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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Plague

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: SeaworthinessTrue988 | June 23, 2021

I work at a town hall, one of my tasks is issuing marriage licenses when health crisis restrictions ease up as they have.

Today, I have an appointment to issue a license. I grab my mask, sanitize my hands, grab the different documents, and head down to one of our rooms that’s big enough to have people standing six feet apart. Since the town hall’s doors are locked to avoid walk-ins, I have to meet them at the door. The woman has no mask; when I ask her to wear one, she says she is exempt, showing me a screenshot of a US exemption; we’re in Canada. We’re not allowed to ask for proof, so I just deal with it and pretend like she never showed me. I ask her to sanitize her hands. Again, she refuses.

Our process for a marriage license is to have them bring their application, any prior divorce or death certificates, and IDs. I ask if her partner is going to show up and she says yes, so we wait for about ten minutes. This puts the appointment a little late; we have thirty minutes for each appointment, and I have one in another room right after.

The woman’s partner arrives, we exchange pleasantries, and we get started. I’ve already checked their IDs and application by email, so I quickly recheck and write the info down. From there I get into the health-crisis-related questions.

Me: “1. Where is your wedding being held?”

Woman: “Inside the church at [Street].”

No big deal; we still allow church weddings if the group is smaller than ten people.

Me: “2. Will you be having a reception? If yes, where?”

Woman: “Yes, at [Banquet Hall].”

Red flags are sailing, so I ask the third question.

Me: “3. How big is the group attending?”

Woman: *All giddy* “Well, for my group there are about ninety-three guests, and on his side, there will be eighty or so. We have more coming to the reception. I think in total there will be 200 people or so.

I look up at her from the license. I look to the guy and then back at her.

Me: “I can’t issue a license for a gathering that large. Indoor gatherings must have fewer than ten people, including the couple and the officiant. Outdoor gatherings can have up to thirty, including the couple and officiant.”

The woman immediately flips out.

Woman: “You’re infringing my right to get married! [Health Crisis] is just a scam. It has a 99.9% survival rate! I should be allowed to get married! I’ve been planning this for three months and already paid for all the food and everything!”

I try to deescalate, telling her I can’t give her the license because it’s against the law. I hand her a pamphlet with [Health Crisis]-safe marriage information and start to walk them out. She’s still throwing a tantrum. She demands to speak to my manager, so I call her down.

My manager was already busy dealing with other stuff, so she isn’t in the best mood. The woman says I was belligerent, called her names, didn’t accept she wouldn’t wear a mask, etc.

Manager: “Well, why don’t I pull up the footage and we can take a look?”

The woman flips out even more, saying the same stuff as before. My manager is done with this.

Manager: “No clerk in [City] will issue a marriage license in this situation because it is against the law. We need to write down how many people will be at the celebration. You then have to post the green paper outside the venue and an officer may or may not drop in. If we are found to have issued a license and there are more people present, you will be fined. The clerk will no longer be able to give licenses and we will be in a lot of trouble. As you told the clerk, you have only planned this for three months. That means you’ve had enough time to know it’s a health crisis. Because of your attitude to my clerk, we will no longer be accepting any appointments for you or your partner. As far as I’m concerned, you are banned.”

She then took the application, stamped “Rejected” on it, and took it with her.

We ended up having to call security to escort them out of the building. Oh, and as for her partner, he did nothing. He literally sat in the chair and did nothing. But at least he wore a mask.

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Getting To The Meat Of Your Problems

, , , , | Romantic | June 22, 2021

My girlfriend and I are attending the wedding of one of her friends. When it gets to dinner, I’m served chicken.

Me: “Err, when you ordered the meals, did you get me a vegetarian one?”

Girlfriend: “Yes… No. I don’t remember. Can’t you just eat it?”

Me: “You know I don’t eat meat. I’m going to ask for something different.”

Girlfriend: “I don’t understand why you’re making a big deal out of this.”

Me: “I’m not discussing this with you now.”

I managed to get hold of a waiter, only to find out that only a certain number of vegetarian meals were made and there were none left. So, for dinner, I had a slice of tomato and five green beans. My girlfriend blamed me.

We aren’t together anymore.

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Or, The One That Made Her Own Choice

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2021

I overhear the following conversation between a sullen-looking man and a bartender at a rather large wedding.

Bartender: “You doing all right? You seem pretty down. Anything I can get you?”

