I'm Freaking Out!

For months now, I've been the living embodyment of calm, cool, and collected. Getting married? Sure. But have I been the least bit nervous? Naw, man. I'm Mr. Cool. Ice flows through my veins. I've got it together. Then suddenly this morning, I woke up a nervous wreck.

Now I'm Mr. "Scared He May Puke on His Shoes".

I think I've figured out the cause of this sudden change. You see, for months now I've been so busy helping to put together our wedding that I didn't really have time to think about the fact that it's me who's getting married.


For months now, Teresa and I have been living in a time warp. For normal people, a day is 24 hours long. But for an engaged couple, a day lasts somewhere around 47 minutes. We've been busy beyond belief! Here's a small sampling of what we've accomplished:

Of course, all these things took far more time to accomplish than we could have possibly imagined. Today, we went down to the courthouse to get our marriage license. Even this simple task took hours. Here's how it went:

I picked Teresa up at her office, and we drove downtown. We were forced to park in one of those multi-level garages you can spot off on the horizon from the courthouse steps. We then hiked to the courthouse door. There, posted on the door, was a sign warning that we'd be arrested for posession of weapons such as mace.

I looked at Teresa and asked, "You have your mace with you?"

"Yes!", she said, disgusted.

So, we started the hike back to the truck. About a quarter of the way there, Teresa decided it wasn't worth the long walk back to the truck, and volunteered to throw her mace away. We found a trash can, tossed the mace, and headed back to the courthouse.

This time, we actually made it inside the front door of the building. Teresa put her mace-less purse on the x-ray machine conveyor belt, and passed through the metal detector to the "safe" side of the entryway. In the meantime, I was busy emptying the contents of my pockets into a government-issue salad bowl in preparation for passing through the metal detector. I handed the bowl to the security guard, and turned to walk through the detector.

From behind me I heard the guard mutter, "Uh-uh".

I turned to see the guard pulling my tiny little pockey knife from the salad bowl. She then opened the knife, and held its blade against her handy-dandy deadly weapons measuring chart. It flunked. The guard then recited a well-rehearsed legalese-splattered speech that basically boiled down to this: "If you don't get this knife outta here, you're gonna be in a heap of trouble, boy."

I mustered my best wouldn't-hurt-a-flea innocent grin, pleaded ignorance, and asked if it would be okay if I took my knife back to the truck. The guard agreed. Teresa disgustedly picked up her purse, and walked back out through the metal detector. It immediately began screeching and flashing lights. Teresa shot a stare at the security guard that was far more deadly than my little pocket knife.

"It's okay, honey", the guard said, "you can beep on the way out."

Feeling like criminals on parole, we wandered back outside. We found Teresa a nice bench, away from all the winos, where she could wait for me as I hiked back to the truck. (She was, afterall, unarmed at this point.). I then took off to towards the parking garage to store my vicious fingernail cleaner.

Sometime later that afternoon, I returned, red-faced and sweating from my hike. We then made our third attempt to enter the building. This time, we were successfull. But, our troubles were far from over. Twenty feet past the metal detectors, we found the elevators. They stopped me in my tracks.

You see, this is a government building. The floors are not numbered "1", "2", "3", and so on. Oh no! Instead, they have designations like "LG", "PL", and "UG". I had to figure out whether our destination, LG-53, was above or below the floor where we were currently situated. After considerable study, I pressed the "down" button to summon an elevator.

I then stepped back and looked at the three elevators in front of us. It became evident to me that the Door Number One would never be opening. Its indicator lights showed it to be permanemtly parked several floors above us. Door Number Two had a sign taped to it reading "Out of Order". So, we patiently waited in front of Door Number Three. After a considerable wait, it finally arrived, and the doors opened - about 6 inches. Then, some big, burley guy inside the elevator pried the door open the rest of the way, and walked out of the elevator, leaving it empty for Teresa and me.

We stepped inside the elevator, and I pushed the button for floor "LG". Nothing happened. Then I pushed the "close door" button. The elevator shuddered a bit, and the doors closed about a foot, then stopped. I then grabbed the door, and attempted to yank it closed. That was all Teresa needed to see.

"I'm not riding this thing!"

With that, we exited the one and only semi-functioning elevator in the entire Guilford Country Governmental Complex, and headed for the stairwell. Six flights of steps later, clutching our sweaty Application for Marrige License, we found floor "LG". There, we spotted a sign pointing us to "Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates".

"That pretty much covers life", Teresa said with a grin. Her observation made me grin, too. That's one of the reasons I'm marrying her.

Once inside the Register of Deeds office, everything went very smoothly. But then, they're elected officials, so they have to be nice to you. We handed in our application, and swore/affirmed that we weren't there fibbing about our desire to obtain a marriage license.

Nearly four and a half hours after leaving the house, I arrived back home, marriage license in hand. See, I told you - engaged couples live in a time warp. It took more time to drive downtown and pick up a marriage license than it will take us to drive to the beach after we're married.

So, now we're done. The wedding preparations are complete. But, that's the problem. Now there's nothing left to occupy my mind. So, it has begun to occupy itself by freaking out. Wedding marches keep playing over and over in my head. I wake up every morning with a knot in my stomach. I wander through the day feeling as if I've consumed 20 cups of coffee. Now don't get me wrong - I look forward to marrying Teresa. If everything goes anywhere close to how we've planned it, it will be a beautiful thing to watch. I'm just afraid that my mind is plotting to culminate the ceremony with "Mr." Bean spewing projectile vomit and colapsing in an unconscious heap.

Geeze, I'm freaking out!