you thought people watching at the DMV was interesting. try going to the freaking social security office! holy jesus.
i went on friday to get my name changed. i arrived just after 1pm, and there were probably 15 people there. i took a number and grabbed a seat and luckily had a book with me. i looked around a bit and decided most people must be there to collect some sort of check or something. i don't mean to be rude, but they all looked pretty down and out. dirty and poorly dressed and such. some even looked totally out of it... ie, not sure if they knew where they were... that sort of dazed and lost look in the eye.
i sat minding my own business and reading the adventures of kay scarpetta for about 20 minutes until a cloud of alcohol rolled in. this man had to have been drinking since last christmas. and where does he decide to sit? next to me. holy hell he smelled awful. stale liquor mixed with new liquor mixed with general funk. bleh. i tried to inhale the air to my left instead of the funk coming from my right, but it didn't work so well. then they called his number and he came back and sat on my left so it was all around me, envelopping me like a thick cloud of smoke.
in the midst of all this, the lady is calling numbers... 40, 41, 42, 43, etc. my number was c234. i started to get curious and figured they must just be calling the last 2 digits and i must have been forgotten. so i said something to the security guard, who notified the number calling lady. well, my drunken friend could not believe that i was sitting there letting people go in front of me! he slurred several words of encouragement to me about being aggressive and getting my rightful time with the number caller, how he had my back and i shouldn't let them do that to me. i assured him that i was fine, i had my book. he insisted on slurring several more things at me and attempting conversation, but i kindly responded with short quips and pointedly shoved my face in my book.
finally, i get up to the lady and she says, "you have a 'c' number." then she looks at the security guard and says, "she's a 'c' number, i'm not calling 'c' numbers." and she looks at him (not me) until he comes over and points me towards the chairs again. thought that was kind of rude myself, that she couldn't even bother to tell me herself that it wasn't my turn, she had to rely on the security guard. as if i were just one of the vagabonds in the social security office on a friday afternoon! hmph!
anyway, of course when i sat down again, mr. liquor had plenty to slur and he began to remind me a lot of flava flav. had he had a giant clock around his neck, he could have been him. only a little more out of it.
i observed several foreign people come in to obtain US social security numbers. this was rather amusing to me, as the security guard would ask them if they had filled out the form. they would nod their heads. he would say can i see your form. they would nod their heads. he would say the forms are in that basket. they would nod their heads and sit down. he would walk over and point to the forms and say you have to fill out this form. finally they would get it. sadly, i saw this same sequence of events happen a couple of times.
finally, the lady called my real number. i went up with my form and my passport. she said, "do you have your marriage certificate?" and guess what. i didn't. MORON! in my defense, the form didn't say anything about bringing your marriage certificate, but i did think it odd that they didn't want any documentation of why you were changing your name. but instead of asking to be sure i had all the right information, i sat my ass in crazyville for 45 minutes until i learned that i would have to leave and come back another day.
so this morning i went again, armed with everything i needed to become mrs. lydia eve klinger. luckily, no one was at lunch this time so the numbers (even the "c" numbers) were called fairly quickly. i was in and out before i could even really pay attention to the nutjobs around me.
and now, it's official. i am lydia eve klinger. exciting!