Despite the fact that this here blog is titled StephanieKLEIN.com, apparently I’m still Mrs. Dines —at least according to Social Security. And the colored girls sing.
Drop tots off at tot camp, then hit the road to Delray Beach DMV / Tax Collector, papers at the ready. Plan: get the car registered (seriously, I have to change the title just to be registered in FL) and switch from a TX driver’s license to a FL one. Lipgloss on deck for the photo.
“Sorry, missy,” Gene of DMV says. Yes, he actually says “missy.” “But you’ll be needing a social security card.”
It would’ve been easier to give a quart of blood*. Aside from a current license and up-to-date passport (check, check), and not one but two sources of proof of my new residence (What do you mean a UPS packaging slip with my new address doesn’t count? Don’t you see that Neiman Marcus Last Call is my financial institution?), I need to present an ORIGINAL 1099, W2, or Social Security Card. “The social security offices is but ten minutes from here. It will take you no time.” Famous.
I zip to the SS office, attest that I do not have gas, explosives or man-made knives in my handbag, then take a number. After twenty-five minutes, I slide into a chair behind a bank-teller of sorts, who reviews my application, leafs through my passport, then tells me he can’t help me. “You need to show me your divorce papers to Dr. Dines, where the judge decrees you the right to use your maiden name again.”
“No, no. Not to worry, sir. I’ve brought my new sparkly marriage license to bachelor number two.” I unfold my marriage license to Phil, pointing to my surname KLEIN.
“No, all that tells me is that you could go by BEER.” No, no, no, no, no.
“If my last name were still Dines wouldn’t my newer marriage license have to say Philip Beer and Stephanie Dines were married the sixteenth day of September? Because according to you, this Stephanie Klein person doesn’t exist.” I can’t help but wonder if we’re really married, if I in fact used a “fake” name to wed. I’m guessing yes, or Vegas nuptials would be way too easy to undo.
“Sorry, but the computer won’t let me issue a security card without the proper documents.”
“Okay, so let’s look at my social insecurity situation. What if these divorce papers are in a warehouse somewhere?”
“Then, you’ll have to head to the Delray Beach County Courthouse and file for an official change of name.”
“And what will that take?” Aside from years off my life.
“You’ll have to ask them. We’re not affiliated.” Of course you’re not.
And herein comes death to diet. Call courthouse, wait on hold until I’m actually back home, in my kitchen, pilfering through the fridge. Yesterday, on our way to Home Depot for a universal garage door opener, Lucas insisted he had to make “poopoo real bad.” Always an awesome time looking for a clean bathroom break spot on the road. Starbucks is always safe. It’s also dangerous where snacks are concerned. No poop, only pee. The false alarm lead to one oatmeal cookie the size of an omelet pan and one double-stacked Rice Klrispies Treat. I let L&A share a cookie, but L wanted no part of it once he saw a raisin. I just ate salmon sashimi, two pieces of watermelon, the krispies treat and the remains of the oatmeal omelet. And I’m still hungry. I’m like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, only I can’t find any cherry pie.
Finally, courthouse lady is on the phone. Tells me it can take a little under a year to change my name, officially. “It’s not a quick process is all I can say for sure.”
Dig for divorce decree I must if I want my social security card to bear the name KLEIN. What’s worse, I can’t get a decent beach parking permit without registering the car with Florida plates and registration, etc. I can dig up an old 1099 form somewhere, somehow, but by the time I make it back to the DMV (it’s now 12:10), and it’s finally my turn, it will be time to pick up the chicks from chick-camp at 2:45. That’s a full day shot, with nothing to show for it except a few extra pounds and this lousy blog post (not even worthy of a t-shirt). Though there is one good thing to say about DMV: awesome people watching. As I was leaving, I saw a man all dressed up for the occasion in his WHITE DRESS SHOES. Awesome.
* I tried in earnest yesterday to give blood. Climbed onto the blood bus, filled out the paperwork, let them prick my finger to test if I was anemic, then answered personal questions about sex. You must understand, I’d sooner have each and every hole of my body filled than let someone make a new one, only to WITHDRAW. When I had to give blood for medical tests, in particular pregnancy, it would take a nurse almost an HOUR to withdraw two small vials of blood. And any time I’ve seen the vial afterward, even if the needle was gone and the band-aid applied, I would FAINT. Fear, it’s all in my head. Still, it’s not the kind of fear I’ve ever EVER wanted to confront. This isn’t the “through the fear, then it will lose it’s power” fear. Still, I believe in the cause and know how much donating blood can help. But… they made the mistake of telling me that they’d “be taking a pint today.”
“Like, as in a pint of Guinness?”
“Mmm hmmm. I’m not gonna lie; it’s a lot.”
“Check please.” My heart was in the right place, and I felt completely guilty after I walked out. It’s why I’m doing what I can here, now, writing about it. Urging those of you who are not such pussies to please step forward and give.