A question of love

If you ask me, marriage is like a steak – they get better with age, and good ones are rare. And to be fair, if you ask some of my less fortunate acquaintances, lifelong legal partnerships can also be bloody, and too much of it might kill you. It works on so many different levels.

Fortunately my marriage is like a grass-fed, properly aged and well marbled porterhouse, and I can’t get enough of it. Having someone you can share the highs and lows with without fear that you will be judged is one of the best feelings you can have, and I’d recommend it to anyone. And, after almost two years of marriage, I still feel as happy as I did on day one.

However, this week The Special One and I have to go prove it to the United States of America, and suddenly I’m starting to be racked with fear that a particularly unromantic immigration officer won’t be impressed by our little notes and wedding pictures, and will instead force us into an impromptu winner takes all edition of Mr & Mrs. Or The Newlywed Game, as I believe they called it over here, demonstrating a peculiar lack of panache in the naming department if you ask me.

The fact is that I know a lot about The Special One, and she knows a lot about me. But put one of us in an isolation chamber, and ask the other one questions about their partner, and I think we’d be a bit rubbish. After all, I love The Special One but that doesn’t mean that I know what her first pet was called. Or that she would be able to tell anyone what my nickname was at school. Or that I would be able to inform the immigration officer any number of things that no husband should really be expected to know. Like the colour of his wife’s eyes, for instance. I mean, obviously I know the colour of my wife’s eyes, but not everyone is so diligent.

Looking online this weekend, we saw a huge number of different questions that could be asked of us, including what colour our bathroom is, how many ceiling fans we have, and what we each bought the other for our last birthdays. Given that I can barely remember what I bought for lunch last week, my chances of getting through this unscathed are slim to negligible.

Of course, we do have the fact that The Special One is sporting a rather fetching bump in our favour, although I will be watching with interest to see if the immigration officer asks her any questions about her friendship with – say – a milkman or tennis coach. But just to be on the safe side, I’m going to be revising my Special One knowledge all week – by the time of our interview, I’ll know everything there is to know. Starting with the colour of her eyes, obviously…

9 thoughts on “A question of love

  1. Limey

    When my husband and I went for the Greencard interview I had this intense folder that I had organized, labeled, colour-coded etc. of about 100 pages of photos, documents, e-mails, letters and general evidence or our relationship – it was ridiculous! The USCIS agent didn’t even look at them. He asked us when we met, how we met and a couple of other banal things and stamped our paperwork and we were done in less than 10 minutes. We didn’t get put in separate rooms, we weren’t grilled and questioned. It was so much more simple than I had thought it would be. So don’t be overly anxious about it – it’s no big deal. If your marriage is real, it’s real. They’ll know it just from looking at you. I think when people panic and try to look overly in love and touchy-feely, or soppy, then that’s a red flag to the agent. Just be normal! Good luck – keep us updated! – Limey

  2. Expat Mum

    The bump trumps.
    Seriously tho – if you’re both pale skinned, there probably won’t be many questions. The Ball & Chain and I took tons of documentation, and after 5 minutes chatting to our “officer” we went to tip it all on the desk and he told us there wouldn’t ‘be any need for that’.
    That same year, a friend of mine who was marrying a Sudanese guy she’s known since she was 15 (who is a Geologist working for one of the US’s biggest companies) was asked to jump through hoops. (This was in 1990, before any “big” stuff.)
    They had to dig up family photo albums (before digital and e-mailing them) etc., to back up their story, which was a big pain and totally unnecessary.
    As Frankie said – Relax!

  3. Limey

    Actually, I didn’t mean to make that pun – but, hooray for accidental hilarity!

    I have also heard from numerous people that if you’re both white and speak English fluently, no problem. But if one of you is anything other than white and a native English speaker, then they eye you very suspiciously. It’s a sad truth.

  4. Amanda

    Green Card – seen the movie several times…..brush up on the name of her face cream!!!!
    Good luck

  5. Dylan

    Yes, beef gets better with age. Not over the course of twenty years, obviously. But a piece of prime rib that has been properly aged is going to be much better than one from a just slaughtered animal…

  6. Kimberly

    I married a brit ex-pat and we were put into separate rooms. Our questions were: 1) when you walk into your living room, where’s the couch? 2) What side of the bed do you sleep on? 3)Where’s the TV in your living room? and 4) What cologne does your husband wear? Just go with the thought to submit to their questions and you’ll do great. Good luck! Ross got his card that said he could be drafted in wartime about 4 months before he got his greencard. Such are American priorities, hey!?

  7. Sven

    I had to do all this when we applied for my visa to get into Australia as a gay de facto spouse. I think the hotel phone bill James kept from Egypt showing he had spent £110 in a week to call me at home was the proof that convinced them. 4 very expensive calls but turns out they were worth every penny!

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