we could put in the DV application.
Nevertheless, by late June 2014 we found ourselves in a small room off George St surrounded by a few choice friends and family as our remarkable celebrant Graeme gloried in the sodomising of the occasion. I watched a homeless guy urinate in the bus stop outside the window till Graeme declared us husband and wife and we had to sign some shit to make it all legal. Mum beamed. The RTA guy cried. The homeless dude shook off the drops and suddenly it was all over. Graeme gave us a receipt, said we could keep the pen and we all piled onto a minibus to go and get drunk for further sodomising. I felt like a princess.
A truly wonderful day.