Advertising | Metro Eireann | Top News | Contact Us
Governor Uduaghan awarded the 2013 International Outstanding Leadership Award  •   South African Ambassador to leave  •   Roddy's back with his new exclusive "Brown-Eyed Boy"  •  
Print E-mail

The World at Home

Last update - Sunday, September 15, 2013, 15:44 By Charles Laffiteau

Charles Laffiteau's Bigger Picture

My flight from Dallas to Atlanta was uneventful, but just before we were about to board the plane to Dublin, some very dark clouds moved in over the Atlanta airport and started spitting out lightning bolts. Sure enough, the gate agents informed us passengers our flight would be delayed indefinitely.

While I wasn’t happy about the ensuing two-hour delay, my attitude changed after we finally boarded. Before the weather hold-up I had a window seat on a full plane, which also meant I wasn’t going to get any sleep on the overnight flight. But after we boarded, a flight attendant upgraded me to a ‘sleeper’ seat freed up by a business traveller cancelling his trip. Another good omen for what was to come?

I arrived refreshed at Dublin Airport the following morning and Kinda was there to greet me with her beautiful smile, lots of hugs and warm kisses, as well as some lovely flowers. After spending some quality time together in our old flat at DCU, the two of us then began a four-day whirlwind of visiting friends and saying our farewells, in between sorting through and packing Kinda’s personal belongings so she could move house to America. While this was a very happy time for both of us, it was also bittersweet because we knew we might never see some of these friends again.  

As fate would have it, Kinda and I arrived at Atlanta International Airport on Friday 26 July, exactly one year after I had mailed her visa application. When I booked our flights two weeks previously, this particular Delta flight was the only one with discounted seats available. Another coincidence?

And there’s more. In an attempt to reduce divorce rates, states like Texas require couples to wait a minimum of three days after they get their marriage license before they can actually get married. I had already applied online for our marriage license, but the state would not issue it until Kinda and I were both present to sign it at the county clerk’s office. Since our flight from Atlanta did not arrive in Dallas until 5:30pm, by which time the clerk’s office was closed for the weekend, I figured we’d have to wait until the following Monday to get our marriage license issued.

And given the subsequent three-day waiting period, I informed Kinda that we would have to wait until Thursday 1 August to get married. I also discussed the date with my brother David and sister-in-law Cynthia so they could arrange to leave work early and act as our witnesses.

But since 1 August was almost a full week after her arrival in the United States, I must confess Kinda was also not very thrilled about the idea of waiting that long to tie the knot. So when I wrote before that 1 August was also my ‘wedding day’, I believed it was the first day Kinda and I could legally get married on after our arrival in the United States. Or so I thought.

As luck would have it, our flight from Dublin to Atlanta arrived an hour earlier than expected. So when I looked at the board to find the gate for our connecting flight, I noticed that there was an earlier flight to Dallas that Kinda and I still had time to make.

Without really thinking about it, I asked the gate agent if we could get seats on the earlier plane. She said yes, but couldn’t guarantee our luggage would make it. She also said that because I was a frequent flyer, there was no charge for me to change my flight, but Kinda’s ticket would require a $50 levy to change as we were not yet a married couple. Was this one of the many advantages to tying the knot?

Well, not only did Kinda and I arrive in Dallas at 3:20pm instead of 5:30pm, but all of our bags arrived with us as well. And we had just enough time to make it to the county clerk’s office before it closed at 4:30pm. Indeed, we got there with just minutes to spare! So at 4:23pm on 26 July, the state of Texas issued our marriage license, and we were able to reschedule the wedding ceremony for the earliest available time of 1pm on Tuesday 30 July, exactly a year to the day after the fiancée visa application was accepted. Yet another coincidence?

Sadly, David and Cynthia were unable to leave work early on Tuesday due to other commitments, but they suggested Cynthia’s parents be our witnesses. So it was that Kinda and I were married at 1:33pm on 30 July by the same justice of the peace who married my brother and his wife. The judge also remembered marrying David and Cynthia, and thought it remarkable that Cynthia’s parents were our witnesses as he remembered Cynthia had been disappointed her parents were unable to be there for her and David’s ceremony.

As I write this in early September, we couldn’t be happier, although the dark cloud of the Syrian civil war is encroaching, and our government weighs up plans to intervene. Next time out I’ll discuss my views on why that might be a good or bad idea.



Charles Laffiteau is a US Republican from Dallas, Texas who is pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Political Economy. He previously lectured on Contemporary US Business & Society at DCU from 2009-2011.

Latest News:
Latest Video News:
Photo News:
Kerry drinking and driving
How do you feel about the Kerry County Councillor\'s recent passing of legislation to allow a limited amount of drinking and driving?
I agree with the passing, it is acceptable
I disagree with the passing, it is too dangerous
I don\'t have a strong opinion either way
Quick Links