So, it is official now. My marriage is now recognized in both countries.
I must admit that I never gave much thought to the legalities of getting married. Somehow I thought that both governments would talk to each other and arrange all the paperwork on my behalf. Silly me, I know.
However, the beaurocratic side of things has been much less painful than it could have been. I mean, I did get married in England, under English law. All I had to do was to let the Spanish consulate know after all had happened. I married en June 09 and didn’t send all the paperwork until January 10. Yes, I took my time.
I had to send the original and a copy of the marriage certificate, the originals and copies of both Jon’s and mine birth certificates, some Spanish consulate form, filled in with the same details repeated again, and copies of our passports. Nothing had to be translated. Ah, and a self addressed and stamped envelope big enough for them to send me the Family Book. The only time that I had to contact the Spanish Consulate about anything was when I wasn’t sure about the size of the envelope. Not having seen a Family Book in years, I had no idea of its size and whether it would fit in the envelope I had, or not. I was very lucky to get my phone call answered the first and only time I called, as I’ve heard of many a case where constant telephone calls to the Consulate never get answered. Hopefully, I won’t have to contact them ever again.
Now, about the Family Book.
Some people think that having an actual paper-book, hand written with a ball pen, is soooo last century and very backwards. Especially in the second decade of the 21st century, when everything is computarised. However, I think it’s very cute. The fact that I have that book here with me, I can touch it, I can feel it.. It’s got a special thing about it. Yes, it can get lost. Yes, it can get damaged (my mum’s always had a huge coffee stain on it). And yes, it’s a pain in the arse having to do all your beaurocratic paperwork face-to-face because someone has to write in the damn book. But I feel a tiny bit more special for having it, much better than just being another entry in a huge computer database.
This long tradition of the Family Book is, however, going to end soon, as it was recently approved in Spain that the paper version of the Family Book will disappear towards a computarised system. In a way, I think it’s a shame. On the other hand, it’s evolution, baby.