Well I’m pleased to say we are officially in New York City, and that I have officially forgotten how to survive the insidious monster that is cold weather.
Our farewell tour of home ended on 30 January. I’d said tearful goodbyes to my brother and his girlfriend the night before, smothered the dog with emotion all morning, and sobbed my way through parental hugs at the rainbow lit departure gate. So many people I know have left home, and somehow seem to have kept themselves resembling an adult through the more painful parts of the leaving process. Not I! I cried big heaving sobs during each farewell. And once on the other side of the gate, I continued to spontaneously sob at inconvenient moments throughout the queue to customs, security screening, take off, clearing US customs (as usual I’d been identified as requiring additional screening so had to sit alone in a separate room, imagining all the reasons the Scary Customs People would find to turn me right around and ship me back to Australia, which at that moment seemed pretty okay), when the Immigration Official said ‘congratulations miss and enjoy your wedding’, when I saw the golden retriever shaped pillow I’d begged my fiancé to carry for me in his backpack, holding said pillow on descent into NYC like the grown woman I am, and in the Uber on the way to the hotel. You could say I handled the experience well. And rationally, one of the primary causes of my upsettedness was that it was going to be a long long time before a familiar Australian with fake perky retail voice would serve me a flat white. I don’t know. Moving countries does weird things to your mind.
First order of business after crying my eyes out was to head to the Office of the County Clerk to get our marriage license, with a lunch detour past Eataly for pasta and courage-inducing Nutella crepes. I whinged the entire walk about the fact I was cold and couldn’t hear, so it was surprising that we did still register to get married. I truly had forgotten the stinging cold of a minus seven day – the way the cold burrows through every piece of clothing and leeches out every bit of warmth you had tucked away. I glared at every person walking past me in the midst of apparently gleeful conversation, unaffected by this demon chill. Then I was reminded that there isn’t even snow here – our final destination in Michigan remains blanketed with the stuff. Can’t wait!
Registering your marriage licence is pretty cool in NYC. On our way in, we’d glimpsed a few frocked up couples who’d completed the ceremony and looked pretty chuffed. We took a number, and a super happy office clerk assisted us in completing our affidavit and warned us to get here early on a Friday. And that was that.
Knowing he’d now signed the affidavit and legally binding marriage was imminent, Clark took me immediately to Lululemon to buy me a hat and to shut me up. It worked. I was much warmer and happier upon spending unnecessary money on a hat with a pompom, we took an Uber back to our hotel and I slept for two hours. And so goes my first day as ostensibly an American. Next goal: get through a day without commenting on the cold. Have hot chocolate at City Bakery. Buy false eyelashes. I guess they’re right when they say you take yourself everywhere you go.