Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Last Name

For several months before I got married, I didn't know if I wanted to change my last name. Not for noble feminist reasons, but because I loved my maiden name. I loved calling myself Brittany E. (which I still will on here), because it just trips off the tongue. My initials were B.E. as in BE Brave or BEautful. How awesome is that? My new initials would be B.M. Yeah umm that is great, just great. You know B.M? Like BOWEL MOVEMENT! I ultimately decided to take the plunge. Mainly because it would just make my life simpler, and one day when I have kids I want to have the same last name as them. But please don't' start calling me B.M.

Changing my name has been a huge pain in my tail.

First I had to go to the DMV. I really hate running errands. This can be traced back to a traumatic childhood experience of being made to go curtain shopping with my mother for five torturous Saturdays in a row! And the DMV is truly the worst errand of them all. There are long lines, grumpy employees, and everything always cost more than you think it will. Like that day when Adam finally got his bonus from work, so we went to the DMV to retitle the car, and then we were going to go out on the town for the first time in months. But then the title cost us $150 more than we had budgeted, and I promise that you have never seen two people as sad as we were that day. My soul shriveled up and died that day. I now know the truth- The DMV is a dream squasher.

Plus I love the picture on my original Californian driver license. My hair was curling perfectly that day, and I didn't do that smile I sometimes do that makes me look like a serial killer. It was a million times better than my Alabama one, because I had gotten so nervous during the road test that I had broken out in hives. But I really had no choice but to go so I went. I reluctantly handed over $22 dollars, took a new picture, and then watched as they poked a hole in old my license. Was that necessary? That hole in my ID kept me from being able to drink on my birthday. See that's just one more reason to hate the DMV. The DMV is a booze blocker.

Next I needed to go to the social security office, I put this off because I thought that would cost a lot of money. I needed that money for non essential items, you know, like food. So I kinda felt like I was living a double life, my name was really this but I was still signing Ervin. So I asked my mother if I could borrow some money. But when I told my mother why I hadn't changed it yet she died laughing, apparently you only pay money for these things if you are obtaining a SS number illegally on the streets. I still don't know why she found it so funny, but I love to make people laugh even if it is at my expense. Plus my mother loves laughing at me period.

For several days I used many excuses not to go to the SS office (again my curtain shopping experience still haunts me): I didn't sleep well last night, you should take the car to work tomorrow honey, I stubbed my toe, and the dog will be lonely if I leave her. But I finally bit the bullet and went. It was about as fun as I thought it would be. The security guard obviously thought he was a club bouncer and was constantly yelling. The lady who took my information was so excited to meet someone from Alabama, it was as if Southerners were endangered species. So she immediately started quizzing me on life in The South. I don't do it on purpose, but a lot of times when people comment on me being from the South my accent becomes 100% more redneck. So I found myself sounding like Ma from Beverly Hillbillies as I talked about the culture shock that is moving from the country to CAL-I-FORN-E. You know the amazing innovations of indoor plumbing and the automobile! I'm just kidding, she was actually pretty cute about it and I really don't mind being the spokesperson usually.

I figured now that I had changed my name, I could go ahead and fill out my FAFSA forms for grad school. The process was pretty painless, well as painless as a two hour process that wants to know absolutely everything about your life, and makes you pledge your first born child if you fail to start paying six months after graduation can be. I got a real kick out of finally being able to check a box that said I was married. When I was engaged or just in a relationship, I always hated having to mark the single box. I finally finished all the forms and I had confirmation from my graduation coach, that I had done everything correctly. By the way I want you to know my graduation coach is in the business of changing lives! She even has the t-shirt and coffee mug that says so.
365 days ago (give or take):
When I told my college friends this story, they found it so funny because I forgot to mention what age I was when I first started telling the tale. So when I got to the point in the story that AJ made me tell my mother, they stopped me mid-sentence and exclaimed, "Boyfriend! Exactly how old were you?" And I told them and they ended up torturing me about it for the last few years.
The story of how I got an eraser stuck in my ear at age 17. Everyone loves this story, and when I have kids I will tell them never to put anything in their ear that is smaller than your elbow.


  1. You're in good company.. My husband is a BM...LOL...I won't call either of you that though.

  2. I'm so glad you blogged about this! This is a big thing with me. Match asked me once why I don't switch to his bank, because it's better than the one I have. I said I'm doing all those pain in the butt things when I get married, because changing my last name will be such a hassle as is. Oh, and your initials aren't so bad. I can't tell you what Match's last name is, but let's just say it's not the least bit flattering, while I have a very cool last name. Sigh, the things we do for our men eh?
    PS. I can't wait to check the married box!!

  3. It's been like 7 weeks since we moved and I haven't changed my addy on my drivers license. The DMV is the devil!

  4. I suggest you always include your middle initial and start thinking of yourself as B_M (if you are Ann or Alice then you would be BAM and could do an Emeril LaGasse, wouldn't that be neat?).


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