After getting married, one of the things the woman is expected to do (by SOCIETY!) is change her name. Growing up, I had a...let's call it 'unique' last name, and I couldn't wait to be rid of it. Except when it actually came time for me to make that decision (while filling out the marriage license forms a month before the ceremony), I was having a hard time shedding my former identity.
A 'unique' name is a sort of badge of honor. You've made it through years of teasing from peers as well as well intentioned, but very, very dorky adults, who find themselves to be clever! Witty! The first person to ever think of that lamesauce joke!
Taking all that into consideration, combined with the fact that I am a feminist of sorts, I decided to hyphenate. So instead of being Ms. Sexypants, I am now Mrs. Sexypants-Longsufferingman. In theory. Because who is a slacker who kept putting off the old name change?
So this morning, armed with my marriage certificate, my old SS card, my application for a new SS card, a book, my smartphone, and my smart mouth, I went to rock out at the Social Security office. I got there half an hour before it opened, and smugly celebrated my spot as 54th person in line. I am not even kidding.
As we all shuffled in, an armed guard shouted that we ALL HAD TO CHECK IN AT THE COMPUTER! AND GET IN LINE! AND STAY IN LINE! NO EXCUSES! Checking in at the computer was an involved process, as you had to first press the button for english, then press a corresponding button that more or less summed up what you needed.
Then you're to SIT DOWN AND TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE, DUMMY! in a dimly lit seating area, where nice people sit way too close and cough all over you. A little old lady will complain that people are using their phones. The gentleman behind you falls asleep, and it soon becomes apparent that he has some pretty gnarly sleep apnea. You start to meditate to the sound of his breathing: iiiiiiiin, oooouuuuuuttttt. Iiiiiiiiiiiiin, and ooooooooouuuuuuttttt. IIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.....your eyes pop open. Why isn't he breathing out yet? What is even happening? Do humans have that lung capacity? Then, 'PPPPPPPPPPPPAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" he screams in your right ear, effectively breathing out.
An exact replica of how startled I was.
The little old lady next to you has her number called. She doesn't budge. They call her again. She asks you what her number is. It takes four people shouting loudly before she'll go to her window. Her husband blames the damn navy. Hear, hear!
On the TV screen in front of you is George Takei, acting out this scene with Patty Duke (while both are dressed in Star Trek Fleet uniforms and standing on the bridge of the Enterprise, like y'do):
Patty Duke: George Takei, have you ever navigated an asteroid belt?
George Takei: Why yes, Patty Duke. I HAVE navigated an asteroid belt!
Patty Duke: Why, George Takei, did you KNOW that NAVIGATING the SOCIAL security WEBSITE is MUCH simpler THAN navigating AN asteroid BELT????!!!!
George Takei: OH, MYYYYYY!
*Awkward senior citizen thumbs up at the screen*
"GLAAAAWHHHHHHHHHHHHSSNNNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX," combusts Darth Apnea behind you, only this time in your left ear (to keep you on your toes.)
"SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" screeches Sir Apnea of C-PAP behind you.
I finally get to go to the window. I hand over all my documents and my ID, and stand silently for 15 minutes while Johnny Typesitall tippety taps away. They hand you a piece of paper explaining that you'll be receiving your new card in the mail in around two weeks.
EXCEPT IF A CLOWNFISH OR GEORGE TAKEI AND PATTY DUKE GET A HOLD OF IT FIRST, AND BOLDY GO TO MEXICO!