Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DMV Bingo and the double life

I am finding that at the moment, I am leading a double life... I seem to be in identity limbo! I have completed the federal process in changing my name, and have just completed the DMV process. But until the new photo ID comes, I am somewhat in between names. I have notified credit cards and utilities, and some changes have been completed. Some however require my physical presence to complete the process. Oddly, I am almost not sure who I am and what name to sign!

Take DMV for example. I was smart enough to make an appointment before going in. When I got there for my appointment, I gave my name and she couldn't find me. Suddenly I doubted the date of the appointment was about to groan out loud at my foolishness for not double checking the paper I printed after making the appointment. The lady behind the counter asked why I was there. I told her it was for a name change. So she asked for my 'old' name. I said that was the one I gave in the first place. She smiled, perhaps a thin smile with just a hint of impatience, said AHA, and asked for my new name. Low and behold, that was the name I had made the appointment under. I had NO recollection of doing that.

As a slightly funny aside, my DMV bingo experience was fairly mild compared to the social security office. My lucky bingo number was F010. I was seated only a short time before my number was computer voice called. Oddly enough, I got the very same man that I got the last time I went to my local DMV office. He was just as interactive this time as then. He moved at his own pace (about 75 MPH slower then I tend to move) and spoke very little. My first encounter with him was to get my new personalized plates for my truck. During the process, he said two words. I kid you not. I handed him my old plates and the form that would get me my new plates and he silently typed away at his computer. An eternity later, after I stared at him staring at his computer screen, he got up, went to a drawer and retrieved my new plates. He handed me a piece of paper and nearly scared me to death when he spoke aloud, asking me to 'Sign here'. And I was done.

As I approached Mr Silent Man Tuesday, I smiled and wondered if it would be a repeat performance. I wasn't disappointed. I handed him the completed form, the marriage certificate and my birth certificate. He typed a few things in the computer and stared at the screen. Something printed out. He typed some more and stared again. Something else printed out. He typed some more and stared some more. One last thing printed out and he again startled me with a 'Sign here' demand on my new interim license. He was forced to speak more this time because I had to get a new picture done (oh joy) so he had to say 'over here for your photo'. After the picture was done, he said, "Two weeks for your new license." and I took that to mean we were done.

Don't get me wrong. He wasn't unfriendly in his actions or his tone at all. Just quiet. It was actually quite humerous.

Back to my double life. Right now I find myself trying to remember who I am when I write or say my name. Which is odd, because I have spent the better part of the last year using my wife's last name for a lot of things, just not the 'legal' stuff. Now I guess I am finally melding into my new self. Seemingly very slowly.

It has been a fun process. I have no idea if any other newly married woman, lesbian or otherwise, has experienced the same feeling I have as this process has come together, but I tell you I have been positively giddy. It is almost like completing the name change process has allowed my mind to really believe that this marriage is real. Really. I seriously giggle when I think about it!

So is this what they mean about finding yourself???

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