Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Confusing the Heck Out of Normal People

Well, our wedding went great, lots of people showed up and it was generally awesome. (Apparently the disasters stayed in the planning and once we got to Omaha, it was all fine.) Then, for our honeymoon we drove down to visit my hometown and then back up, slowly. All in all, it was a good break from real life, except for all the people thinking my husband is my wife because we hadn't told them about the whole trans thing yet. But we survived and even had a good time, talking or just being for all those hours of driving.

Some time on the last day, as we were heading up Illinois for five hours, we started tallying up everything we have to change our names on. The list ended up somewhat overwhelming. I had changed my last name and J had changed his first and middle via the marriage, and between us, all sorts of IDs, insurance things, and bank accounts were now outdated. So, as soon as we got home and minorly settled (as in, boxes piled everywhere in the downstairs of my in-laws' house instead of in the car and basement) we set out to start the process.

Our first stop was the DMV to update J's drivers' license and get me a non-driver ID to replace mine. The first person we managed to confuse was the information desk guy. We explained how we had changed our names due to marriage and needed new licenses in this state since we had moved. He was like, sure, and then we handed him our shiny marriage certificate. He blinked at it multiple times to make sure he was reading it right. Then he looked at J and back down at the proof that my husband has changed his name from a very feminine name to a male name. He asked us again just to make sure, then shrugged it off and got it set up.

Then desk guy explained that I need proof of residency in the state to get my new license, and I asked if it was the same for a non-driver ID. He said it was and then said quickly, "...but then you won't be able to drive!" And I was like, "yeah." And he was like, "You know you can't keep the license from the previous state if you do that, and you'll give up the right to drive." He went from skeptical to really confused when I said lightly, "yeah, I know." I didn't explain to him that I hadn't driven in two years and if I did, that it would be really dangerous and not worth the energy required anyhow. I mean, I look perfectly normal and I'm only 25.

So with that desk guy, we started our official Body Count, aka how many government officials we had confused so far: Me: 1, J: 1. We decided to keep score because really, how is it not hilarious? Plus, we're interested in who can raise the most eyebrows: the 25-year-old disabled girl or the guy getting a sex change. Who will win??

Next it was getting J's new photo, which I sadly missed because I was in the bathroom, but apparently it was really funny. The guy doing the photos for people was this really outgoing, chatty fellow who looked like somebody's friendly grandfather. Apparently he was super awkward trying to figure out how to address J, who hasn't yet started testosterone (next week!) and has a feminine-looking face, but dresses, talks and acts very male. So I missed that, and didn't get a shot at confusing that guy since I have to wait on my ID until I bring in proof of my address. That made the Body Count J: 2.

We sat and waited until we got called to finish the process, which was done by a strict-sounding and annoyed woman who decided to be suspicious at first rather than confused. She triple-checked that J wanted his whole name changed and was pretty short with us, but it was most likely just the long line. Then we were just waiting on it to get printed out, now with the score as J: 3, Me: 1. Finally, photo dude waves us over to avoid calling out J's new name which obviously weirds him out, lol. Sniggering, we left.

Our other stop of the day was the closest social security office. This time, we only spoke to one person who did both of ours. He was younger than the DMV people, or maybe just less easily ruffled, because when he saw J's old and new names, he only paused for slightly longer than normal in between sentences. We decided that didn't count, though, because it didn't even make him awkward. I got my second score of the day, however, when he asked me for my social security number and it took me ten minutes of close-eyed concentration to come up with this number I know very well and use pretty often. It probably didn't help that I was swaying off balance and speaking really vaguely since I had forgotten to bring a snack and was looking and feeling light-headed. He looked really worried about me and surprised, even after I came up with the number and managed to actually remember my mom's maiden name, etc, without missing a beat. So after those two stops, the score stands as Me: 2, J: 3. I'm optimistic, though, since I haven't gotten a chance at two of the three DMV counter people yet, that I may win. It's not every day a perfectly ordinary-looking young person trades in their right to drive, after all. But who knows. The sex change may win in the end. XD

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