The first big item has been checked off the list. Divorce was final on the 7th and we got our decree and final paperwork in the mail yesterday. As we are still friends, still living together, always very amicable, I don’t feel a huge sense of relief, anxiety, or anything. It just is what it is and the first big item to be checked off the list of things to do on the way to my new life.
Yesterday I took the afternoon off to start the process of becoming the new old me. And by that I mean that I went to the Social Security Administration and changed my last name back to my birth name. So begins the process of updating that on all my accounts, work, etc. But worth it. Before I got married I was excited to have a common last name. I was young and stupid and didn’t yet understand the value of my name for both its uniqueness and its power in the state in which I lived. My family live big lives having big impact there and I lost all that when I foolishly took a new last name. I’m very much looking forward to being one of only two people in the entire world with my name.
Of course this process was not without drama. While waiting my turn a young man entered, sat down behind me, and within one minute of being there took an attitude with the guard and began shouting and swearing at him. It quickly escalated into a physical altercation between the two men, spilling over onto the people around them. We moved aside as best as possible while they continued to yell and grapple with one another until the guard was able to shove him out into the hallway. The guard locked us in.
Have you ever watched something on TV or heard about something frightening or tense and said “if that was me I’d…(fill in the blank)…”? Well I learned what I’d do in a situation like that. I typically remain calm in emergency situations like bad weather, car accidents, fires, etc, but this was the first time in my life that I’ve ever felt personally threatened by a stranger and in fear for my life, the security guard’s life, and everyone in that waiting room. I thought about what I had in my bag that could be used as a weapon, suggested someone call 911, and about how we might escape given that we were on the 4th floor and there was only door into the office. As we heard more shouting in the hallway and the sounds of people being slammed into walls someone called 911 and we began to discuss a plan for getting further inside the building to an area where there was another door. People had pens, hairspray, nail files, charging cords, and other random items from purses and bags ready. I had my knitting needles.
None of it was needed and the situation was contained within about a half hour. Some men from adjacent offices heard the commotion and helped and the police arrived shortly thereafter and removed the man. Whew. It was very frightening but I feel good about my ability to remain calm and think clearly about what to do in a dangerous situation.
As if the SSA and the angry guy weren’t enough for one afternoon, I decided that I’d try to to change my driver’s license and car title and registration since it was only about a mile away from the DMV. But they turned me away stating that I need the actual new SS card first so I’ll have to take time off again maybe next week to get that done. I’ve decided to make the name change while I still live here so that I can go home (whenever that will be) as the new old me and start over. It means having to do some of these things twice, but I think it will be easier and worth it in the long run to arrive there and only need to establish residency rather than that plus mismatched name stuff. I’ve already changed my name on two credit cards and had them sent to my mom’s address so the residency thing is already managed.
Now I just need to get a move home date. Still the biggest issue on the list. I’m less anxious about it as it seems like it’s OK with everyone and just needs final approval and a date. Jay is closing on the refinance at the end of the month so offloading the house is all but checked off the list.