rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I got my passport reissued in the right name in May, but didn't immediately sort out my driving licence or bank accounts, and then I got ill.  Back in November, I managed to get hold of a bunch of the necessary forms. Today  I had to go into town for a checkup at the GP, so I decided to traipse round the relevant banks while I was there.

I went to three different bank branches.  In two of them, the member of staff I dealt with said "oh, that's unusual, we normally expect a deed poll or a marriage/divorce certificate, but if you have your passport in the right name, that's clearly your name, we'll just change it."  In the third, the member of staff insisted I needed a deed poll or some other name-change document, suggested that passports weren't a good way to authenticate names because they didn't get updated very often, and told me to calm down when I invited them to check the issue date of the passport. 

Yes, there was a gender split between the first two and the last one and I bet you can guess which way round it was.

Thankfully the obstructive bank clerk decided to bog off to the back office and get advice, and my form will be sent off to "HQ" with a certified copy of my passport, which is what I was trying to achieve in the first place.

(The driving licence form just needs posting, because it includes consent for them to look up my details in the passport database.)
rmc28: (happy)
I put my hair up in a French-plait for the first time in years.  20 months growing-out since the last time I cut it to 9mm.  Of course, some of it was falling out after the 25-min walk to work, and I redid it twice during the morning and then gave up and shoved it back into a ponytail instead.   But it was nice while it lasted.

Passport with the right name arrived!  (I had a letter last week with a query, which I put on one side to deal with After The Election.  The nice person from the passport office who had written the letter rang me to follow up before I had got round to writing back, and we were able to sort it out by phone.  This was all after office hours on a weekday evening.  I was impressed.)

Railcard with the right name arrived!  (This followed tedious faff which I shall write up separately.)

New sandals for Charles arrived!  (John Lewis were out of stock of the right size when we went shopping on Sunday, but put through the order online for me.)

I'm not sure which of Charles and me is the happiest right now.  But we're both pretty happy :-)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
It has taken me nearly a year, but I have finally got enough grip together to send off my application for a passport in the correct name.  The final thing was to print and sign a statement that I am reverting to my maiden name (bleh) for all purposes.  I did that tonight, sealed the envelope, checked the postage and thanked past-Rachel for having 1st class Large stamps in stock.

Normally I am not that bothered about paperwork and get it done without much bother.  I have been getting very stressed and procrastinatory about this set though.  [livejournal.com profile] fanf made the mistake of asking me a couple of months ago why I "didn't just get a deed poll" and got a minor rant in return.  The problem was not that the passport process was hard - it never was.  It was that I was not doing the thing I knew I needed to do and descending into a stress spiral whenever I thought about doing it.   I did eventually manage to split the job down into the smallest possible steps and slowly tick each of them off, and tonight was the glorious final bite of that elephant.

Anyway, passport is the last step.  Pretty much everything I can change without it is changed.  In general: organisations selling me things are happy for me to use whatever name I like; organisations running financial services have to meet anti-money-laundering regulations which result in very similar requirements which the passport will meet; everyone has their own process and many of them seem a bit thrown by the idea of reverting to birth name without getting divorced. 

It would definitely have been easier to get the passport first (or a deed poll) and then the bank accounts, and then just trump every process by waving the passport and or bank accounts at them.  I did want to see how far I could get without it, but I'm tired of that game now.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Thank you all for such lovely supportive responses to my name change. To pull out one comment I made, it is like the lifting of a weight I hadn't realised, to see the right name on things.

(I'm still waiting to hear back about formally changing my name at work. In the meantime, I've started using my birth name on change log comments anyway, and am wondering how long before anyone notices. I've been working on this system for so long that there are quite a lot of old comments with my birth name ...)


On a different topic, the Mustardseed is now safely repatriated to a hospital in his parents' home town. His mother travelled with him on the private plane with medical staff (and commented she hopes he doesn't get too used to this style of travel), but his father had to go home separately for space reasons, and arrived rather later. Lovely photos included a "baby on board" sign for the plane.

I need to actually finish packing the Parcel Of Baby Goodies and get it posted to them now.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

Marriage and titles and names have been on my mind, see my post of last month.  Two of my friends got married on the same day in March: one changed her name to her husband's, one kept her name.   Both equally valid choices, but the one who kept her name got so much "jokey" pushback that I rolled my eyes, thinking "oh no, not again".

For a while now I've found myself thinking "if I was getting married tomorrow, I wouldn't change my name".  My experience is that the people who respect my compromise double surname also respect the women who don't change their names (and the men who do).  The rest of them just address me as Mrs Anthony Finch anyway.  Plus the idea of "remaining one person with one name, in everything I do" has proved overly idealistic, given how much I answer to "Charles's mum" or "Nicholas's mum" rather than my actual name, or call for a taxi/book a table in the name "Finch" because that's easier than the whole double barrel (but feels uncomfortably wrong).

It isn't much of a step from "I wouldn't change my name now" to "I wish I hadn't changed my name" and from there to "what is stopping me changing back?"  In the last month I've basically realised it's the paperwork hassle and concern for Tony's feelings.  On checking with Tony, he's entirely supportive, which just leaves paperwork.

I think if Nicholas had been a daughter rather than a son, this might have happened two years ago.  I quite liked the idea of "the girls" being Colemans and "the boys" being Finches (though it has its own issues with reinforcing the binary gender default).  But there aren't and won't be "the girls" now, so it's taken a bit longer to bubble up out of "nice idea" into "this feels important to me and I want to do it".

Today I'm starting the tedious process of changing everything back.  I fully expect it to take months to get through everything, and to have to gently correct people assuming we're getting divorced, but from today I'm Rachel Coleman again.  Ms rather than Mrs, and I still prefer "Rachel" to any title.  I'm going to keep my personal email address (rmcf@cb4.eu) even though those aren't quite my initials any more, because for nearly nine years they were, and that's part of my history.

I'm still very happily married, and my children still have their father's surname.  But I made a mistake changing my name and now I'm fixing it.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Your names policy is stupid and excludes my surname, which appears on my passport, driving licence, all my credit cards, and my employer's identity card.

For the record, my surname is "Coleman Finch". Two words, not hyphenated. The UK government is happy with this, as is every financial, commercial and third-sector organisation with which I deal. Except you.

I do not want to put any more effort into this service when I could lose it all at any moment if you decide to enforce your stupid and thoughtless "one word surname" policy on me.




Edited to add: My understanding of the surname policy comes from [personal profile] supermouse's report of what she's learned since being reported to G+ for having an "inappropriate username". As Google haven't made their names policy public for checking, I have the choice between trusting Google or trusting someone I've known on and off for over a decade.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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