Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Deck Bites the Dust

The 2nd house thing fell through. I'm sad for Trevor because he really seemed to love it. But I'm sure there'll be others.

On the bright side, my husband has ripped up the boards on the back deck and is now in the mist of replacing them with the assistance of his bro Devin. The cabinets are finally repainted and all placed back where they belong, so thankfully the kitchen looks less like a construction zone. The same can now no longer be said of our back deck/entryway, but progress is progress. The deck was beginning to rot anyway. The house itself is over 100 years old, so you have to expect that with the charming quaintness you inherit a few repairs.

It must be deck re-do time because my dad just finished repainting his an incredibly bright light blue. I kind of wonder about the color selection, but Dad insists it's great. Dad takes some serious pride in his handiwork. Mom gets frustrated that it seems to take 5 times longer than it should to be completed, but my Dad's mantra is that it needs to be done in a professional manner and that just means taking one's time and doing it right the first time....so stop hounding me, woman! Okay, I made up that last part but it's a lot more entertaining my way.

And I have to say this now because I'll likely forget to on the day of since I'll be busy doing stuff. I'll be married to my Trevor for one year this month.

I know, right? Crazy! I'll have to figure out an anniversary gift. I hear the first year is paper. (Piñata, it is.)

It's super cliche and meaningless but I'll say it anyway...it just flew by. I guess that's a good sign that overall, it's been a good year. I still hope next year is better but I can't complain. I get to share my time with a pretty rad guy who doesn't mind that I get itchy for international travel every year. (PS: Now that we've gone to Europe I now want to go back to Asia!)

I'll try to continue with this theme but here it goes.
THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE I GOT MARRIED

Mind you, I tend to over-research things so I really honestly thought I had this whole marriage thing pretty figured out. Naïve...I KNOW. But having lived with the same person for a number of years I figure that co-habitation in sin thing would prepare us in such a way that being married would be poof, nothing. Marriage is after all just a matter of mumbling some vows and signing a piece of paper right? When it comes down to it, those are the things that bind us legally as a married couple.

Right?

Well the first hurdle (for me, not necessarily for everyone) was changing my name. I was practically dragged kicking and screaming to change my name. I have a lot of personal reasons but foremost was it's MY NAME. I didn't want to change it, but I did because I wanted to be a family and I didn't want to wrestle with that whole hypenation thing. Sure we're just a family of two right now, but nonetheless it's symbolic of a committed union...plus Trevor really made me feel guilty about wanting to be a feminist who kept her own name.

Truth be told, it did not start off on a good foot since I was so anti-changing my name, but it was awful. Taking precious time off of work to sit in public administration buildings among incredibly sketchy people, not to mention just GETTING to the building and finding parking and navigating the line that gives you a number to get into the line to be serviced. It took a lot of patience I didn't really have.

Step one. Social Security Administration. You can mail in this one but I decided to drive there so I wouldn't have to part with my marriage certificate for an extended period of time and I knew that the moment I parted with my marriage certificate I would be asked to show it to someone to get something done. It's a rule. When you don't have it, people need to see it...that's how life works. At least that one's free.

The Department of Motor Vehicles. I don't like being at the DMV under the best of circumstances, but (at least in Connecticut) they take away your old license and they make you take a whole new picture. As many women will agree, taking a new picture can be traumatic...what if you have bad hair and an uneven complexion in your picture? You're stuck with that thing for years. Also free, but be prepared to beautified. Also since you're already there, be prepared to change your voter registration since you will have a new name for that too.

My passport. UGH. Kills me. I don't even want to talk about it but I will. If you've had your passport for an extended period of time and then get married and change your name you have to entirely renew your passport. That means your current (and likely not expired) passport that you barely made a dent in is junked and you have to start all over. New pictures need to be taken, new stamps need to be collected, new fees need to be paid.

The rest is pretty easy, but I think I'm still traumatized by the whole new passport thing.

And none of this is my husband's fault. I'm sure he didn't know about all the time consuming, anxiety causing red-tape, but I had to deal with it and he didn't. And I kind of resented him for it. I felt like in a partnership both of us had to suffer equally but in fact it was just me. He just got to sit there with his own name as though nothing had changed and nothing about him had to be compromised. Of course now that time has passed I'm 400% over it, plus I never have to do it again so there's no point in having a spaz attack over nothing, but at the time it was awful. I don't recommend it. You have to change everything. The name on your loans if you have any, your insurance, your car title, your cell phone service, any cable, credit cards, your doctor has to be informed, your dentist, you have to go to your bank and resign things with your new signature and new name, new checks...it's a huge laundry list of things.

Not to mention that whole sense of lost identity. At least for me. I guess if you have a really awesome first name then who cares if you change your last name? You still get to be Cher! Or Madonna or Lettuce or whatever...

Maybe one day we'll just all come up with combined nonsense names and both the husband and bride will change their names equally. So like, for instance if my last name was Miller and my husband's last name was Johnson we could compromise and be the Millson family.