Dear Married People:
We at the Department of Marriage wanted to reach out to all of you who opted for the Hybrid-Marriage option during this pandemic to say: Congratulations. These are unprecedented times. As you know, starting in mid-March, our division was inundated with questions and concerns about the vows so many of us took to stay together “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, ’til death do us part.” Surely the framers of these vows could not have anticipated the strain of this much togetherness, so we put our heads together to develop two stress-relieving adaptations for married couples: Hybrid or Fully-Remote Marriage. If you’re reading this, you’ve opted for Hybrid-Marriage and our research is showing it’s been very successful in its mission of preserving unions.
We also wanted to share some exciting news. Now, because COVID rates in our area have remained under 1%, we’ve determined that it’s safe to increase your in-person days from 1 day a week to 2 days a week! Masks will still be required for all indoor activities—even, we’re afraid, the most intimate—but we figure the benefits of being able to be in the same room with your spouse far outweigh the awkwardness of half your face being covered.
Also, we’re thrilled to announce a reduction in your Zoom requirement! Many of you had called to complain that 10 hours a week was onerous, so we’re lowering the requirement to 8.5 hours. As before, two of those hours can be spent simultaneously watching Netflix (or a comparable streaming service), as long as you debrief afterwards on what you watched for at least 15 minutes. The code for this is: 9C865. Napping still doesn’t count, unfortunately, but household chores (emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, and wiping down the counters) can be logged, as long as you converse or keep a chat going in the chat function. The chores code is: XF6480.
A lot of you have been reaching out for more Childcare credits, so we’ve formed a sub-committee to research how best to address this nebulous area. Check this site regularly for updates.
Finally, per recent CDC guidelines, rubber gloves are no longer required in the kitchen or bathroom. So that should also lighten things up!
As we move toward the holidays, we expect infection rates to creep up, so please stay vigilant. If you have any questions, email Rita at nycdeptofmarriage.gov or call: 888-for-ever. (888-367-3837). We hope this email conveys our appreciation for what you’re going through, and sends the most important message: We hear you.
Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Marriage
p.s. If you’ve opted for Fully-Remote Marriage and have gotten this in error, we hear you, too. Feel free to disregard and proceed as before. ❏