Monday, July 2, 2012

Gotta Love the Federal Government Or Maybe Not

I am called by my middle name.
Always have.
As a kid, it was annoying.
I was shy and having to tell my teachers the first day of school to call me "Star" instead of my first name was a dreaded experience.
What would the teacher say?
What would the other kids think?
But over the years, I started to like it. 
I noticed that my name was a conversation piece.
People would always ask about my name.
"Where does it come from?"  "Who named you?"  "Are your parents hippies?"
And as an added bonus, I could tell who knew me when the phone rang depending on what name they used.

When I married Roger, it was easy legally to change my name.
I dropped my maiden last name and added Roger's last name.
No problem really.
Except for just feeling weird about a new name.

When Mr. X and I become engaged, I was distraught with the name situation.
Mr. X wanted me to have his last name.
Which I get.  Which I want.
But how to change it?
I was concerned about my name being so long if I had four names.
And which parts go where into the standard three part forms if I had four?
And I did not want to drop "Star".
And I did not want to drop Roger's last name.
And I did not want to have a hyphenated last name after talking with some friends. 

What to do? What to do?
At least eight months of indecision, asking others, and debating within myself.
Finally I decided I would drop my first name. 
I got comfortable with that decision.
I got excited about my new upcoming name.
I made up my mind.

So when we came home from our honeymoon to find our marriage record, I was psyched. 
I could start the name change process.
First stop, the federal government's lovely Social Security Administration office.
I checked in.
Opened my book and started reading.
Miraculously after about thirty minutes, my number was called.
But then bad news.
Federal government.  Homeland Security.
Cannot change my given first name in anyway.
Cannot be dropped.
Cannot be added to. 
First names must stay exactly the same.
Ugh.  Ugh.  UGH!

So I have four names now.
First Star Roger's Mr. X's. 
I have two middle names.
Which of course is the shortest field of most forms.
This should be fun... Sigh.

Federal government strikes again.

1 comment:

Mars Girl said...

Technically, you could pay to have a name change filed and drop your first name. But that will cost something like a few hundred bucks, I think.

I went through the same dilemma with what I'm going to do with my name after I get married. Fortunately for me I had already changed my last name several years ago from my late husband's name back to my maiden name for various personal reasons (ie, no longer wanting to be associated with his horrible family).

Well, so, after some though, I decided to add my new husband's last name to my existing name, and then use my maiden last name as a second middle name. So I will have two middle initials. Except when I publish anything I'm going to go by my first name, my maiden last name, and my new last name (leaving my birth middle name out).

Confusing? Yeah.

I hope I'll be able to do this, actually. Now that I think about it, I wonder if I'll have problems due to all the same Homeland Security issues. When I got married the first time (in 1999), there was no Homeland Security.