When I was little, I always dreamed of getting married to the perfect person, on the perfect day, in a perfect place, surrounded by the perfect crowd. I always somehow knew that such day would come eventually, but not seeing a guy next to me in the altar scared me. It did because wanting a woman there instead of a man was (and maybe it still isn’t) the rule.
In a midst of love and excitement, my girlfriend and I filled out the form NP/SF DP-1. This form is a one-page piece of paper where we both declare that we “are two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring” (CA Family Code 297), simply put- this is the form you need to fill out to get a domestic partnership in the state of California.
After getting the form ready, we drove up to a small private mailing place where I knew we could get the document notarized. When we got there, a small line of people were waiting in front of us. I glanced at my soon to be wife- I mean, partner, and she gave me a comforting smile which was her quiet way of saying “it’s okay, we can wait.”
The hold was two people who had come to get something notarized and only one person on the clock. The guy behind them was holding a pair of jeans under his arm, and it made me wonder if there was such a thing as a “Brotherhood of Traveling Pants.” Then there was a lady behind him who didn’t seem to speak much English. And after her, us; holding a form, IDs and hope in our hands.
By the time it was our turn (and be the ones to hold the line), we handed our form and IDs to the notary and stood there awkwardly. More people had come in and they were probably annoyed by the wait… not knowing that right then and there, my girlfriend and I were about to sign a paper saying that we wanted to love each other, build a home and grow old together. I realized then that this wasn’t the perfect crowd, certainly not the perfect place, but she was the perfect person- and still is. We got out of there a few minutes after and put our little form (and filing fee check) in the mail. We kissed to seal the deal and drove to meet our friend who had baked us a cake to celebrate.
Maybe I don’t know today what it’s like to say “I do,” or have the perfect ceremony to commit to loving my girl for the rest of my life, or do that while surrounded by our families. But when we turned in our form and IDs to the notary, I kept the hope; the hope that one day I will know those things. But for now, as we wait to get our little certificate in the mail, I celebrate because I got married. Even if in reality, we’re technically not married at all.