5 Things No One Told Me About Changing My Name
Get ready for a cliche, but I married my best friend in the whole world last fall. I couldn't ask for a more supportive, funny, and kind-hearted soul to spend my life with and I'm so proud to call him my husband. He has had me in his phone as "Mrs. Abasto" long before we ever tied the knot, and I couldn't wait until my driver's license reflected the same. However, it wasn't until I actually began the name-change process that I realized what an absolute pain it would be, and not just in a logistical sense. So, ladies, here are 5 things no one told me, that I'm going to tell you about changing my name.
It made tax season an absolute nightmare.
I've always done both mine and J's taxes and this year was no different, except that I was excited to finally be filing jointly (although to be fair, I had no idea what that meant, just that it was part of #marriedlife). So when we received our W2s, I grabbed my laptop and happily typed away on one of those online filing programs. It wasn't until about an hour later, when I went to submit the return to the IRS, that I realized this was not going to be as easy as it had been in recent years. Our return was rejected. Why? BECAUSE I DIDN'T EXIST. After a trip to H&R Block, 2 and a half hours on the phone with IRS, 45 minutes on the phone with Social Security, no one had an answer for me other than Social Security probably "hadn't talked to" IRS to communicate my name change, therefore my social security number didn't match their records. WELL SOMEONE BETTER SEND SOMEONE A TEXT! A strongly worded email, smoke signal, SOMETHING! Finally, at the end of my rope, I visited a financial advisor who explained that most people have to file a return the old fashion way (I'm talking snail mail, people) in the first tax year of marriage. So, $120 later, our return was filed and will take about 6 weeks before it arrives. Great.
It takes approximately 452 years before EVERYTHING reflects your new name.
Last week, our internet went down. We reset the router, unplugged the modem, cursed the heavens, everything, and it wouldn't stop dropping the connection. We called Charter to have it fixed and they asked to verify my account information. When they asked me my name, for the first time in my whole life, I looked around panicked. I DON'T KNOW THIS ANSWER! "Who am I?!" I mouthed to my cat, who, I swear, rolled her eyes. I gave my married name and there was an awkward pause. "...ma'am, could the account be under a different name?" Drats. I hadn't called to update our internet provider with my married name. This will happen pretty much every time you call to do pretty much anything for the rest of your life (I think. I don't know. I've only been married for 6 months).
If you have business cards, you will need to toss them around like confetti.
I'm a real estate agent, and about 3 weeks before my wedding, there was a present waiting for me on my desk from my broker. A box of shiny new business cards. 500 of them to be exact. "Look at me," I thought. My headshot was on fleek. My title looked so profesh. And.....my maiden name was printed front and center in big red letters. No big. I'll hand them out to everyone who even looks at me until I run out, so we can re-order them with my married name. I still have over half of them, so really, if anyone needs my card...
The certified copy of your marriage license is basically gold.
Order a bunch of copies because everyone wants one. The bank, social security, your mom (probably). They're like $15, and trust me, the recorder's office is going to be sick of hearing from you if you have to call to request a copy every time an entity requests one.
You might mourn your maiden name a little bit.
My maiden name was odd. It's not a common name (in the US, anyway). It was constantly mispronounced and kids made up vulgar nicknames for me in high school. I didn't expect to miss it, but once it was gone, I suddenly felt this disconnect from my family. Not that they opposed me taking my husband's name, and no one else seems to feel this way, but I felt a tiny bit sad when I realized that I had a different last name from my brother and sister and my mom and dad. My parents divorced when I was 15, but my mom never took her maiden name back, so I am the only one with a different name and it feels a little weird. While legally I just took my husband's name, in my business I have taken to hyphenating it. It's almost like holding on to it is a bit of a security blanket. I know eventually, hearing my married name won't sound so foreign and eventually the initial shock of feeling like I lost my identity will pass.