Adventures in Name Changing, part I

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: reality, screw-ups |

{Tell me you loved the movie, “Adventures in Babysitting” as much as I did.  Yes, the one back in the 80’s with Elizabeth Shue.  When I moved to Chicago, I suddenly understood the whole drive-into-the-scary-city premise.  Anyhoo….}

So, armed with my newly-married force field (ya know, the one keeping away normal frustration, at least until the word “husband” doesn’t seem so mind-blowing), I headed happily off to the Social Security Administration and DMV, armload of paperwork in hand.

Sidenote 1: I keep all “important documents” in a little zippy waterproof folder.  When I need to do something official, I grab the whole zippy folder.  Didn’t make it clear I needed an original birth certificate, Miss Snooty Government Gatekeeper?  Well, here you go!  Think I don’t have a copy of my very first voter registration card?  HA!  Proved you wrong!  Yea, I’m a dork.

Sidenote 2: I didn’t head off to change my name as happily as I might have suggested.  I’m still slightly ambivalentBut I want my kids to have the same last name as my husband and I, so I’m going with the Bandaid Theory on this one (rip it off before you have time to dread it).  On the plane home from our fabulously lazy honeymoon, I asked Mr. Cheese to indulge me by outwardly and overtly acting like this was the best darned thing I could do to show my love for him.  He obliged, offering to take me out for drinks to celebrate (though we instead broke out the new blender and made our very first batch of pina coladas).

Armed with the second Twilight book, I waltzed into the Social Security Administration.  In my state, you start there, and the receipt from your transaction is a requirement at the DMV.  No problem.  45 minutes and a friendly chat with the helpful name-changer later, I had the slip of paper declaring my new identity:

Marisa MiddleName MaidenName NewLastName.

Yea.  Mouthful.  I couldn’t bear to lose my middle name this time around; I’m named after a super fantastic aunt.  Nor was I willing to drop my maiden name.  That name welcomed me back with open arms after the first time I shoved it to the middle slot, so I’m sticking with it.  So I asked if I could keep them all, and she obliged.  Score!

Off I went to the DMV, driving across town to the location staffed with the most unusually friendly people.  Seriously.  When I went to get my motorcycle endorsement, they took my picture eight times.  Eight!  I’m an eye-closer, and the woman couldn’t bear to let me go with such a bad picture on my ID.  What’s an extra 15 minutes of driving for service like that?

I filled out the paperwork, felt a small tinge of pride when I was asked to produce the correct paperwork (yea, yea, teacher’s pet even at 29), and figured I’d be done in an hour.  Then he asked if I knew my license was suspended.

Um, what?

Yea.  So, one of the unfortunate side effects of moving five times in two years is that mail doesn’t always get to you.  Important mail.  Mail that tells you that your license is suspended.  Or, to be more correct, WAS suspended almost six months ago!

Grrr.  And Argh.  And GRRRR.

I left with a picture ID and a big honking hole through my driver’s license, irrationally afraid of what my parents would say (yea, at 29).  My mom wasn’t fazed (she is my mom, after all), but my new hubby was horrified.  Then laughed and laughed.

So today I go through the whole shebang all over again, except this time I have to start at the courthouse where I’ll pay my hefty fine before heading back to the DMV.  With the third Twilight book, because I finished the second one last night.

Anyone else have, um, challenges to getting the name change thing done?


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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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