I wrote this last June. I had been contemplating starting a blog for a long time and this is one of the posts that I wrote in banking some material. It is really interesting to me to go back and reread a few things I wrote last year not knowing what would transpire. Today marks the 4 year anniversary of Clay and I’s first date. I thought this would be a good time to post this entry I wrote not long after we married.
June 21, 2018:
It’s been exactly one month and two days since I blissfully said “I do” to the most amazing man. I’m traveling for work and booked my flight back a couple a months ago with the ambition that all the steps of changing to my new name would be complete. I’m sitting in an airport waiting to board a plane with a driver’s license that has my old name and a plane ticket that has my new name. I tried very hard to avoid this exact situation. I’ve been to the social security office, dmv (twice), and made 4 phone calls all having hold times of over 30 mins. And the conclusion was I wouldn’t be able to pull off getting a new license in time for the flight. I was told to take my license and my marriage certificate to the airport and they would allow me to board the plane.
I was pulled aside twice and definitely held up the airline counter, but also the security checkpoint. I was deemed a VOD, which I just tried to google and I’ve come up short not finding Homeland Security’s acronym list. You know they are about to give you the very thorough screening when the TSA officers say things like “I’m going to have to change gloves for this” and “when I go over your chest it will be in a downward motion”. I guess I should’ve worn my wedding dress to the airport.
As a modern woman, I was faced with another choice of whether to change my name or not. Should I keep my name the same for ease of having the same last name as my children? Or change it so that I shared my husband’s name. I chose the ladder. Even though Clay made it clear up front that he was fine with me keeping my name, because “the boys will always be Brewster’s so it will never bother me if you choose to stay a Brewster.” And that right there ladies and gentlemen is reason #1,096 that I married him. It was also one of the first things Wheeler asked me after Clay proposed to me. He expected me to change my last name but seemed keen on the idea of making Brewster my new middle name, which is exactly what I did.
It’s been almost 20 years since I changed my name for the first time, and my life was unknowingly much less complicated. I didn’t own any property and didn’t have any credit. I was on my mother’s health insurance, she also paid for my car insurance, and I technically drove a car that she owned. I was definitely still a child. Oh and thank you mom for taking care of all of that, I’m pretty sure the gratitude for those things is long overdue, but better late than never.
Even changing my name on the Book of Face was more complicated than expected. Navigating the correct keystrokes to take you to the secret den of name edits was more difficult than a Rubik’s cube. Once I entered my new name choice, it asked me not once but twice “Are you sure you would like to make this change? You will not be able to change it again for 60 days”. It was easier to get a marriage license than it was to complete this task. There certainly wasn’t anyone at the courthouse asking, “Are you sure about this?” And the answer to Facebook and anyone who would ask, “Yes, absolutely!” So, now I’m off to complete the seemingly endless task of knocking off the list of 28 items (that’s not an exaggeration) that require my name to be changed. But I’m so ready to shout from the rooftops that I am… Elizabeth Brewster Cummings