Change is the Name of the Game

Wedding2010My husband and I have been married for 3 1/2 years. We got married in the Bahamas in December of 2010. It was great. The temp was perfect–not too hot and not too cold. The sand was warm and soft. The water was crystal clear. I mean I couldn’t have asked for a better venue than the beach.

So, ya know, after three-plus years I figured it was time to change my last name to his. I’d been putting it off because, frankly, it’s a giant pain in the ass. Men just have no idea how much trouble it is to change your name.

It just so happens I had to renew my driver’s license in May. Since it was up for renewal, I figured it was as good a time as any. And while I was at it, I may as well get the social security out of the way. I thought maybe I could schedule an appointment with SS to do it. After I was on hold with them for 25 minutes, I talked to a guy about it and he said there WERE no appointments for the next, oh, three months. He also said I should be able to walk in to get my name changes but I shouldn’t go at the first of them month since it was likely the busiest time.

Well, I’d already had a scheduled day off – Friday, May 2. I was going anyway, by golly. Thursday night, I gathered up all the paperwork. Marriage license, divorce decree, birth certificate, SS card, driver’s license. Oh and you have to fill out an application, too. I wasn’t sure what they were going to need, so I took everything. I filled out the app ahead of time and had it all ready to go.

My son had an early morning band competition, so I went to that and then immediately left for the downtown office. I parked, got there and there was already a line. They don’t officially open until 9 am but I was able to get signed in at exactly 8:42 am. I was number A238. I had no idea where they would start but I settled in for a good long wait.

At 9 am exactly, they started calling numbers. And there was no particular order. Which mean I was going to have to really pay attention. It was like social security bingo. They’d call a number like A242 and then C381 and then F214. They started hitting numbers immediately all around mine. They called me at 9:10. I literally only waited ten minutes from the official time of opening.

A lady led me through a door and into this cavernous room of cubeland.

I figured I would get some flack for (a) not changing my name in a timely fashion and (b) having a marriage license from the Bahamas. In fact, the girl was a little startled by the Bahamas license. She said she’d never seen one like that before. I worried it wasn’t a certified copy but it was and it was all good. I guess that means we’re really married. 🙂 She looked at that, my divorce papers and my driver’s license. After reviewing the application, she printed off a paper to make sure everything was correct and then I got a receipt. I was on my way 7 minutes later. Seriously.

It was the most amazing experience I’d ever had in a social security office ever. Since the hubby works downtown, I headed over to his office to say hi. Afterward, since I seemed to be having a run of good luck, I went to the DPS office. It was practically empty. I was in and out in about 10 minutes. Name changed, license renewed, fee paid.

Then on to the banks. Name changed there with no problem. My last order of business is to change my passport.

And all my credit cards.

I’m sure I’ve missed some things but it feels good to be official.

After all those errands, I took myself shopping and bought some new casual shirts and a new pair of shoes. Then I went home and had ice cream. I also managed to clean up the office–something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I got the desk cleared off. Amazing how much trash I had. I shredded everything that needed to go and got rid of all the junk mail. It was a most productive Friday. 🙂

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.