Thursday, August 25, 2016

License to...Something

My good friend and loyal Drunkard Riley's Mom is getting married next month. I'm really happy for her, because she and her fiance seem really happy together, and that's a good, good thing.

This good? Not gonna ask, tbh.
Riley's Mom posted on Facebook this morning that she and, uh, Riley's Stepdad got their marriage license yesterday. Which is something I vaguely remember doing 26 years ago. I also vaguely remember that giddy feeling of having GONE THERE, and OMG THIS IS REAL.

Aside: No one said OMG in 1990, because nobody spoke Internet back then. Also, squee was not yet a word. They were harsh, unenlightened times.

We didn't even know what memes were.
But I digress.

So there was some discussion on Facebook about marriage licenses and what people do with them. Some people frame theirs, did you know that? It never occurred to me to frame mine. Some places must have prettier marriage licenses than others. In Milwaukee County (where I got married), marriage licenses have all the aesthetic appeal of a mandatory sexual harassment training course certificate of completion.

Not lying.

The discussion, however, made me realize something.

I've been divorced for two months and 11 days as of this writing. As many of you know. And I owe you guys a post on this strange feeling I've been experiencing over the last couple of weeks. I believe it's called happiness. I may need to let that gel for a few more days.

Anyway, here's what I realized.

When I moved into my apartment last October, I gathered up all my important papers - my birth certificate and Precocious Daughter's, the loan paperwork for my car, the password to my U.S. Savings Bond account, etc. - and placed them in a kind of box/portfolio/case thing. They're all together and safe, because Divorced Chuck is a lot more organized and responsible than Married Chuck ever was.

In that box/portfolio/case thing is my marriage license.

Of course. I was still married last October, technically speaking. Who knows, I might have needed to prove my marital status to...someone. Somewhere. Bottom line, I was married, so a marriage license remained among my vital documents.

Like this.
But now, today, I'm not married. I'm divorced. I have a notarized copy of my divorce decree to prove it.

So where does that leave me vis a vis my marriage license?

What the hell do I do with it?

Keep it as a memento of happier times?

Keep it as a reminder of my abject failure at that whole "til death do us part" thing?

Keep it for PDaughter, who might someday consider it a keepsake from her childhood?


Do I toss it?

Because it's been legally invalidated.

Because what God hath brought together actually has been torn asunder, and for good.

Because I'm no longer married and therefore have no need of the document that proved I was, at one time, married.

Do I decoupage it onto a TV tray?

Do I place it at the bottom of my Siamese kitten's litter box?

Do I simply hang on to it, because that small piece of paper defined me for 25 years, more than half my life, and so it's kind of important?

I don't know. At all.

Advice, Drunkards?

Keep, toss, use as art supplies?

Ideas are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Books As Old As You

A couple of months ago, Good Housekeeping published a pretty cool slideshow called "The Most Popular Book the Year You Were Born."

It covers the years 1930 to 2016. I'm not sure how many babies born this year are already reading popular literature, but for those who are, you best get your chubby little hands on a copy of Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, pronto.

There's so much more than his famous duel
with Aaron Burr! Also, I made poopie!
I bookmarked GH's list because I thought it would be fun to read every book on it that I haven't already made it through. For the record, I've read only 15 of them, which kind of stinks, although many of the ones I haven't read have been on my reading bucket list for a long time. That...sort of counts? No, it doesn't. I'm lame and way behind on my reading. Hence my bookmarking.

The most popular book the year I was born was John Updike's Couples. I've never read it, although I've read a couple of Updike's Rabbit novels. So I'll be seeking that out pretty soon. The most popular book the year Precocious Daughter was born was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. She was amazed to learn that the Harry Potter books predate her. Apparently the universe began when she was born, which I guess is a pretty normal attitude for a 16-year-old.

I'll let her believe it while she can.
Anyway, I thought it would be fun if you guys checked out the list and then shared which book was most popular the year YOU were born. And whether you've read it. Or want to. It would be crazy cool to hook someone up with a new favorite book this way. Also, I'll get to find out how old/young my Drunkards are. Then I can leverage that data into...Fuck it, I don't leverage data. I'm just nosey curious.

How about it? Let me know the name of the book that defined your birth year, and whether it defines you or just seems like a sign that you were born in messed-up times. (Spoiler alert: We were all born in messed-up times.)

Ready, set...go.