All waiting and no payoff makes Jack a homicidal maniac—or at the very least one anxious motherfucker. As you may have read from this blog’s premise, He (The Englishman, not a dude named Jack) and I are going through the United States’ thrilling immigration process. This is a charming bureaucratic labyrinth filled with hobbits and gnomes all demanding passwords that were lost in the mail and magic beans accidentally rerouted to an embassy in China. Just when you find the pathway to the secret key that leads to the door marked ‘Future’ you are forbidden entry because you didn’t initial Section 5b of the Municipal Maze Clause. Instead it’s back to Start where you can pass Go and collect three more months of solitude.
This joyous little puzzle designed by the American Government is called the K-1 (Fiancé) Visa. It’s a procedure so overly complicated they had to create a flow chart just to keep the details straight. While it would appear to be convoluted to prevent fraud, I am starting to believe it was put in place by kitten-torturing sadists laughing maniacally as they slam down bleeding red rejection stamps the size of Buicks onto the hopes and dreams of couples all over the world. I imagine the adjudicators at the overworked and understaffed processing center in California to be frigid heartless bastards embittered by a sorted love life just awaiting the chance for revenge. They feast on the misery of aspiring newlyweds—cackling over the tears of the geographically separated. Or maybe I’m just impatient.
Today marks two months since our application was filed with no update other than a cashed check, not surprisingly the only step processed at warp speed. Though our wait time is still well within average guidelines, the fact that it’s been over 60 days simply for permission to get married is ludicrous. It’s not at all as the movies and sitcoms have led me to believe. I went into this thinking we’d move in together, file some notarized long forms to official and important people and eventually be taken into a room where I’d be grilled on things like the location of his birthmarks and how often he uses the bathroom. We’d adorably laugh at our cultural differences until one day his green card would appear—cue the laugh track and roll the matrimonial credits. Everyone wins. Little did I know we’d be tossed into the world’s busiest DMV line while remaining on our respective sides of the Atlantic (imagine that scene in Beetlejuice when they take a number that resembles tickertape as they wait for their afterlife caseworker), only I have no idea what number I’m holding and only one window is open for business.
Because of the intricate forms, ever-changing guidelines, and vague instructions time seems to have stopped. I find myself getting offended by calendars and aggravated when the seasons aren’t changing fast enough. In a matter of seconds I can obtain a quiche recipe, blueprints to my childhood home, the Pythagorean Theorem and Paris Hilton’s birthday but I can’t get my fiancé into the country in under seven months? In an age of instant gratification this seems unacceptable. Now if you will excuse me, I have more pacing to do.
Maybe I should take up smoking for dramatic effect.