In an effort to start this jobless stage of my life with a bang (while maintaining a rigorous nap schedule), I decided to take care of a few things that I’ve been meaning to do since September. It’s time. First on that list was to go to the Social Security office and officially change my name.
My economics major years make me want to write something meaningful about my experience with the Social Security office and how all of that’s going to go down in the next 50 years (“go down” meaning “happen” in this instance, not literally “go down,” although that is one possibility). But I’m going to go with the unemployed perspective this time.
It really wasn’t that bad.
I didn’t know where to stand when I got there, because the signage, although large and seemingly clear, didn’t really tell me where to go at all. But somebody was nice and answered my question.
Then in true ex-librarian mode, I whipped out a book for the wait. And a few minutes later, I was out the door with a new last name. Bam! All of my past experiences came together to make a relatively pleasant name-changing experience.
The bank didn’t treat me as kindly when I tried to change my name there and cash a check, but I’ll get that done some other time. Which is one of the more awesome things about not having a job. I don’t have to sacrifice a lunch break for every errand anymore.
The one bittersweet part of the day was formally saying goodbye to my original last name. As previously discussed, I’m not much of a feminist. I’m thrilled to have my husband’s last name now and to be a formal part of his family, etc.
Just the same, it’s a tiny bit sad to give up something that you’ve used to identify yourself for 27 years. My old last name rhymed with my college roommate’s name. It made me feel authentic when I visited Europe, even though my lack of foreign language skills gave me away the minute I opened my mouth. It is a name with lots of character, and it still represents lots of people I love.
There are advantages of my new name, too.
- It means I’m married to someone I like a whole stinkin’ lot.
- It represents my new life with that same guy.
- No one has asked me to spell it for them a single time.
- Peanut changed his name a long time ago, and it’s always good to have the same last name as your progeny (furry and canine or less furry and human).
So that’s where I am. Out of line, newly renamed, and ready for whatever comes next.