nightmare in delray leads to death of diet

Despite the fact that this here blog is titled, 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.

dmv delray1

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.



  1. God, I hate bureaucracy like that. With each darling getting a) driver’s license and b) passport, you think I’d get my shit together enough to have their birth certificates, original social security card, lock of first hair cut, skin sample, DNA on a flash drive, fingernail clippings and retinal scans secured in my super, duper locked down special place. But I never do. I’m very glad that 2 out of 3 are over 18 and now they can worry about it.

    Remember I suggested reading 1984 by George Orwell…just do it. Last time I read it was in 1983, I had to for high school – I did it this summer because it was on my daughter’s Nook. Now Big Brother knows how long I spent on each page, how many times I picked it up, etc. He’s watching. It’s fantastically frightening.

    Good luck with the rest of the day.

  2. Hate – repeat, HATE. The DMV. It appears they are equally inept no matter the state. When i changed my name (WHY?!?!!), the woman insisted that my marriage certificate wasn’t valid – despite the notary seal. It took 3 trips. THREE. TO THE SAME OFFICE. And don’t get me started on the trip i took when getting a driver’s license in this state…

  3. I had to get a new SS card for my son when he was 2. It’s really hard trying to find two pieced of ID for a 2 year old. No photocopies allowed. I still have nightmares.

  4. This just makes me even more happy that I didn’t change my name when I got married. For that, I thank you. It’s been a rough week so it’s the littles things.

  5. This was funny. The reason I haven’t changed my maiden name to my married name is precisely because of the paperwork, the waiting, the beaurcrazy.

    I don’t understand how you were able to get a passport with your current name, not matching your old SS card? That you need to explain, I am just commiserating,

    Also, I am also deathly afraid of blood. Just reading your last part made me feel light headed.

  6. I’m also mortally scared of giving blood. I know it’s such a worthy cause, but wow, they just can’t seem to get in and out without bringing me to tears.

  7. I have lived in four different counties in the state of Florida, and none of them came with a decent DMV. I hear about DMVs in other states where people are in and out in 15 min, and I’m amazed.

    When I went to get my marriage license in Hillsborough County, I had to declare an oath and sign my name. The clerk took a look at my signature — which, granted, is a little different — and then she asked me, “Is that in English, hun?” Which I replied, “It’s my name, my signature.”

    “Yea,” she said, “But is it English?” SERIOUSLY!?!!

    Anyway, I feel your pain. But, dammit, now I can’t get that song outta my head….. And the colored girls go
    “Doo do doo do doo do do doo …”

  8. Why is it so easy to become a new person but so hard when you want to go back to your orignal self? Marriage is so easy to get into and yet it so hard to get a divorce. You dont have to prove you love someone but yet you got to prove why you are not good together. You dont have to prove who you are to get married but yet you have to prove who you were before you say I do to say I dont?

  9. Florida DMV is always a good time. Just be glad you were not sent to the one in Lauderdale Lakes like I was when I first moved to FL. Thanks, helpful coworker; I think…

  10. Can’t you register the car in Phils name, since there is no issue of maiden name for him, and then get a parking permit?

  11. Call the office of the attorney who represented you in your divorce. Ask for certified copy of judgement. You’ll prob be billed around $100 (cert. fee plus staff time). That said, didn’t you have to provide a copy of your divorce judgement when applying for marriage license w/Phil? Finally, changing one’s name (and then changing it back) is yet one more women’s only burden. I have my original name back and will never change it again.

  12. Get a copy of your decree from the court that issued it (or your attorney’s office but it may take them a while to dig around for it). You should be able to do this with a phone call. I kept my last name, FYI.

  13. I was going to suggest getting the clerk of court in the county and state where you were divorced to send you a certified copy of your divorce papers… but it seems you have found them! Congrats!!!

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