Small Talk

What’s in a name?

I know it’s true. It’s the plot of half the TV shows I watch. Fraud is rampant in our world today and there are charlatans everywhere just waiting to rob us blind.Well, it may be simple to sidestep regulations somewhere and convince strangers you are someone else, perhaps intercept or create large money transfers to or from exotic places in an hour plus commercials, but it sure as shootin’ isn’t happening at my bank.

And what is the problem, you ask, for a very humdrum La Costa matron who must now tie up the loose ends of her equally humdrum father’s financial business after his death? Basically, I have too many names.

I only wish I could use this fluke to my advantage somehow. Would that I had need to hide money away from some lame bureaucracy or some other villain. I do not. And I feel fairly certain that if I tried, based on the current alleged discrepancy, I would fail miserably and be found out immediately.

Nevertheless, the bank and its ever-vigilant legal department refuse to believe that Nancy Jean Hart is now Jean Hart Gillette. Three passports spanning 40 years and a birth certificate were not enough to give me permission to close out my dad’s CD, which has come due. In a stellar lesson in the price of honesty, had I failed to mention that my father was dead, I could have moved the money with ease, as he put me on all his accounts. My foolish, prompt presentation of his death certificate — presuming that was the appropriate thing to do —brought all to a complete standstill.

Only a marriage certificate will do. I can find every other legal document possible, including my father’s Brooklyn birth certificate — but cannot find my marriage certificate. I practically brought on an asthma attack going through albums and boxes looking for it. Not a trace.

This now prompts a trip to the San Diego County Clerk’s office only to find we got out license in Los Angeles. I then access the Internet, get proper notarization with same three passports and a birth certificate and am mailing off a request to the Los Angeles County Clerk. If I get a copy back without further hitch, I will think it a small miracle.

Meanwhile I have restless dreams of being buried in red tape surrounded by frowning, head-shaking attorneys howling, “Are you Nancy or are you Jean, you faithless name-changing harlot?”

You may want to rethink giving your daughter a middle name.


1 comment

linda April 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

WOW! who knew…good luck with the marriage certificate!

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