Man: “I’ll take a [scotch]. Just saw the ‘one that got away’ and it hit me like a punch to the gut.”

Bartender: “That’s rough. What does she look like? I’ll keep an eye out and give you a heads up if she heads this way.”

Man: “She’s the one in white.”

At that point, the bartender just turned his single into a double and didn’t say a word.

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SO Not The Time

, , , , , | Friendly | May 26, 2021

I am attending the wedding of a friend, the bride. During the reception, her mother comes up to me.

Bride’s Mother: “Having a good time?”

Me: “Oh, yes.”

Bride’s Mother: *Leaning over* “You know, I kind of wish it was you up there, instead of the groom.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

She then got called off on mother-of-the-bride business, so I never got her to elaborate. The thing is, I had never dated the bride, and I’d only met her mother once. To add insult to injury, I’d always harbored a secret crush on the bride.

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Your First Dance Will Be Your Last

, , , , , | Romantic | May 14, 2021

I was asked to be the best man at a friend’s wedding a good twelve or so years ago. He was an ex-serviceman and she was his childhood sweetheart.

I’d been friends with the groom for upwards of twenty years and known the bride for close to ten. They’d been together the better part of a decade and they always got on, so no one was surprised when they announced their wedding, and everyone expected things to go off without a hitch.

Roll forward a couple of months. The groom showed up at my place unannounced.

Groom: “[Bride] and I just had a huge argument!”

The guy was upset, but a couple of drinks later, he laid out what had happened. He’d been happy to go along with the bride’s plans with one exception: he didn’t want to do the first dance. Why, you ask? He’d been discharged from the service due to losing a lower leg to an IED in the Middle East. He wasn’t exactly fire on the dance floor to start with, and he was as graceful as a hippo now. He also hates doing things that draw attention to his disability, which is understandable. He was going along with a lot of other things that he definitely didn’t really want to do and this was his line in the sand.

He stayed the night at my place, and the day after, we went back to his place as a duo and, with me as mediator, we managed to work it out after a lengthy back and forth with a fair amount of shouting and tears. His bride finally agreed to no dance for his sake and things moved on.

Months later, the big day arrived and it went off great. The weather was flawless, everything came together great, we got through the ceremony, the meals, and the speeches, and it was on to the reception.

It was 7:50 pm and the cake cutting was down for 8:00 pm, so I was gathering outliers back to the main room for that when I heard the DJ get on the mic.

DJ: *Loudly* “Okay, everybody, it’s time for the newlyweds’ first dance!”

I hurried into the room to find the bride centre stage on the dance floor, staring down the groom, who was just the most enraged I’d ever seen him.

Bride: “Come here, [Groom]. It’s dance time!”

He walked over to her, pulled his wedding ring off, and threw it in her face. Then, he walked out, making the “cut it off” gesture to the DJ. He left everyone in shocked silence, and a few seconds later, I got my jaw up off the floor and followed him as the bride went into a meltdown where she stood.

I found the groom stalking through the car park outside and had to physically grip him to get him to calm down. I’d got him at least calm enough to be lucid again when the bride’s mother stomped round the corner and began screaming at the groom, which prompted him to go off again.

Me: “Hey! [Bride] promised him she wouldn’t do this and embarrass him, and yet here we are!”

This shouting match went on for quite some time, until, eventually:

Groom: “[My Name], get me out of here.”

I got a taxi down and we bailed out back to my house so he could cool off.

Early afternoon the day after, the bride knocked on my door.

Bride: “I know [Groom] is in there!”

Groom: “F*** OFF!”

She tried to push past me and I blocked her.

Me: “Just to remind you, this is my house.”

She settled for screaming round me at him. He eventually got fed up and came and stood behind me and spelled it out in the kind of voice you can only manage when you’re restraining unbearable rage.

Groom: “You lied to me, put me on the spot, and shattered my trust in you. How can I continue after that? If you’re willing to lie about something like that, how can I trust you to do anything?”

She tried to counter him but ran out of steam as he kept going, and he ended by saying that he wanted the marriage annulled. She burst into tears and left.

The marriage was annulled not long after. Unsurprisingly, they don’t keep in touch. The groom remarried three years ago with the same request, this time respectfully held by his new wife. The bride moved out of the area shortly after the marriage collapsed and I’ve heard no news of her since.


This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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