Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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License to Wed

October 23, 2007
New York, N.Y.

This morning Deirdre and I took the #6 train to the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge stop. Our destination was the building known as One Center Street. Normally you have to fight through the film crews shooting Law & Order episodes in the neighborhood, but the site was relatively quiet today.

After going through the metal detector we headed up to Room 262, Marriage License Applications, and joined the other young happy couples who have chosen this morning to fill out the "Affidavit and Application for a Marriage License." (Instructions for the process are here.) After filling out the form, we presented it with our IDs to a clerk who typed the information into a Windows program. A second screen turned toward us let us double-check her work.

At another window we forked over a money order for $35 — "No other method of payment will be accepted" — and got a printed document that will be completed by the judge who performs the ceremony five days from now. There are no longer any weird medical tests or examinations associated with getting a marriage license in New York State. It's all just paperwork.

Alternatively, if we had brought a witness, we could have then gone across the hall to Room 257, the City Clerk's Chapel, and had the ceremony actually performed right then and there.

Instead we took the M15 bus back uptown — switching from subway to bus for the return trip is counted as a free transfer — and smooched all the way home.


Happy wedding to you both.:-).

What about pictures of the couple ?.

couple CharlesWife = new couple () ;// :-).

Guy, Tue, 23 Oct 2007 12:16:56 -0400 (EDT)

Congratulations, Charles!!!!

Hey I like that concept. I'll give it a take . . .

CharlesPetzold cp = new CharlesPetzold();

cp.Wife = "Deirdre";


if (cp.IsMarried)

Console.Write("Congratulations, Charles!");

I would imagine that a CharlesPetzold object would extend a Man class. And I just can't see any man with a constructor that required the "Wife" property to initialize.

Ian Hughes, Tue, 23 Oct 2007 12:57:05 -0400 (EDT)

When I got married in Michigan in 1998, I was told that I had to get a pre-marriage physical. I didn't know what that involved, but since it was required I set up an appointment with my doctor. After getting the typical once-over, he then launched into a bizarre crash course in Sex Ed, ticking off items as he covered them so the state could be sure I knew the birds and bees. I was happy to see that he clearly thought this was as ridiculous as I did, as he had this "I can't believe they make me do this" look on his face the whole time. Luckily, it went pretty quickly, as he seemed well aware none of this information was news to me, so it was mostly quick questions if I understood X followed by a check mark on his sheet.

I don't know if they still do this in Michigan. I hope not, because even nine years ago it seemed a bit quaint, to put it mildly.

— Bob, Tue, 23 Oct 2007 13:23:03 -0400 (EDT)

Yep, that's the kind of thing I was alluding to by "weird medical tests or examinations." I had some friends who got married in New York State in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and there was definitely a "drop your underwear" physical examination required. I don't know if it applied to both the men and women, or just the women, but the women complained about it the most. One woman I knew reported that her doctor confessed that he had no idea what the purpose was — whether to check for visible diseases, deformities, or just the presence of the "correct" organs. He didn't know what he was supposed to be looking for, but he was required to give it a look and sign the form. — Charles

Congratulations Charles and Deirdre!

And a big ROFL to Bob from Michigan.

— Sam, Wed, 24 Oct 2007 15:41:17 -0400 (EDT)

What a great story, Charles... I especially love the ending -- so perfectly New York! Congratulations to you and Deirdre!!


Claudette, Wed, 24 Oct 2007 18:29:54 -0400 (EDT)

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