Friday, June 17, 2011

That's not my name

What most people don't know when they read my name is that I have two last names. It's treated like a name with a hyphen, just without the hyphen. My maiden name did not become my middle name. I just leave out my middle name and write only my first and last names. So officially, my name reads Jennifer Allyn Thompson Valdyke. But because most people don't want to know your middle name, and it's not wrong to just write your first and last, I simply write Jennifer Thompson Valdyke.

I throw people way off when I say aloud my name because they can't see it. So, they just think I have four names, two of them being middle names. To help them out a little bit I make sure to give a longer pause between my first name (then my middle) and say my last names without a pause so they can hear my names are supposed to be together.

I learned that changing your name is not easy in America. To me it makes sense to officially change one's name with the Social Security Administration otherwise I could have multiple identities floating around and that can be chaotic. It turns out that is not the case. I found out after trying the logical way that I was supposed to go to the DMV to show them that I was married and they would change my name. And then I could take that ID to the SSA and show them that my name was changed. That doesn't make sense to me that it was too easy to change your identity by showing a marriage certificate to the DMV to get a new ID card. I feel like that is too easy to cheat the system or escape the government. Because even though I changed my DMV according to the DMV and all the police that might pull me over, according to the United States Government, my name is still Jennifer Allyn Thompson, making my my "name change" really just a joke.

The funny part about the DMV is that they cannot make a name hyphenated or anything like an amalgamation of names for some reason I don't know. (I think they were misinformed because according  to their website, as long as I had my marriage application that has my desired married name, then they could make it that. The SSA told me that they needed the application in addition to the certificate to legally change my name, but that was not what their website said. I had to show up in person to find that out.) But since I did not want a hyphen, she saw no problem with just adding another name to the end of mine.

Additionally, when addressing a letter. It is incorrect to say "Mrs. Jennifer Thompson Valdyke." Since my last name is different from my husband's I would not be a "Mrs." I would be a "Ms." It is also incorrect to address it as "Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Valdyke" Because I'm not a Mrs. and he is not a Mrs., it doesn't make sense to write us a letter calling us by the wrong name or gender. If it is being addressed to both of us, it would be correct to formally address it as "Mr. C. E. Valdyke and Ms. Jennifer A. Thompson Valdyke."

Now that you know, please don't screw it up in the future; it really wil perturb me if you do. I will remember and just might "accidentally" call you by the wrong name.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


May came and went really fast.

It was completely full from beginning to end. The first week of May was finals week. I said in my last post that my computer crashed so I had to write the rest of my 20 page final paper on a netbook that did not have Microsoft Word. So I had to download a word processor to finish my paper in less than three days. But I did it. And I had my last final on that Friday. It was easier than I expected and I got out of there faster because of it.

My mom and two nieces came up to Atlanta on that Friday. On Saturday, we began to pack all my stuff and take it to the storage unit I got. It was no easy task with a 4 year old and a 19 month old running around, getting into stuff and undoing the progress. But luckily, Josh joined us after his soccer games in Kennesaw. One of us could watch the girls while the other two could move. We weren't moving long before it was time for dinner with the in-laws. We met at Six Feet Under for a nice break from packing (for us) and driving (for them). After dinner, everybody came back to the apartment to load the moving truck with all my stuff and unload it at the storage unit. That was a seriously big help they lent. I honestly couldn't have done it without everyone.

On Mother's Day, I graduated with honors (it turns out) from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in History, Technology, & Society.

Everybody went home and I continued to pack up the rest of the apartment for the next couple of days. I thought I Was going to be able to load the rest of my stuff that had to go to my mom's house into my car, but it turns out that it was twice as much stuff as expected. So fortunately, my sister came up to Atlanta and got the rest of my stuff.

The following Sunday, my friend had her wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous! There was a threat of rain, but it held off and was sunny for the ceremony. We all were so happy for her and I can't wait to see pictures! That day was also the day that Jessi left for Army boot camp. She graduates 10 weeks from then and we all will be so excited to see her on graduation day.

After that and before my trip to Japan, I was supposed to have that time to pack and do any sort of final preparations I needed to do. Well, my nephew was sick and needed to be picked up from day care because he had a fever. So as I was on my way back from Macon picking up my fixed computer and books for Evan, I had to make a trip to the day care to get Cameron. He was such a sweet boy the time that I had him. Even though he was sick, he was still energetic and mischievous but I still love to watch after him.

Lastly, I flew to Japan on the morning of the 21st and arrived in Sasebo midnight of the 22nd. Somehow a travel time of 22 hours turned into two whole days out of my life.