Nothing says decision time like being at the counter at the RMS (like the DMV- but Australian) with your marriage license in one hand and your change of details form in the other and a busy waiting room full of people behind you.
Such a small chore- update your driving license with your new married name. Seems easy enough. And then the question- such an innocuous question, but so much angst and indecision about the answer.
It probably should have been a 3 minute transaction but…you know nothing is ever simple around here.
This is how it went:
Khan the Service Guy: “So ma’am, would you like a dash in between your maiden name and married name?” (I had written a hyphen on the form, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that a hyphen and a dash are not the same but I suppose in the world of drivers licenses they probably are.)
Me: “Yes.” (With confidence)
Me: “No.” (With some confident indecision)
Khan starts typing
Me: “Yes.” (I stand by my original choice….. unless I can change it ….)
Me: “Maybe.” (Clearly not an acceptable answer to this question as Khan looks up at me)
Me: “Yes. I think. ” (Khan takes his hands off the keys and stares)
Me: “I’m not really sure.” (Clearly, I’m stating the obvious and hoping that someone will swoop in and make a decision for me)
Can I buy a vowel? (Clearly not helpful and still won’t get me out of this) Can I phone a friend or ask the audience?
Me: “I’ve been thinking about it for ages and I don’t know.” (Honest answer!)
And we went on like this for a while.
And every article I read about changing your name flashed through my head, the pros and cons and compromise. I thought about having two difficult to pronounce names, I thought about future parent teacher conferences, I thought about future client meetings, I thought about restaurant bookings. I thought about finding my name in alphabetical order, I thought about the mug I have with a Z on it. And all the feminist thoughts I had ever had went through my head along with all of the fairy tale princess thoughts and all of the thoughts of being a domestic goddess and…..
Then I said yes.
And then I wanted to change it and then it was too late.
I really think Khan could sympathise with me, or maybe he also gets measured on how long he spends with each customer and wasn’t going to dive into my existential crisis- or maybe he deals with this all the time. In any case, he continued to enter all the other details that aren’t changing and let me check it all one more time. Of course I asked him whether he was sure it was too late about the dash. He said no, he could take it out but it would mean entering all the information again. He seemed happy enough to do it, but the end, I said no, it’s just a dash, it’s no big deal.
And then he asked me to sign my name, my new name, not my old name. Needless to say, that was a whole other kerfuffle- but I got it, after the 4th try!!!