Today is a good day for me, even with a depressing Habs hangover.
Twelve years ago on this day, Luci and I were married in the Palace of Marriage in St. Petersburg, Russia. We had gone through an unbelievable amount of red tape and craziness, but it got done, surprisingly enough. The Russian bureaucracy doesn’t believe in making things go smoothly. I have no idea why.
The whole thing involved going from one place to another for several weeks, getting papers stamped and translation notarized and things getting duplicated and this and that. It drove me crazy. I’m not exactly the patient type to begin with, and I felt like jumping into one of the nearby canals.
If you want to get to know St. Petersburg quickly, just go through the process of getting married. You’ll see all corners of this massive city in no time flat.
When all the papers were finally rounded up and stamped, we took them to the Palace of Marriage a few days before the big day, and the lady on the ground floor examined everything, put another stamp on, and then sent us up four floors to another lady, who told us when we would be married. The lady downstairs couldn’t do this. It took two people.
On the day of the wedding, the lady who was to marry us was late, and when she did show up, she married us while she still had her coat on. We were expecting some sort of ceremony, but all she did was say a couple of things and have us sign something, then she left as quickly as she had come in.
The wedding party stood there looking at each other, wondering what to do next, and eventually our friend Katia lined us up, stood behind the pulpit, and married us properly. It might not have been official, but it was way better than the official version.
Afterwards, we all headed to a great club just off Nevsky Prospekt called Money Honey, in the heart of St. Petersburg, where a rock band was playing and Russians danced all over the place.
A year later, in Powell River, we got married again, at the Moose Lodge, where, once again a rock band was playing and people danced all over the place.
Luci is my second wife and is the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s been a great twelve years.