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it's all happening.



Deadlines are approaching! Deposits are being put down! Travel itineraries from the States are populating my inbox! Deliveries are being made! It's official: my wedding season has arrived as we're no longer in the state of making plans, plans are actually happening. Ah! Holy merde does time fly!

To really kick things off, last week, for the first time in my French life, I went the American Embassy. It's incredible that after almost four years here I have never been on my own soil, so to speak. Back in my glamorous tax office days, I managed to dodge dropping off the April 15th returns on the count that I had left my passport at home. So this was my first adventure to the US..in Paris.

In order to get married here I need several letters notarized for the mayor's office at - wait for it - only 50 bucks per signature! As you can guess, I wasn't exactly thrilled to take up half of my day to pay big bucks to have three documents signed. Apparently the price per signature used to be ten bucks and only recently has been "changed" to fifty. Is it just me or is that a pretty big spike?

As I was approaching the outdoor checkpoint, I felt a sensation under my left arm coming from some sort of device in my handbag, which was then followed by the sound of wine chimes. Oh right, it was my phone. I really do forget that I have one of those, so when it performs one of its functions like alerting me of human contact, I get confused. 

Fitting to the scenery, the call was coming from the States...and it was my mother.

"Honey, honey, I know you have your appointment today but just listen to me," she said in the tone that forewarned me that she had an idea. 

Oh no. My mother's ideas are pretty much famous for being the worst ideas. Ever. For example, when she insisted on purchasing (on a payment plan) the 48 DVD Dean Martin box set that mind you, after nine years is still in its cellophane wrapping. 

"It's fine, I'm early, what's up?" I said, crossing the street as I assumed phone use directly in front of the building would be frowned upon.

"I spoke to Jerry over at the fax place on Jericho Turnpike and he said he would notarize your documents for free, none of this 50 dollar business." my mother declared.


My mom is such a New Yorker. Administration, red tape, and bureaucracy be damned. We know Jerry from the fax place on Jericho Turnpike on Long Island.

"Ma, I don't think it works that way. While I'm certainly not discrediting Jerry's ability to sign a document, I think they need something more official."

After all, we are talking about the French government here. The chances that they'd accept "Jerry" over the U.S Embassy seemed slim.

"Good Lord, don't they know you're getting married?! I mean, come on already, you have enough on your plate!"

My mother wasn't saying this because of my soon-to-be marital status in France which will make some of these beaurocratic woes easier, she was saying this because she feels that as a wedding gift, the French government should give me a break as if I'm the first American to get married in France. I know my mother, this is her thought process.

Challenging the French government aside, she did have a point, though. If it's a U.S notary that they need, and I'm heading back, perhaps I could do it over there? It was worth asking.

Waiting several hours in a waiting room surely modeled after the Van Nuys DMV office in the Valley, my number was called. I explained to the official that I would be going to the States and wondered if it would be at all possible to have the documents notarized abroad. No, I made absolutely no mention of Jerry. I know better by now. The woman was quite helpful and showed me the seal that the French government is looking for, which was an embossed crest of the U.S Embassy...in Paris. Yeah, there was no way that Jerry was going to have that. Also, I suspect the mention of Paris on the insignia is what the French officials particularly enjoy. So no dice, Jerry.

Not wanting to risk my April 18th deadline to get all of the paperwork in, I handed over my card and cringed as I was being charged 150 USD for literally three minutes of work.

This is just one of the many expenses that come along with having a "simple wedding", but no one said weddings were cheapOf course, when I voiced this my mother had a follow-up comment. She always does. "Well divorce is even more expensive, so if there's a problem, talk it out you two because I'm not doing this again!"

Thanks, Mom. At least, she didn't say you twos.

15 comments:

  1. When I had to have an official translation of my birth certificate, I found a template in the Internet and signed it myself. It worked! :) But probably best not to leave important wedding business in the hands of Jerry!

    PS I wouldn't have known you needed a passport to go to the US Embassy... Makes sense though.

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    1. Oh dear forgery must be a family trait! (More like distain for red tape) :-)

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    2. Huh? What have you been forging?

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  2. Love the title of this post (especially if it comes from where I think it comes from), and that ring is adorable. Have a glass of cheap wine to celebrate crossing something pricey off of the list!

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  3. Highway robbery.

    Just saying.

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  4. For my PACS stuff I needed two docs, 50 each, and another one for my bf that was 50, so I feel your pain! The woman at the prefecture told us yesterday that it would be so much easier if we were married. :) It really will be so much easier for you in the future. Glad things are moving forward, and your mom is a hoot!

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  5. OUCH! ! 150 bucks?! That is crazy! Hopefully there aren't too many of these crazy bureaucratic expenses left!

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  6. Yep... Getting married is not cheap especially the paperwork part. But it's all worth it :) xx

    www.eminhapinto.blogspot.com

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  7. Oh I don't know, Jerry could brush up his forgery skills and be in big business :oD You're mother can be his advertising executive...

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  8. LOL. I got a kick out of this story. Probably best that you got that handled at the embassy. It seems ridiculous to have to pay so much for a signature. It must be so expensive from tightened budgets. They have to keep that pretty building open somehow!

    Also, a friend of mine was tweeting about an episode of House Hunters International. It was so your episode! Now, she's catching up on your blog! But speaking of which, any idea when you'll be able to share it with us?

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  9. Oh yuck - $150 is painful but when is bureaucracy cheap anyway? Excited to hear more about the upcoming big day!

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  10. I cannot express the extent to which I am bummed I'm missing your wedding. I don't even know you in real life (blogs are neither real nor life... talk amongst yourselves...) and I'm so bummed!!! Really and truly because I just know you are going to be the most beautiful, fabulous bride, and the party is going to be epic! BUMMED. xo.

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  11. Hey you, just catching up with a dose of your lovely posts and I just have to say I LOVE YOUR MOTHER. I had a good friend at VF who was young and freaking out about her imminent nuptials and her mother (a cookie cutter betty crocker type who'd been married for 40 odd years), said, 'relax, you can always get divorced". Your mother and her mother's comments, though opposite are both completely memorable!

    As for the embassy - yeah we all have to deal with their crap. What a waste of time!

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  12. Hey you, just catching up with a dose of your lovely posts and I just have to say I LOVE YOUR MOTHER. I had a good friend at VF who was young and freaking out about her imminent nuptials and her mother (a cookie cutter betty crocker type who'd been married for 40 odd years), said, 'relax, you can always get divorced". Your mother and her mother's comments, though opposite are both completely memorable!

    As for the embassy - yeah we all have to deal with their crap. What a waste of time!

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