Today, Craig and I got up early and went down to the Social Security office so that I could legally change my name to my married name. I know what you are thinking: “How long has this girl been married and not changed her name?” The answer is almost 3 years.
Why has it taken me so long you ask? Well, I have really struggled with the whole name change thing. I believe that changing your name is a very private decision that we should all make individually and not be pressured by what others (especially society) say is the “right thing to do.” As a young girl, I swore up and down that I would never change my name when I got married and I have re-affirmed that many times in my life. It is a hard thing to do to change who you are. To say “I know I have been Suzy Smith for 36 years, but no more. Now I will be someone else all because I got married.” it is a strange thing to me. Aside from that, there are very few people left in this world with my last name. We are a dying breed. I wanted to protect that and hold it dear to my heart for as long as I could.
But I did get married…in 2008. And my beloved husband has wanted me to change my name since then. We have had many discussions about it and I could tell it was hurting him that I did not change my name and that was the last thing I ever wanted to do to him. But he never pushed me too hard on it and he let me make my own decision.
Last year when we were traveling in Italy several times it came up that we had separate last names when we went through customs and other TSA security measures. It wasn’t a problem by any means, it was more of issue. But it made me want to be a real family with Craig. It made me long for this oneness that comes from having the same last name. So, I decided to change it on a few conditions.
Whatever line I stood in, he had to stand in with me.
Hence us both going to the Social Security office. I actually took a picture of myself standing outside of the Social Security office, but the security guards rushed me and told me I could not take pictures of federal buildings. Then they made me delete all the pictures I had taken. Weird I know?
Alas, I was not arrested or detained and so we went in and took a number and waited roughly one hour before we were called up to the little window. Hearing my number called made me very nervous, like I said this was a hard decision for me.
We went to the window and the lady asked for my ID and guess what? I forgot the darn thing at home in my backpack. I went through all of that internal trauma for nothing. There was nothing I could do. Nothing I could say. So we left and came home.
Even though my mistake had caused us to waste an hour of our day, Craig wasn’t mad at me. At least he didn’t say anything to me directly. Maybe secretly inside he is mad, but at least he didn’t say anything to make me feel bad. I ,of course, feel really bad and pretty darn silly too. Before we left to even go to the Social Security office I made this big production out of making sure I had every document that they could ever want from me. Never even thinking about the obvious one that you need. The one that you take for granted because it is always in your purse. Silly me! The plan is to go tomorrow, I’ll let you know how that works out.
Disclaimer: For safety reasons I have chosen not to disclose my married or my legal name.