Hrrm. Haven’t been off on a good tangent for a while.
One of the things that’s been making me a Little Mad is also one of those situations where I may or may not have created a rod for my own back. This is mostly down to a couple of decisions I made a really really long time ago.
Decision the very first wasn’t actually made by me. It was made collectively by the parental units who decided to get a bit fancy-pants and sling a hyphen into the mix. Now, this was the swingin’ sixties and many things happened. Suffice to say I became the entity known as Maude Hyphen-McGee from the day my parents scribbled it on a piece of paper
Decision the next was down to me – I like the way my name looks like this – MAUDY way better than how it looks like this MAUDE. I would henceforth prefer to be known as Maudy. I am fifteen. I am also a trifle pretentious. And Maudy looks schmick.
Fast forward a couple years laters, and Mr Hyphen-McGee submits a letter to the licencing authority confirming my name is Maude Hyphen-McGee (partially because the slight deviation of the Hyphen on the birth certificate was tolerable to the licencing authority and the parental unit; whereas the alteration of the first name quite possibly did not occur to the parent) and I became the proud owner of a piece of formidable identification that was somewhat close to that of my preferred name.
Little step forward (and the location of the first exceedingly foolish decision by my good self). Family decides to formalise the whole Hyphen business, and opens up the book of Deed Poll. Now, I had agreed to get married (okay, there were two foolish decisions involved here) and decided against joining in the bulk Family Deed Poll; because point and all that if I was changing my name in a year again anyway.
Didn’t get married.
By this stage, I was about 40/60 Maude v Maudy. Looked into the whole Solo Deed Poll shenanigan and it was a motza. Lotsa motza. So, yeah. Didn’t. People were generally pretty damn flexible when it came to naming rights back then, and eh, there was such a thing as a preferred name which I spread liberally from one side of my wallet to the other.
Time flies, I am now 2/98 Maude v Maudy. Aside from my driver licence and my passport, I am Maudy Hyphen-McGee. You name a joint, I’m that. But at the same time, the People stopped being so flexible with the naming rights, and started to actively encourage people to pick a lane and stick to it. Now, I’ve picked my lane, and I am sticking to it. Managed to get my passport Hyphenated and yeah, as long as I remembered E not Y any time I flew anywhere, she’ll be right, mate.
So, fast copious forward. Stuff happens. I need id. I need proper fancy passport-y licence-y id.
I lady-splain the whole sad and sorry tale. My name is my name is my name and it sounds the same, so yeah. No. You must sign 94385798345 additional declarations that change your name back to Maude. Rinse. Repeat. Fucking FUCK.
I’m going to change the fucking thing and be done with it. It’s one fucking letter.
But – it’s not. Not when I go back to the dawn of time it’s not. Fuuuuuck. And yeah, born interstate. Which may as well have been another country because well, fuck. The state in which I reside? Pretty simple process, show us yer id, prove you’ve been living under that name, give us $110 folding and here’s a new certificate.
The state I come from? You must provide one item from each list, you can’t use one item more than once, must have your residential address, no post office boxes, plus you must offer the blood of your first born child, taken under the light of a gibbous moon and on a Tuesday. And write an essay explaining why I want to change my name. AND THEY DON’T HAVE TO ACCEPT IT.
And my two pieces of primary identification are in the name I want to change. Which is, you know, why I want to change my name. Oh, and the utilities bills in my name. Postal address. Which is also where I will be wanting them to send the new certificate. And they want to charge me a kidney for the privilege. Nice one.
So, what is in a name? About $265 and a minor coronary, that’s what.