Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who am I?

“Who am I?” is one of the big questions in life, right along with “why are we here?”, “what is the purpose of life?” etc.

“Who am I” is a question I find myself asking often lately.

But I’m not talking philosophy or spirituality here -- I’m taking literally.

I’m in need of the answer, often quickly, because I’m on the phone, or in mid-conversation, or filling out some type of idiotic official form.

Who am I, and while we’re at it, what’s my address?

You see, my identity is fragmented at best right now. My legal name was changed with my signature on my marriage license, back in March, and when it finally arrived here in May I managed to change it at the loony bin social security administration office, but ended up in the hospital and then on bedrest before my appointment at the DMV, so these two primary forms of identification do not match. Unfortunately for me, it’s the ID without the photo that’s up to date, which helps very little when I want to prove to someone that the new name matches my old face.

I’m my former name at the hospital, doctor’s office, on my drivers license, passport, and on most of my credit cards. In addition my water, electric, cable, and other utility bills sport my former name. My new name appears on my business cards, my work pay stubs, my 401k, as well on a single credit card that includes a photo, at the elementary school my daughter attends, and on a few new bills.

I’m selling my condo using my new name, but just ran into a snag when I realized my bank still has all my former information. Getting this squared away (from bed) required two letters from me, one letter from them, and three phone calls, but they say it’s done. I’m officially the new me -- at least there.

You’d think that all this rest in bed would afford me time to straighten this all out, but people want to see PROOF of the name change, and they just don’t seem to be willing to come by to visit.

I know that this, like being able to leave the house, will all work itself out in time, but time is moving about as fast as my kids do when it’s time to brush and floss.


Hsin-Yi said...

I had a similar problem when I went to visit a friend in Chicago. I had booked the tickets under my married name, but only had my passport with me (which had my maiden name). I had no problem getting to Chicago, but when I was trying to get home (O'Hare stinks) they wouldn't let me in.

They said that the ID name didn't match the ticket so I had to go through extra security and a frisking. My co-travelers waited on the other side wondering if I was going to be left behind. I wondered how many Hsin-Yi's there could be in the world and if I could afford a train ticket back to CT.

They let me through in the end. I went to the DMV as soon as I could and got a State ID with my married name! Now I just have to remember that if we go out of the country in the next 8 yrs, I've gotta book the tickets under my maiden name!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Maybe you should just become "Beth", like Madonna or Beyonce.

My maiden name became my offical middle name when I changed it after getting married, so when I come across the odd document that is addressed to my former self, it's still in there somewhere. It actually came up just a few weeks ago when I had to dig out my old gym membership card (the fancy fingerprint technology was apparently not a keeper).

Good luck getting it all squared away!


Anonymous said...

It will work out... I went through the same rig a ma roll in 2007 when I married. *sighs. STILL have to do my passport but no plans to travel soon anyways. Good luck and hope it all gets smoothed out soon.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Pickles and Dimes said...

Changing your documents is such a hassle. I got more flak from my magazine subscriptions than most of my "important" bills. They actually wanted a copy of the marriage certificate to change my Redbook subscription!

(This is the reason I kept my ex-husband's last name after I got divorced. MUCH easier.)

Glad you got everything finally straightened out!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

You know, people. There *is* an easy way to handle all of this....

Just kidding, just kidding. I know it's not for everyone, but keeping my name has certainly helped me avoid repeated visits to the DMV, from the sound of it. That's a good enough reason right there. ;)


xup said...

This is a very good argument for women to hang on to their names. Life seems complicated enough without not knowing who you are on top of everything else

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ellie, I agree!! Completely. I so wish I had kept my maiden name. It would have been so much easier, and I liked it too. In fact, I did just what Jacquie did and made my maiden name my new middle name, so I really still do have my old name, with a new one added on. A new, new one, that is.

I just didn't want to keep my ex-husband's name. It's one thing to do so if you don't remarry, because it's your children's name and all, but it just seemed too strange to hold on to his name when I have a new husband.

Of course, it would be nice to do as Jacquie suggests, and simply go with "Beth" or "The Beth Girl In San Diego" or the like, maybe next time I change my name.

let's you call her Dot in Central PA said...

It would likely be easier for me to go by 'Dorothea' than for you to go by 'Beth'...and I should have really thought long and hard before I took my married name since it ended up making me the "other Dorothea Stahl"

what are the chances I'd meet the one guy whose mom is Dorthea...and then fall in love and marry him?! good thing she spells it wrong.

good luck completing your identity change :-)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Are you serious? That is too much, Dot! I don't think I knew that about Rod's mom.

(He doesn't have some kind of weird mother complex, does he?)