Posted by: thatjen | February 23, 2006


1. You want to change your last name to your partner’s. It’s not clear whether this can be done on Saturday mornings when the court is open or if it must be done during M-F business hours, necessitating yet MORE time off of work. Whose advice do you take?
a. Your lawyer, who assists people with name changes a few times a year, and gave you free advice on how to go about a name change, suggesting, “You’ll have to take a day off of work, the sooner the better.”
b. The court clerk, whose job it is to give out this information on a daily basis, saying, “Yes, you can do everything you need to do for a name change on Saturdays.”
c. Your mother, who says, “Why are you doing that anyway? It’s just a waste of time.”

2. You have to pee ALL the time (as in, seven or more times in five hours). This is probably because
a. you are 8 months pregnant and have always been carrying low, but the baby has begun to drop even further.
b. you have a bladder infection, requiring more antibiotics.
c. you drink so much Coca-Cola your baby is going to be born twitching, I tell you!

3. In which of the following places are you prohibited from carrying a 4-inch pair of round-tip children’s scissors:
a. Airports and airplanes past the TSA security checkpoint.
b. Schools in a major Maryland public education system.
c. The DC Courts complex.
d. All of the above.

1. a – Although your lawyer sometimes appears flaky, she was right on the money on this one. It’s not surprising, really, that a DC courts employee gave out incorrect information, even though it was UNBELIEVABLY frustrating to get up early on a Saturday morning and spend more than 3 hours round trip (because OF COURSE Metro was doing track repair, making a 15 minute trip take an hour and 10 minutes) only to find out you can only get the FORMS on Saturday but have to come back to file them during the week.

However, frustration hit astronomical new levels when on Wednesday you return during court hours, file the forms and discover you can’t see the judge until you produce a certified copy of your birth certificate, which no one told you about. Not your lawyer, nor the person who gave you the forms and explained the process on Saturday morning, even when you asked, “Is there anything else I need to do this?”

Score to date: Court Visits – 2, Name Change – 0

Oh, and your mom? Don’t listen to her. This is the woman who uses a different last name in virtually every setting, depending upon which of her children she wishes to be connected to. But the fact that you wish to share a last name with your child is ridiculous, in her eyes….

2. b. The lesson here is, trust yourself and your body. If you think your urination needs are absurd and out of line, they probably are. The good news is, you caught this early and have started antibiotics, which will hopefully return things to “normal” (which, given that you are 8 months pregnant, probably means going to the bathroom 3-5 times in 5 hours…) and prevent the problem from escalating into a kidney infection, which can bring on preterm labor! The bad news is, you’re on antibiotics, and as you, Trista, and Bri know, that can lead to unhappy crotch times, indeed. Oh well, probiotics and yogurt are your friends, right?

3. c. Even though the airlines will let you fly with children’s safety scissors, and school districts that have been known to send kids home for having a plastic knife recklessly allow scissors just like them (or even sharper!), the DC Courts will confiscate your blunt-tipped yarn-cutter. At least on weekdays. The rules seem a bit more relaxed on Saturdays. (They will, however, return it to you on your exit from the building.)



  1. Argh! I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time with the name change. You should move to a small town—it was so easy for me to do here. I was expecting all this red tape, but I went down to the Social Security office and just filled out a form. They didn’t even ask for my ID! (which, honestly, I think is a little too lax, but bygones…) I hope they get this all resolved for you soon!! I think it’s really wonderful that you’re doing it. =)

  2. Unfortunately, since we can’t marry legally here, it’s a much more complicated process for us. I have to go through the process of petitioning to change my name, which is more complicated than changing one’s name by marriage, and it’s not automatically guaranteed that I will be allowed to do so. It’s pretty much at the whim of the judge. That said, I don’t know of anyone who was unable to do it in DC, but it’s just another reminder of the discrimination we face. 😦

  3. I did tell you what finally worked for my sore crotch, right? Powdered acidophilus and olive oil, selectively applied…

    Aaarrrggghhh. That’s all I have to say about your name change woes.

  4. Ugh, sorry to hear about the name change crap.

    And they confiscated your YARN CUTTER? Holy crap! Like you’d be able to do much with those!

    BTW, dyed anything lately? 🙂

  5. It took us 2 days off work to run all the paperwork around, when we lived in the same jurisdiction where you live now! I’m sorry… (We also did it on MZ’s advice/instructions — I’m just guessing that she’s the lawyer in question.)

    The only thing I would do differently is that I would pick any paper other than the WP for the publication requirement. Not only will it be cheaper (WP was ~$300 each), but the WP also made a mistake with the certification.

    When we got the certified notice, it wasn’t for our name changes; it was for someone’s liquor license application. Who knows who got our certification of publication? They sent a replacement, but still…

    BTW, get a zillion duplicate “originals” when you get the thing done. We are now struggling with the fact that our favorite bureaucracy will not do anything at all by fax, and we can’t find my original order of name change, which we need for our adoption.

    Oh, and we have to send them a money order for $0.50 for an official copy of the 1-page order to be sent to us.

  6. $300!?!??!? Holy Cow! I’m getting mine published for $25 at the Times. I know they’re Moonies or Commies or something but WHO CARES if it saves me that kind of money!

  7. GL with the name change drama….i just had my hearing today and, whew, it all went smoothly! i sort of glossed over the “how i came to choose this new last name” question, which means i didn’t come out to the magistrate. so i hope once you get to see an actual judge-type person, that it all goes well.

    p.s. sorry about the peeing
    p.p.s. sorry about your mom

  8. oh no!! I feel like such a chump for making light of your peeing now.
    So glad you got things checked out in the crotch area.

    as for the name changing- Ugh! Hate that it is such a pain in the ass. hate, hate, hate it!

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