The naturalization ceremony we attended, where Innapropriately Hot Americanized Wife became one of us, was an emotional event, though not exactly intimate, in that there were 2,500 other people being sworn in at the same time.
The setting, not exactly intimate, was the Boston Garden, home of the Bruins, Celtics and the $8 6-oz. cup of warm Bud Light.
Former mayor Ray Flynn was the guest speaker, and did a fantastic job. I was ready to vote for him all over again.
I picked out my wife pretty easily. In the 15 minutes she was separated from us, she made friends and strolled out on the floor looking like she owned the place.
Unable to pick out the fam in the crowd, I could see her nervously scanning for us amidst the rabble. BTB, the new camera has a bitchin' telephoto. We were really in the nosebleed seats.
I took pity on her and called her cell to tell her where to look. Then she spotted us.
A judge presides over the ceremony. When it came time to actually be sworn in, everyone rose, and the prospective citizens who wished to undergo name changes were approved to do so. My wife was included, losing some middle names in favor of the more American tradition of just having one middle name. Then the moment came, when it was time to raise their hands, and take the oath, which managed to make my hair stand up with all the pomp and drama of it, jaded nature and all. The oath is no joke at all
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law;
that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Even now, reading this, I wonder how many of our younger citizens out there, living in their mother's basement, would ever consent to the idea of any of those actions that my wife swore to carry out if asked. Truly, at that moment, I understood what it is that makes our nation so strong- that our citizens, most of them, are expected to do more, to contribute voluntarily what other nations demand as tribute to be taken at gunpoint from their own citizens, where we are tasked to do so principally as a point of honor.
At any rate, my very ecstatic wife is now a citizen, with the certificate to show it.
Four years, thousands of dollars, hundreds of dead trees, tens of hours, and worth all of it. Except for the bloody restaurant bill. Jeez. I paid less for my first car. And my second car, too, come to think of it.