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Name Change “Non-Dilemma”

23 Jun

I'm official!

I am pleased to announce that the Social Security Administration is not a total and complete FAIL to the American people – more specifically American people like me who need to change their name.  Why? well… I am now the proud owner of  a new social security card that reads Natasha Baker Williams (no hyphen, but say my whole name. Like a pimp named Slickback – sorry if you don’t watch The Boondocks you won’t get the joke).  Ok anyway, to clarify what I just wrote…I received my SS card in the mail today.  Yep, it caught me by surprise too (remember Name Change Dilemma Part III?) especially since just I went  to the SS office last Tuesday, and submitted my paperwork for my name change.  To all you non-believers in the Obama Administration – yes I received my card in exactly 7 days – take that G.W. Bush 🙂

Back to being politically correct….So me and Dr. B ran up to the DMV with my new SS card to change my driver’s license.  We waited roughly 1.5 hours. I guess that’s not too bad, that Bernard worked on his laptop the entire time while I was reading about the McChrystal scandal on my CNN iPhone app (despite the no cell phone sign posted (take that SS office).  But, it’s done an I am now officially Natasha Baker Williams… I have to say it was such a memorable experience because Dr. B was very, very excited that I was officially become Mrs. Dr. B…it was too cute for words. I love that man!  Up next is my passport and our bank

My License (a nice pic if I must say so myself)

accounts…I’ll keep you posted.

Married readers who was more excited about the name change  you or your spouse?  I’d love to hear your stories.

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Name Change Dilemma: Part III

16 Jun

SS parking lot

Yesterday I started on my journey from Miss. to Mrs. (legally)!  First stop the Social Security office in Lake Mary!  Let me tell you I got up super, duper early – 6:30, went out for a 45 min. run, fixed Bernard’s lunch (yes, I do that), showered, and headed over to Lake Mary.  When I arrived the security guard (yes they have them at the SS office) informs me that the Lake Mary office does not handle Social Security cards – like what?  But, it’s the SS office(mouth twisted up and head cocked to the side), they should handle everything SS related, Right?  He say’s no.  This office only handle SS benefits.  Well, I’ll-be-darn.  that’s not what it said on the SSA website.  Then again I knew I should have doubted the information on the website.  For one, I found several misspelled words (for example, here if you scroll do to Local agencies they “forgot” the ‘s’ in agencies).   I look around and I assume he is correct, being that almost everyone in the waiting room is over the age of 65.  Then he tells me that I have to go to the Orlando office, which is out near the airport (long sigh and a frown…it’s 30 min away).  I decided to wait until Tuesday to make the trip down to Orlando office, being that I still had several items on my list I had to check off for the upcoming reception on Saturday.

Fast forward to today.  I decided, I’m going to run at my normal time (8:30 am) instead of 6:30 (that’s just way too much effort)…besides Dr. B was a little frisky :).. Anyhoo, I arrive

The line to get into the SS office

at the SS office around 11:00.  Can I tell you that it took me all of 15  minutes to snatch a parking spot?  The lot was jam packed with cars, just like the parking lot at the mall during the holidays.  Don’t you hate it when you have to stalk some unsuspecting person coming out of the store, and creep up behind them in your car as they make their way to their parking spot?  That’s just how crowded the SS office was. I finally luck up on a parking spot and make my way to the front door.  Would you believe that there is a long line outside the door, and a security guard posted outside the door?  He announces that the office is filled to capacity, so there was a limit to the number of people he could let inside.  Luckily, I only had to wait 20 min in the hot 90 degree sun 🙂  Oh! Did I mention that he also said, “once inside, the wait was about an hour?”  Translated, that means, “people with a long to do list (me), it’s really a 1.5 hour wait(another loooong sigh).”

