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Livid pods

In order to transfer my residency visa from Ex-Employer to Husband’s sponsorship, we must send our marriage certificate to the Irish Embassy in Riyadh. The Embassy will verify that it is indeed a Marriage Certificate as stated at the top of the document and will thereby authorize the British Embassy in Dubai to notarize it.

And that’s before we even start applying for residency.

About six months ago, we had to present our Marriage Cert to the bank to set up an account, after which it vanished. There’s been no sign of it since.

I like to maintain a list of things to worry about on a rotational basis, and coming up to our holiday the absence of marriage certificate hit the number one spot. I scoured the house, riffling through the safe, tearing apart cupboards, sniffing under beds, digging down the back of the sofa, turning out pockets. I went through all likely folders, shook out books, turned up carpets.

I’d been nagging Husband ever since returning from NZ to find the thing, not particularly because I like to make his life a living hell – although that’s a bonus – but since he was the one who saw it last.

This morning, worn down by months of shrewishness, he finally engaged in what I’ve come to know as The Mystery of the Disappearing Marriage Certificate. After five minutes, he appeared in the bathroom door.

“What d’you call this?” he said, flapping something under my nose.

It was our marriage certificate.

“No way!” I breathed in awe. Andrew ‘Sniffer Dog’ Shaw strikes again! My husband appears to have a supernatural ability to track down errant items, including on one occasion a pair of sunglasses that had been knocked off my face by a big wave. Considering the sea was a roiling whiteout of surf that day, and the fact that the Gulf is 241,000 square kilometers in area, you’d have to admit the man’s got a gift.

“Where did you find it?” I asked.

“In the safe,” said Andrew.

“No no, that’s not possible,” I said. “I looked in the safe like, about four times.”

In fact, the safe had been the first place I looked; and in the strange way your mind plays tricks on you, I’d rechecked it on no less than three subsequent occasions. Not to mention all the times I’d opened it to put in or remove jewelry – ie on average once a day.

“Well, it was there.”

Embarrassingly, our safe is about the size of a small microwave. You know, like a hotel room safe? Two shelves. 10″H x14″W x10″D, on a good day. Fifteen cubic litres. In other words, you’d be hard pressed to lose an atom in there. Additionally, it’s not as if it’s littered with documentation. The top shelf is given over to jewelry – mainly mine – and the bottom hosts seven (that’s 7 – the number after 6) national bond certificates.

This is where I misplaced our marriage certificate. Which in this instance, possibly says more about my hunting/tracking abilities than Andrew’s superior skills.

While I’m on the subject of my general uselessness – and Andrew frequently complains that he comes off in my emails like the evil villain (I prefer arch villain myself) – oh no; before that I’ve got to tell you this. I came across a Nerd Test on the Internet the other day. It comprised 60 questions along the lines of: “Have you ever attended a StarTrek convention? – (a) yes, one a day (b) yes, once (c) yes once, but my heart wasn’t in it and I left early wearing a false moustache (d) how dare you! what are you trying to imply?” and “How would you rate your personal hygiene? – (a) attracts flies (b) makes me want to barf after 6pm (c) I brush my teeth when there are signs of mould (d) fastidious”.

According to your answers, you are categorized as a Nerd, Geek or a Dork. So I did the test as Andrew (I figured he wasn’t about to (a) sit through 60 questions; or (b) answer truthfully (that would be: the truth according to me)).

Distressingly, he is an Average Joe – totally shattering my illusions of my husband. I was convinced the test would confirm the fact that I was married to Ultimate Geek – but no.

Mind you, he was categorized as 39% Dork.

Tragically my license to scoff was rescinded by being pronounced – when I took the test as Me – 45% Dork.

So where was I? Oh yes, general uselessness in relation to Yours Truely. Last weekend, we were in Satwa and, while Andrew was picking up a pair of trousers, I popped into a second hand bookstore. After five minutes, Andrew rang to tell me he was outside, waiting in the car on the other side of the road.

Well, I came out and walked across the road; I’m looking around and there’s no sign of Andrew. Is he double-parked? Has he driven off to find another space? Perhaps he was lying? I’m standing there staring around wildly, and (conscious of my lack of talent regarding Finding Things), decide to speed up the process and call Andrew for directions.

I’d dialed the number and had the mobile pressed to my ear when there was a loud beep and I practically fell off the pavement. I’m looking around to see who I can flick a V sign at – bloody rude git! – when the horn went again.

And it was Andrew, in the car, right in front of me. I mean his bumper was two metres away from my knees.

So what else? Oh yes, for some reason I’ve broken out in a rash of spots recently.

“I’m very spotty at the moment,” I remarked to Andrew, awaiting the impassioned protests and proclamations of undying love regardless of my pustular status.

“Yeah, I’ve noticed that,” said My Beloved.

I changed the subject before he had a chance to remark on their throbbing, neon quality; or how I looked like the host vehicle for tiny alien babies about to burst forth from their livid pods


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