Human Race is Not an Option

This purse would have left a bruise.

When we were getting married last year, we applied for our license in July. That way we won’t have to rush around in October trying to make sure we are legal. We found a parking spot at the courthouse, a miracle unto itself. Up to the Marriage License office we trot, all happy and rosy. I think we were both nervous, at least I know I was.

They nice clerk handed us a form to fill out. I let Mr. Bernie do that, as he has much nicer handwriting, printing, than I do. There is a spot on the form for race. Instead of filling in a race, Mr. B wrote, “human”. I so wanted to kill him. There we were applying for a marriage license and I was debating how to choke him to the ground quietly. He was quite pleased with himself. My glaring and telling him that he was being ridiculous was ignored.

Next it came to the point to fill out my married name. After having the same name for 40 years, it took me a bit to decide. Did I want to keep my last name, hyphenate it, or take his. Mr. Bernie told me that it was up to me. That he didn’t care what I did. However, over the past several months he has made it clear that he prefer I take his name. So I went back and forth about it in the clerk’s office. Finally, I told him to put his last name as my new last name and hand it in quickly. (Just in case I changed my mind.)

He handed in the paper, looking all smug about his “human” under the race category. The clerk took it and looked surprised. She walked back to her desk and called over her co-worker with help as what to do. They talked it over quite a bit. I wanted to die on the spot. Mr. Bernie was looking smug and I was wondering if my wooden kitchen sink purse would give him a concussion if I hit him with it. Yes, I’m classy and carry a purse that looks like a sink to apply for a marriage license. No need to be jealous.

While we were waiting, a dewy-eyed young couple came in. Perhaps they were 12 or maybe 21, I was not sure. They were all cutsie wootise while waiting for their paperwork. Young love, so sweet. She was looking at her  future husband with adoration and love. Meanwhile back in the old people section I was wondering how to push Mr. B down a flight of stairs and have it look like an accident.

The clerks were still discussing how to fill out our license and giving us odd looks. The young couple was done before us. Before they could sign this license, they had to raise their right hands and swear under oath that everything they put down was true. I nudged Mr. B and suggested if we get a license, that we should say, “Ya, sure, you betcha” when we had to take our oath. He agreed.

Finally, our license was typed up and presented to us. In the race box, it was blank. I guess they decided it was easier that way. It was time for us to swear that everything we wrote down was true and so on. We said, “Ya, sure, you betcha!” The clerk didn’t even crack a smile. Which of course, Mr. Bernie pointed out. “Oh, geez. We didn’t even get a smile out of her.” She looked up and smiled and said, “Oh, that was funny.” I don’t think she meant it though.

Our receipt in hand, we left the courthouse. All the while I was debating about going back upstairs and changing my last name back. I’m not a good at spelling and didn’t want to have to learn a new name. I still find myself using my maiden name for things. Not on purpose, it just happens.


This was a post I had originally posted on the Lemon Tree Cards Blog



  1. Oh my, that was funny!! I missed this one! Those people don’t have a sense of humor anyway–I think it is one of the criterion of having that job (much like working at the DMV) ;) Thanks for re-sharing!

  2. Hubby likes to write "Yes, please" to the sex question on those types of things. Being the closet non-conformist that I am I always get a little embarrassed while at the same thinking, "Wow, he's so cool."

    You know, I would love to see a photo of your favourite really awesome, can't believe that's actually a purse purses. I mean, a kitchen sink purse, that's just so neat.


    • Bernie says:

      Oh, that is fun.
      Someone I know used to put a note in the memo line of checks. No matter who the check was to the memo would say, "For sex"
      Oh, that is hard to find a favorite. I will have to do a post on my top 5 or something.

  3. I think that's a riot! I hate filling out forms like that! I love when they ask "Sex" and I fill like filling out "on occasion" or "not enough" or "are you asking?"..stuff like that.

    And you're the only person I know that can truthfully say that you carry everything including the kitchen sink!

  4. My wife wanted me to take her last name and I sometimes wonder if it would have been easier to have done it. People are always getting my name wrong!!

