It's Wednesday. D-Day. Thought you all might like an update on the name-change fiasco.
Last night, as a last-ditch effort to prevent myself from purchasing a new passport, I called Expedia, the T.S.A, and USAirways about the fact that my passport name and ticket name do not exactly match. I was just hanging on to the hope that maybe, just maybe, they would tell me that it isn't a very big deal. Expedia agreed to put a notation on my ticket that states that Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan and Katherine Paris Kerrigan are the same person. The gentleman there also gave me the numbers for T.S.A and USAirways.
Calling T.S.A. got me nowhere, as everything was automated. USAirways worked out better, though. After I successfully got the man there to understand my situation (at least I think he did), he said that having my driver's license with my picture and my passport with my picture meant that he could "assure [me] that [I] will not have any problems with [my] flight." I made him repeat that statement about three or four times. Seriously. In the back of my mind, though, I keep thinking that he has no business telling me that, because he has no idea what type of passport/ticket/name Nazis I will encounter at the airport on that fateful day in March. I'm choosing to think of it this way: with the name on my license that matches my ticket, I can at least make it to our first stop in Philadelphia. If problems arise there before I can get to the next stop in London, I'll call my dear friend Ashley's sister and spend the week in Philadelphia. What a fun vacation!
Now, back to today's events. I went to the DMV (or BMV is what it's called here) feeling confident. I have to take a written test to get an Indiana license, and I had studied like the nerd that I am, so I was feeling good about things. The clerk today reacted the same way as the clerk from last Wednesday. "The names don't match. Is this person the same as this person?" I explained my story yet another time. Evidently, the two letters that the social security office had given me as proof that I had done what the BMV required me to do didn't match each other. One said, "This is to prove that Katherine Paris Kerrigan has applied..." The other said "Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan, blah, blah, blah..." After much discussion, I was informed that I had to return once again to the social security office and have them give me another letter, then perhaps wait 24 more hours and return again to the BMV. I almost cried right there.
Then the discussion centered on my proof of residency. I had taken our electric bill as proof of my address. It says, "Gilbert M. Kerrigan and Kate P. Kerrigan." Will Big Brother accept this, the clerks wondered. Surely he'll know that Kate P. Kerrigan is the same as Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan (which has been my thought about the entire fiasco: surely they know that Katherine Paris Kerrigan and Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan are the same person!) On the verge of yelling I said, "There is not an single piece of paper that exists as proof that Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan is a resident of Indiana. I have only been Mary Katherine Paris-Kerrigan for two days. If you tell me that I must have proof that has that name on it, I won't be able to do it." They finally decided that my electric bill would probably suffice. When I realized that the clerks were only doing their jobs, I calmed down and headed to the social security office one more time.
Wait. Let me pause here to fill you in on the fact that Cole was with a lady from church for a couple of hours so I could go and take my driver's test. So, on top of everything else, I was crunched for time. I wanted to pick Cole up in time to bring him home for his 11:30 nap.
Meanwhile, back at the social security office, my number was 72. I came in as #58 was being called. One entire issue of Better Homes and Gardens later (I even read some articles), my number was called. I explained my situation and the clerk asked what branch of the BMV I had been to. I was then told that the BMV is not supposed to send people to the s.s. office for this reason. Evidently it had been done often enough that the social security office was tired of it, because she made a copy of my paperwork to pass on to her supervisor so he could call the BMV. She corrected my papers and told me that I could go back today to sort things out at the BMV without waiting 24 hours, but by the time I finished there, it was time to pick up Cole.
So, this is where things stand now. I'm taking Cole to stay with the secretaries at church this afternoon at three. (It's a good thing he's so cute. They haven't started to complain about how distracting it is for him to be there. Well, at least not yet.) I'll then make another attempt at getting my license. I'll keep you updated. At this point, the worst that could happen is that I could fail my driver's test.