Once inside I took at a number, and as calculated an hour and a half later the call my number.  Oh! I failed to mention there were signs posted telling you to you to turn off your cellphone?  Yep, turn it off, or else!  To enforce the “law”, every so often the security guard would make his rounds, and scold people who were using their cell phones.  One guy wasn’t even talking on the phone, he was texting, and the guard told him to shut it off.  Wow! Is this how socialism looks from the inside?  🙂

So, I go back to the window when my number is called.  From beginning to end, I’m at the window for roughly 2.5 minutes!  Really.  I was hoping for at least 20 minutes of quality time with the SS worker.  No, such, luck. 2.5 minutes, that’s all I got.  I expected a better return on my time investment.  Heck I don’t get out of bed for less than $10K (most of you are probably are too young to remember that quote from an once-famous super model.)  But, as my mom the realist said,  when I spoke with her about the fiasco, “well… at least it’s over and done.”

I'm finally inside...look at the line outside!

But, there are a few lessons things I can say about this experience:

1. Don’t lose you SS card.  Guard it with your life.  Lock in a safe deposit and throw away the key.

2. Maybe  at birth the federal government should just tattoo our SSN on our arms, that would eliminate a lot of the congestion at the SS office.

3. I’m not a fan of waiting in the sun at the SS office, or ANY government office for that matter.

4. It only took me 2.5 hours to see someone for 2.5 minutes. I have to wait 2.5 weeks to get my SS card that reads Natasha Williams!!

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Name Change Dilemma: Part II

14 Jun

Dr. B and I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to start the process of changing my name.  After several Google searches, we found that it all begins with the Social Security Administration, since that government agency needs your correct name and ID number for payroll tax withholdings and retirement benefits.  Also, a new Social Security card with your new name can make things easier as you move down the name-change list. So tomorrow I will head out to he local Lake Mary office to apply for my new card.   After 10 to 14 days I will receive my new card, then I can go to the DMV and the passport office.  From there I can go about changing my bank account and other smaller accounts. I couldn’t believe it was so hard to find this basic information.  I guess that’s why there are several companies such as, MissNowMrs.com that sell name change kits for $29.95.  Even after the charade Dr. B and I went through, I don’t believe those kits are worthwhile.  Most of the government agencies provide name change forms and will complete the process for free.  There is no need for a notification letter, which is basically what the a name change kit provides.  They are really just taking advantage of the initial confusion surrounding  of the process.

So, if all goes well, in about a month (fingers crossed), I should “officially” Natasha Baker Williams…wish me luck.  Married ladies, I would love to hear your name change horror stories!

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From Miss. to Mrs: A Name Change Dilemma

10 Jun

Clark County Marriage License Office

On Monday Bernard ordered our marriage certificate from the Clark County Clerk of Courts.  Once received, I can go about the business of officially changing my name, ie. passport, driver’s license, bank accounts, etc…  Up until  a month ago, I didn’t think twice about changing my last name.  But then I read these posts, On Name Changing and Weddings Part I and Part II, over on  the A Practical Wedding (APW) blog, and I suddenly had a slight dilemma – did I really want to change my name?   I’m not a big fan of hyphenating (no offense to women who have hyphenated their names), but I do love being a Baker.  And I didn’t want to lose that part of me.

I’ve been Natasha M. Baker for 36 years.  I really like my name, and to have to stop on a dime and  change it, is honestly, a bit scary.  Somewhat akin to leaving a piece of yourself behind.  But, at the same time, I am somewhat of a traditionalist and I do believe in the woman changing your name after marriage.  For me it shows respect for my husband and for the institution of marriage.  One of the readers on APW commented that she did not feel that she was “changing” her name but adding to it….adding her husband to herself.  That is when I had my ah ha moment.  I not leaving behind the 36 years of Natasha M. Baker, but I am adding a fabulously wonderful, caring and loving man to my life.  As the bible says, “and the two become one.”  I discussed this with Dr. B and he totally understood my feelings.  He would love for me to take his name, but he will also support me in whatever I decide to do.  So, I without a doubt am taking Dr. B’s last name, but I am dropping my middle name and changing it to Baker.  So my new name will be Natasha Baker Williams- sans the hyphen.  Keeping my last name as my middle name is a slight modification, but one that just works for me and my husband, and that’s really all that matters.

So I ask, what’s your take on the name change options for women?

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