Name Change Purgatory

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When you get divorced, there is this little box on the divorce form that asks if you want to revert back to your maiden name. It’s just there, a blank box on a form.

Menacing fucking box.

What happens after you check it is you wind up going near crazy updating your name every place you can think of. Even if you write up a list of all the places you have to change your name, in addition to the lists you find when you Google it, there are still a dozen more that you forgot. And guess what? You have to update your name there too.

Guess what else? Some of those places, you have to pay to update your name. You have to pay in the form of cash money and in hours spent filling out forms. Hours of your life you will never get back. And you have to do it in the right order, too. So don’t even try to get your updated credit card until you have a new driver’s license, and for that, you need a new social security card, for which you need to apply in person, with all your divorce paperwork, birth certificate, etc., etc. ,etc.

Oh, and a new passport too. Don’t forget the passport, because after all the tedium, you’ll need a vacation.

Maybe like me, you thought long and hard about taking your husband’s last name in the first place. After all, you are a strong, independent woman, why should you have to take your husband’s name in the sake of tradition?

Maybe like me, you published or held professional certifications in your maiden name, so you really weighed the pros and cons, then decided you loved this person so much, and wanted to have his babies, so of course, you would take his name. Of course.

Don’t be alarmed when you call your gynecologist’s office to change your name and they assume it’s because you just got married. If I had a dollar for every person I tried to update my name with who cooed sweetly, “Oh, you must have gotten married!” I may have been able to use it to cover the rush fee on my “new” passport application. Which is bullshit, because my old passport was good for like many, many more years. It’s not my passport’s fault I’m divorced!

Remember when you changed your name all these places after you first got married? Oh, you forgot? Probably because you were blissfully in love then and proud to have your new name. Back then shelling out $150 to update your name on your car registration was dreamy.

Even if I am head over heels in love one day and marry my soul mate (because let’s face it, the first one was a mistake), I won’t take his name. And chances are he’s probably divorced too, so he’ll understand exactly why. Although unlike me, he probably never had to change his last name when he got divorced, so he will really only understand to a certain degree.

The point is – I will never change my name again. I will never change my name again. I will NEVER CHANGE MY NAME.

 

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