Monday, May 01, 2006

Underpants on the head day

I had to forgo the usual Sunday night ritual. What point if Andrew and Morgan aren't at dinner?

Today my wife and I have been married for four years. For me that's a record; my first marriage lasted 2 years and 2 weeks; my second 1 year and 1 week. I've already said it but I fully expected the third to last 6 months 3 and a half days. An unrealistic expectation thankfully. I didn't even get to live with my wife for slightly longer than that; such are the hoops and hurdles a legal immigrant to the USA has to circumvent. And I had it easy; there are very few hurdles thrown in the path of an Australian.

We were married at the registry office in Melbourne, on Lonsdale Street. The building used, many many years ago, to be part of the Queen Victoria Womens Hospital. They demolished all but one tiny wing and the spaces on either side were variously waste land, a skateboard park and are now what appears to be a swanky apartment building on the one side and office buildings on the other. Across the road is the Greek quarter.

Sonya flew into Tullamarine airport on Saturday April 27th 2002. We went out to dinner that night on Lygon Street. I'm pretty sure we dined at Borsaris but I wouldn't swear to it in a court of law. Some cemetery walking and so on...

On the Monday we fronted up at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I'd applied for a marriage license and booked the ceremony with a civil celebrant for the Tuesday, April 30th. Let no one point out that that is the anniversary of Hitlers suicide. There was a problem; Victorian law usually requires a few days notice and the sighting of documentation regarding the brides (and the grooms) marital status. Mine was good to go but Sonya's wasn't. A few days before Sonya flew to Australia I received a phone call from the registry; could I have Sonya fax her divorce papers? Of course I could! Never mind the 17 hour time difference. For whatever reason the fax didn't arrive and we found ourselves on the Monday morning trying to convince a public servant that it was all kosher. Some nervous moments given that we were on a very tight time budget!

On the Tuesday we were more relaxed. I'm not sure why. I think that by then I was resigned to the fact that either it was going to happen or it wouldn't and there was precious little either of us could do about it at that late hour. So we breakfasted. I combed my hair (much shorter four years ago than it is now) and Sonya did her makeup. We'd booked a cab and he turned up on time and off we set.

Arrived at the corner of Swanston Street and Lonsdale Street we paid the cabbie off and emerged into the world. Only to see a bunch of friends who'd kept it very quiet that they were going to drive from Central New South Wales down to Melbourne to be at our wedding. Uh huh, people you loyal blog readers have never heard of. Bruce, the Aussie Dag, Ree, Ewe, Brenda, the people who had been the backbone of our online trivia site MindProbes[^]. I have to say that I was completely surprised and totally delighted to see Bruce the Galah!

And so a nervous half hour or so. That was the wedding! :-) We emerged into Lonsdale Street again and adjourned to the Greek Restaurant across the road. Not quite the casual choice it appears; we'd checked it out the day before and it looked good.

A wonderful afternoon with friends.

Tonight we dined at 'My big fat Greek Restaurant' close to the corner of Tatum and Shea. The food wasn't great! I ordered the lamb chops; it tasted exactly like it had been cooked at the Baguio Country Club, Philippines! Sonya ordered the salmon cooked in foil. I have to admit I was a bit worried about that; one of my specialities is Salmon in olive oil and dill; would this dethrone me? Not a bit of it; I was safe. We were both unhappy enough with our choices that we swapped. Sonya liked my lamb chops (but what does she know? she's from a beef country). The salmon was a little better but way overcooked.

I was happy to not do underpants on the head day. A wedding anniversary happens just once a year and it's rightly a special day.

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