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Paper Clips

Identity crisis

Who knew a name change could bring about so many challenges? I'm now having a bit of an identity crisis since I've gotten married.

The first challenge I had was changing the byline on my newspaper articles from Gross to Staples. Out of habit I'd type in Gross. My editor caught most of those gaffes, but a few stories with the wrong name attached made it through to print. I've gotten better as of late, but the name Staples still isn't imprinted firmly in my subconscious.

When it comes to signing checks I have no problem signing Lynda Jo, but there's a long pause before I sign it Gross because I have to ask myself each and every time if I need to sign it Staples. That's because I'm using the name Staples on certain things, but have yet to merge to my husband's bank account.

When I use my husband's credit card, I'm more on top of things because I know the clerk will likely wonder why it'd be signed with any other name than Staples.

Officially getting my name changed through Social Security has caused me all kinds of grief. They emphasize on their forms that you must send your original marriage certificate. I sent that in. It looked like a cheap photocopy, but this is actually what we signed on our wedding day. All of us signed in black ink, so at first glance it looked like a copy.

They sent it back and highlighted the portion that said, "No photocopies will be accepted."

I called them back and left a message (after being on hold for 20 minutes) and told them they'd have to call me back because I had sent an original.

At long last, about a week after my initial call and several follow-up calls, someone called me back.

Turns out that original you think is the original is not an original by bureaucratic standards.

I am now tasked with running to the courthouse to pick up my "original" that was filed with the county.

In the meantime, who am I?

Legally, I'm Lynda Jo Gross. But for all intents and purposes, I'm Lynda Jo Staples.

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