This Halloween I will be married nine years. Or is it ten? [does the math] Nope, just nine. Jackson and I got married on the last Halloween of the 20th century. Sounds pretty ponderous, doesn't it? I know I've mentioned that before and even posted a picture or two, so that's old news.
What I've never told you was how we ended up getting married. I have no idea why I never talk about it - it's a good story. But I don't think I've ever told anyone the whole thing. Dunno why...
I met Jackson in sex class.
He had been to my office once a few months before this. He was working as a probation officer in Big Flat City. Scarlett, one of our officers, had worked with him there before she came to work with us. Jackson had to testify in court in Cool City so stopped to say hi to Scarlett on his way back home. She introduced us. We said 'hi, how are ya, nice to meet ya' and shook hands. That was that. He went back home and I went back to work. Didn't think anything more about it.
In April of 1999, Jackson ended up at the same three day alcohol and drug symposium that Rose and I were attending. We had to go to an HIV/AIDS seminar and Jackson sat at the same table Rose and I did.
I don't know if you work in a profession that requires annual HIV/AIDS training, but if you do, you know how boring and repetitious that becomes. The information doesn't really change much from year to year. So, the trainers try to spice things up in order to keep you awake and hopefully paying attention. Its a sexually transmitted disease class, so you can imagine how 'spicy' it might get.
It was during this class that Jackson and I learned we shared the same thoroughly juvenile sense of humor when it comes to buckets of free condoms and the various uses for which they were never intended.
We laughed, we snarked, we passed the test at the end of the program. And as we left the class Rose looked at him appraisingly. "I think he can hang with us," she said. High praise, coming from Rose.
At the end of the three day program, Jackson had my phone number. That Friday he came to Fake Cow and we went out to dinner. We had a great time. I learned some things about him that I didn't know. Such as the fact that he wasn't quite divorced.
He called me the next day and wanted to know when we could go out again. I assured him that I'd had a fabulous time and I would love to go out again - as soon as his divorce was final.
Being the good boy that he was/is, he didn't whine or make excuses, but said he completely understood. We exchanged a few more pleasantries and hung up. I was hoping to hear from him in a few months time. That was on Saturday.
He called me on Tuesday.
"Guess what I did today?" were the first words out of his mouth.
"I got divorced."
Turns out his divorce lawyer was one of his buddies. He traipsed down to the guy's office on Monday morning and wanted to know what had to be done to finalize his de-nuptualization. His buddy-lawyer told him there were papers his ex had to sign and then a court appearance to have the judge approve the settlement, followed by having things filed with the clerk of the court. The lawyer said he wasn't too terribly busy and he could probably have it done within a couple of weeks - a month at the very latest.
Jackson said, "Give me the papers."
He took them to his ex-wife's house and insisted that she sign. She agreed. Then he took them to the judge's office. Since he was a probation officer for that county, the judge knew him and agreed to give him a few minutes time on the docket. Jackson explained to the court that all he needed for his divorce to be final was the judge's signature and the papers to be filed. Everything else had already been handled. The judge looked over the decree, agreed that it was all in order and signed the papers. Jackson walked them over to the clerk's office, filed them and gave me a call.
Who was I to say no?
Six months later, on Halloween, we got married.
(Maybe next year I'll tell you about the Prairie Dog proposal and the Make-Out Church)