Here’s the proof. We have been married for 49 years as of today. Trouble is, the DMV won’t give me a Real ID because they don’t believe I’m really married.
Two weeks ago I arrived at our nearest DMV promptly when the office was supposed to open at 9am. I was eighth in line, standing in pouring rain carefully protecting all my important documents under my raincoat, for ten minutes before the door opened. Two hours later when finally called to window #9, I handed over my original social security card, birth certificate, marriage certificate, soon to expire driver’s license, two proofs that I still reside in the same house I moved into 49 years ago, and an expired passport. I waited with great patience while the clerk checked front and back of each document. She handed back the passport. “This is expired. We can’t use it.” She handed back everything but the marriage certificate. “These look good.” And then…
She flipped the yellowed marriage certificate a couple of times and held it up to the light as I watched a crinkled corner drop to her desk. I cringed when she did the unthinkable – she taped the corner back on the document with non-archivable tape. “This won’t work. It has no official stamp.”
“But, that’s the certificate I used when I got my passport,” I said.
She rolled her eyes. “Maybe they would have taken this but we can’t accept it. You’ll need to get a certified copy of your marriage license. Do you want a driver’s license without a real ID,” she asked. My next attempt to persuade her that the expired passport along with the marriage certificate that the US government had accepted as proof that I did indeed get married 49 years ago was futile. I walked out with a temporary driver’s license and an assurance that I could upgrade to a real ID once I obtained an official marriage license.
After a full day of searching twelve boxes of archived, photos, diplomas, grant deeds, 49 years of tax returns, insurance policies, and receipts for 49 years worth of purchases, I gave up. I contacted the county where we were married. No record. I contacted the county where we have lived for 49 years. No record. Maybe the preacher (Dad) never sent in the license. Since California does not observe common law marriages, what will I tell my illegitimate children?
Many of you already know about my oldest son from a previous post, This Man Is My Son . I have another son with different challenges. While my oldest son still lives in the imprisonment of addiction, my other son lives imprisoned behind bars. Every week or so I receive an envelope prominently stamped across the front of it in bold black ink “__________ Prison.” It breaks my heart. At first every envelope contained a hand written poem. I typed each of those poems and published them as “Poems with Thorns” a few years ago. There are two more volumes waiting to be processed.
If you happen to be a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the book for free. The Kindle version is only $1.99. I love to read on my Kindle but its heart warming to hold my son’s book in my hands. I’m giving 3 readers the opportunity to have a copy of the book. All I ask is that you consider leaving a review. All you need to do is be one of the first three to claim the book here. Note, the book is written under a pen name, Onslow Mansbridge.
I look forward to your comments and it would be fantastic if you would be kind enough to post an honest review.