Friday, October 17, 2008

The Promised Story

If you're a girl and you get married and you want to take your husband's last name, well then, you have to fill out forms and go to Social Security and BMV and in the process you have to make sure you have all the correct documents.  It's kind of a pain in the you know what.

Last week I decided I needed to get that legal stuff over with, especially since I'm slowly looking for a job.

First stop, social security office.  I had a mental picture of the waiting area being filled with vagrants, but I went anyway.  
I pulled into the parking lot around 10, with a book in hand and an envelope containing all the documents I needed (I'd read over the website several times trying to make sure I arrive with everything I needed).  When I walked into the building, arrows directed me to a machine where I had to input the number that corresponds to my reason for being there.  I pushed '1' and a receipt printed with my number--109.  The waiting room was packed with vagrant looking people.  I settled in next to a line of Spanish speaking women.  The first number I heard called was 175--I glanced at my number wondering where it fell in the line up.  About 15 minutes into my wait, the woman sitting a chair away from me received a phone call from her mother.  For the next many minutes, I tried to read and tune out the woman.  She was going through a divorce after 15 years of marriage and she's pretty sure that her ex is bi-polar.  It was an emotional phone call and the woman was obviously on the edge of falling apart.  Not far from her sat two early 20s guys.  Punks from observation.  They were very antsy from waiting and started mouthing off  and singing inappropriate songs/ditties--total noise pollution.   So, I kept reading, trying desperately to ignore everyone, but also listening closely to the numbers being called.  The divorcing woman got another phone call--this one from the ex-husband.  A minute after she hung up, one of the young guys looked at her and said, "You call me an idiot?"
Lady: "What?"
Guy: "You call me an idiot?"
L: "No.  Don't talk to me.  You don't know me."
G: "You called me an idiot."
L: "No I didn't.  Stop talking to me.  I was talking to my husband."
Okay, I have to take an interlude here because I don't feel it's correct to write the words that followed.  They start throwing words back and forth.  The guy mimics every nasty phrase the lady says.  She starts getting hysterical.
L: "You know what?  I don't have to deal with this!"  She storms past the guy to the security desk.  "Excuse me sir, this fellow here is harassing me.  That one, the fourth chair down."
Then more yelling back and forth ensues and the security officer kind of just stands there.  The crowning moment was something like this.
L: "You have no idea what's going on in my life.  I don't have time for men right now!"
I thought there might be an all out brawl on the floor, but the guy was ordered to leave and the crying lady was escorted to the back by a manager.  After another 5 or so minutes, the tension in the room dissipated and people returned to their sitting and waiting.  By 11:15, I'd been called to the window and transacted my business.
It was a ridiculous episode and not a pretty picture of humanity.  It made for a good story.  I kind of wish someone had been there with me to see it. 

Friday, Jer and I made the trek to the BMV.  It went much smoother, but I was annoyed by the woman.  She asked for my marriage license and I hand her the official record of our marriage.  She looks at it and walks away and comes back and says, "This doesn't work."  I look at her with annoyance, "What?  This is the only other document I have."  (The Marion County Clerk's Office gives you two documents--the official record and the application for the marriage license.)  She accepts the application as proof of our marriage.  Doesn't it seem strange that the document that shows we got married doesn't work, but the document that shows we're just applying to get married does work.  Weird world, huh?

Well, I think my stories tell better in person, but this is my outlet to tell them.  

So, now I legally share my husband's last name. 


Heather L. said...

Poor lady -- pretty strange to be watching it all take place! Glad you got the changes made!

Anonymous said...

What a story!
You make it so picturesque that I could just imagine the scene. Glad you were able to get your business accomplished. Keep writing stories.
I miss you. As you know I am working to prepare to move. Your organization is needed, but then I believe it is too late to organize this Grandma. What do you think? I hope you two are very happy.
Love you so much,
Grandma Judd

Lana Joy said...

I'm totally getting ready to do this, too. Not excited about it, since it requires SO MUCH. However, I'm a little disturbed by the fact that the BMV wouldn't accept the license. I mean, that's all I have. We didn't get the application

Who knows what the Grant County SS Office will look like. Last time I was there it was completely empty and I still waited for 15 minutes. That irritated me.

Hopefully, it will be painless.

Sorry for the hassle, but yay for new last name!

Alaina said...

I love the SS story - makes me laugh again. :) Glad you got it all changed - you were so much quicker than I was!

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