    • Bernie says:

      *lol* I have heard of guys who have done that. Or there is they hyphenated joining of the names as well.

  5. Don't even get me started on the whole 'taking the man's name' thing! But good for you for giving a crap about your husband's wants and needs. You'll be a good wife. Make sure to use that against him though should the need ever arise…i'm just sayin'…

    • Bernie says:

      Thank you. Oh, believe me I'm sure its something that would come up again. A woman after my own heart you are. *lol*

  6. Haha, love it! This reminds me of when we went and got our license. Our anniversary is coming up, and if you don't mind, I might 'borrow' your idea and use it :) Still laughing at "Yes, I’m classy and carry a purse that looks like a sink to apply for a marriage license. No need to be jealous." I am jealous, that thing is awesome!

  7. That kind of purse could carry everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink. Ha. Heh…Get it? *coughs* Well, I admit I'm not as funny as Mr. Bernie with the whole human race joke, but I sure do try. Ya sure, you betcha!

    • Bernie says:

      That was the purpose of the purse. Since I collect weird purses, it was an idea of my own. You hear about woman who carry everything but the kitchen sink? I wanted to carry the kitchen sink. I had it made for me via Esty.

  8. You might have considered putting downputting down "just starting" under race. Or "marathon." But that probably would not hav cracked a smile out of the clerks either.

  9. Ya, sure, you betcha, that was quite a story, Bernie, quite a story.

    That name decision can be difficult. I just took my husband's last name when we married and didn't really think about it.

    When I write professionally, however, I use my maiden name and my legal surname. The only time that long name presented a problem was recently when I won the spring Roadside Poetry contest. I was over the 20-character per line limit, but the sign maker made Audrey Kletscher Helbling fit the fourth billboard. So glad he did as I'm proud of my family name.

    So go ahead, Bernie, use your maiden name whenever you feel like it. I have no idea what it is, but own it, girl.

    • Bernie says:

      I remember how hard it was for them to get your names on the sign. If I ever did write a book or get published, I would more than likely use my maiden name.

  10. Human race? Too funny! Found you on the blog hop and following on Twitter. All my best!


    Twitter: @claylauren2001

    Facebook: claytonpaulthomas

  11. Bernie – where did you find a purse like that? I thought you had photoshopped it so something! My daughter would be so envious if she saw this :D

  12. I am in awe of your kitchen sink purse!

  13. Such a great story! I love your writing style! Hope you're having a great Sunday Bernie!

  14. I love his choice of race! Totally rocks … ya, sure, you betcha!

  15. I am STILL impressed Mr. B didn't "fall" down the stairs that day, Ooops, ya you bettcha. ;)

  16. That is the most adorable purse ever! I would totally carry something like that. Where did you find it?

    I have the opposite problem with my name. I was VERY excited to take my husband's name when we married. That's what wives do, right? Now that I am in the professional world and doing some writing that just might get published, I want my old name back. It was much more unique, and to be honest I felt proud of that name. I am going to be using it for my book if it ever comes out.

    • Karen, I had it made for me on Etsy. It was made because of the phrase, “Carrying everything but the kitchen sink” I wanted to carry the kitchen sink. I posted a query on Etsy and someone replied.
      I’m the same way about my maiden name. If I’m published, that is the name I would use.

  17. hilary says:

    You two so crack me up!!! Isn't it funny how we all react differently to the name change?

    • Bernie says:

      We all do react differently. I think if I was a young girl and got married I would not think twice about switching. However, after having the same name for 40 years, it did give me pause.

      • I changed mine so fast – I think it might have had something to do with the fact that Marc and I were dating for over 5 years before, and he vowed that he would "never get married"

        • Bernie says:

          Oh, yes I could see where you would change it quickly then. Mr. Bernie was not going to get married either. *lol*

  18. Oh Bernie—I so want to meet you in person some day. You Betcha. And the purse, the purse. Oh my goodness. I love it!!! You made my Sunday! Thanks!!! Hugs!

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