It's been a while since I threw a chapter from the book in here, so let's go back in time again...
When my social security card arrived with my new slash old name, I handled it surprisingly well. It helped that my roommate was there and fixed me up with a big glass of wine. I took out a pad of paper and practiced writing my new slash old name about one hundred times before attempting to sign my new social security card. When I started to get teary, she’d yell at me and gave me more wine. We are nothing without our girlfriends.
A couple days later I took my new social security card, my old driver’s license and my divorce decree with me to the DMV (See, you can do something old, something new, and something blue for divorces, too). I decided to try the same trick I used with the Social Security office and get there a half hour before it closed. My plan worked, I only had to wait about twenty minutes. The lady told me I’d receive my new license in about a week.
When I got home I made a list of all the companies with whom I needed to change my name. There were my utilities, Bank of America, Chase, and my passport.
I also needed to change my name with my car insurance, health insurance (and I needed to get my own health insurance), and because I got the house in the divorce, I needed to change my name on the homeowner’s insurance, the deed and the loan. The only name changing I could do without my new license was with the utilities, credit card and bank accounts. I ended up getting a new credit card and closing out the old one. I always wanted a credit card that earned me Disney dollars and The Ex never let me get one, so that was the first thing I did.
When I got my new license I was able to change my name and policy on my car insurance and I ended up getting health insurance later through my roommate. The biggest pain in my ass was the house stuff. I had to change my name on the deed before I could change it on the insurance or the loan. To change the deed I had to go to the courthouse in San Bernardino on a certain day between certain hours. The whole idea of the process gave me a headache. And then one day I was explaining it all to my Attorney’s paralegal and she said, “Oh, do you want us to take care of that for you?” Uh, yes please.
After that was completed (two weeks later) I could submit a copy of the new deed, the divorce decree, the settlement agreement (saying the house is mine) and my social security card to my homeowners insurance so they could change my name and remove The Ex’s name. After that was completed I could submit all the same paperwork plus the new homeowner’s insurance (and some money) to Bank of America to have them change my name on the loan.
The whole house stuff process took several months, actually, and there were times I wished I had made The Ex keep the house. He sent me a few angry emails when he was impatient with the process. As if I wasn’t impatient with the process? I had been working on making the necessary changes for months. Every week I was dealing with social security offices or DMVs or lawyers or insurance agents or loan agents or any other kinds of agents you can imagine. Every week I was reminded that I was divorced. Every week my life turned upside down. Every week at some point, I cried. And what was he doing? He was fucking his girlfriend. It must have been a really rough time for HIM. I can’t imagine the pain HE must have gone through.