Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I saw a dead bird on the sidewalk this morning. Possibly it was a mourning warbler. It was smallish, olive green and beautiful, peacefully on it's side without a visible scratch in sight, as if tired, it lay down on the pavement for a quiet rest.

I walked on down the street and quickly forgot about this sweet creature upon entering the Ministry of Health building. At only 9:30 am it was already filled to capacity with people young and old lined up, first to explain to the receptionist the reason for their visit and then to get handed a number and told to sit down in the enormous waiting room until it was called. My heart sank.

I would have kept my own last name if I'd known of the hours and hours of bureaucratic garbage I had to wade through to change it to my married name.

First there was the Ministry of Transportation and trying to change my driver's license. I wrote about it here. It was such a harrowing experience that I practically gave up. I half decided it would be okay to be known as my maiden self by the federal government and my married self by the provincial government. But then the American government forced me to get up off of my apathetic behind because now I would need a passport to go and check out the deals at Target. And I was pretty sure the passport people would insist that I decide who I was before issuing me one.

So there I was at the Ministry of Health, number 42 in hand, feeling kind of optimistic because things were moving along nicely. Then it dawned on me. I would have to change the name on my Canadian citizenship card too. I walked back to the office dreading the thought of what this could entail. And about 16 clicks, three toll free calls and 26 minutes on hold later, I was finally clear. I would need two citizenship photos (different from passport photos), certified copies of legal name change documents which meant I would have to find and pay a notary public or a member of parliament, or a commissioner of oaths to photocopy and sign the legal documents I already owned (they told me they wouldn't accept the originals), plus include a non-refundable $75.00 fee.

If this isn't reason enough to stay married to Shaune, I don't know what is.


  1. Oh! The procedures at the government offices are so tedious and long winding. It takes a lifetime to do even a small thing, like changing a name. They should try and make these easy and user friendly. In india if you know a person in govt office then it means your work is 90% done and obviously, if your pocket is full too :)

  2. I've been married over 8 years and I still have not legally changed my name. Plus, I am dreading getting it changed on my nursing licenses so I've just given up. Maybe when T Rex starts school I will feel differently. We'll see...

  3. that is just crazy, they should make it easier to do these things!

  4. You must have been tripping over all that bureaucratic red tape! Why do they have to make such a basic request so difficult? Maybe you should just turn into a one name wonder like Cher or Sting :) I know I'm being silly!

  5. I was reading along and I found myself thinking, why bother? But then I got to the part about needed to go through with all the red tape so you could shop at Target, and everything fell into place and made so MUCH sense. Target is the BEST.

  6. Kim-I just love it when people or things piss you off! It makes you really come alive with fire. Grrrr!
    Go get em, Girl! ~rick

  7. Argh! Crazy, indeed. We just endured a 3 hour trip to the DMV (and we had an appointment!) to get Devin's drivers permit.


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