Friday, October 10, 2008

Booking the registrar

We had an appointment with the registrar at Stockport Registry Office this afternoon, to book their services for next August.

The interview was in two parts, each of us seeing him separately and him asking us the same questions. Seems to odd to think how geared up it is to detecting false marriages or bigamy. As you sat at the desk answering there was a large notice in front of you reminding you that providing false information was prosecutable as perjury.

But the most bizarre moment of the afternoon was when he told me about the oportunity to re-register the childrens' births with Hayley's surname changed to be the same as mine. This was fine in itself but then he asked me, "Did you register the children in your surname or your partner's?"
"Mine" I replied.
"Ah, well it would have been better to register them in your partner's name".
"Oh, really? Why's that?" I asked, genuinely curious.
"Because then if you ever split up she wouldn't have to explain why their name is not the same as hers."
For a split second I wondered whether I had heard him right. I had.
I contemplated mentioning that when you have just jointly received arguably the greatest blessing life has to offer, the possibility of everything going pear-shaped many years downstream is not closest to your mind.

Of course in years gone by the different names on the birth certificate would have been a much bigger deal, so I can at least see why the chance to make the change seemed worth mentioning to him.

At the end of the interviews, despite both of us momentarily struggling to remember how old the other is under interrogation, we seem to have been accepted as suitable to marry. I'm sure the kids will be relieved.