What's In A Name?
What seemed overwhelming two weeks ago has now been downgraded to simply chaotic and mind-numbing....
Order is starting to emerge from chaos...the two lists-of-things-to-do on the 'fridge are pretty much done and I'm on my third list...more boxes! more boxes!
I haven't had time to do much else except rush around--fixing the passport, getting more boxes, trips to Goodwill, house-closing details, banking details, final-payments-on-accounts details, forwarding mail, arranging on-line banking (you sneer, those of you youngsters who have done online for years, but for us old folks, this is pretty intimidating and time-consuming....)
I have to apologize to a couple of people--to Basya for being brief to the point of rudeness today (sorry--even stress isn't a good excuse)--to my cousins and sis-in-law who are overdue some phone calls and updates...to Yona, who I haven't had time to call and need to call...
Tomorrow I get the 'new' passport which will hopefully this time contain my full legal name.....I've had three names for the longest time but only two of them were on my driver's license. Despite a ton of paperwork showing the FULL name with a first, middle and last, the Passport Fairy several years ago would only issue me a passport with the middle and last because that's what is on my driver's license. Never mind birth certificates, credit cards, mortgage statements, social security cards, state bar cards, etc.....I got a passport with only two names because I used my nickname on my driver's license. In a Post 9/11 World, this is a mortal sin to security people.
A couple of years ago I was allowed to fly despite having an airline ticket in my credit card name (first name) and a driver's license in my nickname (middle name shortened). At that time, I was told to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and get this changed so my ID would match my flight tickets in the future. I did so....so now my driver's license matches my credit cards and every other official and unofficial piece of paper in my life except one -- the passport. It was still in the nickname at the time I tried to make my El Al reservation through the shaliach.....
...and the shaliach tells me "this is a problem--go fix your passport."
ARGGHH! I'm leaving in 4 weeks!
"You have time," she said calmly.
....all of which is incredibly frustrating because it was the Passport people who wouldn't accept ANY ID except the driver's license when I mailed in all of my documentation in the first place. It seemed insurmountable 2 weeks ago....but I've now made the pilgrimage to the San Francisco Passport office where the employees were beset by dozens of harried citizens, only half of whom seemed to have appointments, and the employees were polite, helpful and efficient.
Tomorrow I find out: do I have a passport in my full name? do I actually get to fly out on schedule? Will we be reunited as a family as planned?
It would be nice. Pray for me, and for those of you who don't pray, wish me luck!