Getting divorced has been, in many ways, merely tedious. The paperwork, the emails, the forms, the waiting in line.
The most time-consuming has been taking my name back, but the intense happiness of reclaiming myself largely mitigates my exacerbation at the amount of work involved in doing so.
The Social Security Office, for example. An intriguing place – from the woman who walked in screaming that they would see her now because she was being evicted in an hour and had no time to wait, to the man who tried to climb over the teller wall, to the woman clobbering the number-dispensing machine to death with her cane. The chairs are plastic and orange and uncomfortable, and the wait is long. But, by the end of the afternoon, I was myself again - according to the institution all other institutions look to.
I waited in line at the DMV for an hour, only to be told that the forms my lawyer sent me were copies, and they did not accept copies. I would have to go to the courthouse, wait in line there, pay for certified papers, and return. Which I did. A week later, after waiting in another hour-long line, my paperwork was accepted, my photograph taken, and I have a new license – the picture grinning in an excessively delighted way.
The university from which I received my master's demanded both paperwork and a formal letter of explanation. Eventually, I was told that the university would “make an exception” in my case, but I would need to pay a $50 fee for a new diploma.
My phone, insurance, and cable companies all insist I visit their local offices in person with paperwork, ID, and proof of address. I haven’t gotten around to this yet.
It’s astonishing how many institutions I am on record with at this point, and how many phone calls, pieces of paper, and checks it will takes to complete this process. But the joy of signing a credit card receipt, or ordering something online, or showing my ID at the airport goes a long way to making it worthwhile.