Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's in a name?

Recently I had the pleasure of spending a day with the DMV and the license bureau and the inspection place. I know what you're thinking: "I'm so jealous! What fun you must have had! I only wish I too could waste away my life waiting in line like you got to!" I know, it was awesome.

And in the course of my day and the paperwork that went along with it, I encountered several opportunities to correct people who were getting my name wrong. Hello? Is Liz Hawks really that difficult? Okay, Elizabeth Hawks? Is that difficult? Um, no, I don't think so. But apparently several others do. Take, for example, the four people at the DMV with whom I had to argue that five years ago when I got married I changed my middle name to my maiden name. Missouri was completely fine with that. But Kansas? Um, not so much. (And by the way, Kansas could not care less what Missouri does!) I think I heard the phrase "Homeland Security" about 10 times in the course of these discussions. Right, I am plotting something really dangerous here, as you can tell by the fact that when I got married my maiden name became my middle name. Book me now!

Then there was the inspection guy, who decided my last name was Hawk, not Hawks. Because Hubby's sloppy signature appeared to say "Hawk" even though the printed version clearly included the "s." I had to ask him to add the "s" after he tried to argue that if Hubby signed his name without it, then it must be "Hawk." Um, no, let's add that "s," thanks.

It's funny to me that that one letter makes such a difference. People don't seem to think it's a big deal. But what if we just left the last letter off of others' names? George Bus? Bra Pitt? Something seems off.

Yes, a name is kinda important. Before Reid was born, we spent about 8 months calling him George before deciding perhaps he was a Reid. It's kind of a big decision, one that can't be taken those wonderful DMV employees, and the Department of Homeland Security, also seem to agree with.

Uh oh, I just realized I mentioned both "George Bush" and "Department of Homeland Security" in this blog...I'm just asking to be watched! Well hopefully the CIA can get my name right...


The Stallings Family said...

LOL.......I love it!! I have not yet encountered a problem with my name, but it will come. I know it. With the maiden name as MY middle name AND the "s" at the end. The hotel when we were getting married forgot the :"s" at the end of Stallings. At the time, of course, I had no clue why it was such a BIG deal when Billy corrected them, but now I do!!! I am on the same page as you!

The Stallings Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LO said...

As an Odell without an apostrophe, I have spent most of my married life arguing with paperwork officials about the spelling of my name. As questions are raised about newly registered voters it concerns me that people might be turned away on Election Day because of a missing s or an incorrect apostrophe that a data entry person person somewhere just decided to type.

I am surprised to know, however, that Kansas gave you more trouble than Missouri. I didn't think things could get much worse than Missouri. If I had the opportunity to counsel the Missouri governor, my first suggestion would be to take his (or her, should there ever be one) picture off the wall of the DMV. People have way too much time to stand in line staring at it, attaching less than positive attributes to it!