About Rachel&Sam

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No one said post-wedding was going to be so hard

Planning a wedding is far from easy. I get that and my previous blog posts probably hit the ball home, too. Although, you would think that going through the blood, sweat, and tears of planning a wedding that post-wedding would come out smelling like roses.  Not so, said the cat.

First, although not required, I decided to change my name to respect the family that Sam and I have newly created.  This required me to go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and DMV first thing the day after we returned from our honeymoon.  At 9 am on the dot, I entered SSA and it was there, after an hour of waiting, that I realized I left my marriage certificate at home and had to book it over to the County Clerk to get another copy, so I could wait another hour to have my name changed.  Annoying, yes. But that was done. 

What they don't tell you at the SSA, or at least the Arlington County SSA, is that the name change won't be processed for 24 hours. Fast forward a few hours later to me sitting at the Arlington DMV. After two hours of waiting, I was finally called up to the window.  Unfortunately, the clerk informed me that my name hadn't been processed yet and that I would have to come back later for my license.  Fantastic. I love using vacation or flex days to wait in lines. The next thing that happened, I care not to share on the blog, but let me say it ended in tears of frustration and the first time I questioned, why does this have to be so hard?!  I was starting to feel like "Rachel No Name."

A month later, I went back to DMV only to find out that my NYS birth certificate was not an acceptable form of identification and that I would have to return to home to get my passport.  $60 later in cab fare, I had my new ID, but was completely frustrated once again by the back and forth required to get my license. Why is it that a NYS birth certificate is less acceptable than another state's birth certificate?!

I decided for "convenience sake"  and to limit confusion, to change my name at work. Once we returned from the honeymoon, I submitted the paperwork and heard nothing back. I started sending out weekly emails to human resources inquiring into what actions had taken place on my name change and if there was anything that I needed to do on my end. There were weeks where I didn't hear anything. My name finally changed almost two months later.

I thought I would be sad about changing my name, but because it was such a challenge on all fronts, I think I saw it as a goal as opposed to losing my maiden name and all that implies. I did, however, get very upset when I had to change my "518" phone number to a "703". Sam and I created a family plan with AT&T, which is great because he now has his own iPhone to play with instead of mine.  What I didn't know when we went in to start the plan was that individuals on a family plan need to have the same area code.  It didn't make sense for Sam to get a North Country number since we both live in Northern Virginia, but I wasn't ready to give up my number. Changing my name was something that was my decision and it was hard and I cried, but I did it.  Changing my number was not part of the deal.  I had my number for eight years and it made me feel connected to the North Country. A little piece of Rachel is now gone and some random person in the North Country gets to have it.

It's weird, right?!  I'm more upset about losing my number than my name.  I guess I can explain it like this: Sam asked me to marry him and I said yes. I chose to marry him like I chose to change my name.  No one asked me if I wanted to change my phone number and if they had, I would have said no. Instead, I didn't really have a choice.

OK, its out there.  I'm done whining about this.  As a heads up - don't ask me my new number. I don't remember it anymore.