Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting married is a big change. Even when you already live together. The biggest of which, actually, is changing your name.

I don’t have that many married friends (the one I had thought I might pester is actually out with a brand new cute little baby … and probably needs a nap). So, like all other wedding questions, I figured I’d just look on the internet ATW. Plus, I kind of knew I needed the official marriage certificate, and I knew you start this epic journey at the social security office.

Plus, it’s easy. I’m not hyphenating. I’m not moving names around. People do this all of the time, and I have a freakin’ master’s degree. Easy, in theory.

I wanted to get on it as soon as we got home from the honeymoon. No foot dragging here! But that first week back was hectic and I didn’t quite get around to it.

Plus, there’s the matter of coordination. Do you change your name before you line up all of your finances, or after? Before, or after you move? I can’t tell you how many times you need a driver’s license with a current address (and a current name!) when you move.

Luckily, the very next week I ran in to a friend who got married a couple of years ago. We’ll call her the wedding planner extraordinaire, because she’s the most organized person I’ve ever seen. Anyway, she offered to send me her list of instructions (always graciously accept any offers of help toward a wedding). I mentioned that I hadn’t gotten around to it yet, because we hadn’t actually gotten the official certificate yet. To which she says, “oh, I had to go pick ours up.”

Say. What.

Sure enough, I look at our marriage license at home. On the back: "You will not be notified that your license has been registered. You do not automatically receive a certified copy."

So … that $70 I paid was for … ? And the extra $13 to file it ... ?

Of course the time I figure this out is 9:30 pm on the one night a month the county clerk is open late.

So my caring husband helps me fill out the form to request copies and writes a check. Yeah, $13 for copy. Oh, and you need more than one, for sure.

I’m hoping it comes soon; preferably before the next late night at the county clerk, because otherwise I just wasted a stamp.

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