I double checked my purse before I left the courthouse. Social security form. Check. Newly obtained, notarized and official divorce documents. Check. Birth certificate (just in case). Check. Driver's license. Check.
Now I just had to get it done.
I very carefully made my way back to the highway, windows down, singing along with 30 Seconds to Mars and obeying the speed limit because I did NOT have the time to get pulled over. When I hit the highway, I let 'er rip, though, and zoomed down Route 16 --
-- okay, that's not quite true. I drive like an old lady. A nervous old lady. But I did go, like, ten miles per hour over the speed limit because I was in a HURRY, y'all.
I got to Portsmouth, which is where the Federal building lives, at 1:40.
One hour and twenty minutes.
And then I hit a snag.
No parking. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.
This was... Problematic.
I did a slow drive around the city. I have a small car, I thought. I can nose it into itty bitty spaces. I could have, were there any to be had, but alas, there were not. I rolled up my windows, turned the A/C up and the radio down, and clutched the steering wheel grimly.
"You," I thought to Snarky Ugly Tie Guy, "do not get to win this day."
I zipped around to the lower entrance of the parking garage, which -- unlike the main entrance, did not have a sign that read "full" -- took a ticket, and zipped in. And then drove around. And around. And up. And finally nabbed a spot on the very top floor, in the roasting heat of the sun. I leaped out the door and immediately thought, "Holy shit, I am going to pass out."
It was almost two. Passing out was not an option.
I don't know if you'll ever find yourself running full tilt across town to a federal building, but if you do, you should know that the security guards there will somehow not be surprised to see your sweaty, disheveled self going through the metal detector again and, miraculously, not setting it off this time. In fact, they might even wish you luck as you dash to the elevator bank.
It's like they've seen such things before.
It was two o'clock when I got my number in the office, and Snarky Ugly Tie Guy and I kept giving each other the side-eye across the room. "Call me next," I kept thinking. "You need a special form? I have your form RIGHT HERE, Smirky McSmirker!"
The woman manning (womanning?) the cubicle next to him called my number.
As I approached, he said to her, "She was here before. She needs her divorce papers."
She smiled at me. "You need your--"
"Divorce papers. License. Form. Got 'em right here. Also?" I said, looking at Smirky, "I can HEAR you."
The woman waiting on me smiled. "Nice job," she said. "Let's get this done for you."
Just like that, it was done.
And then, Dear Blogland, I had a new name. One I loved. One in which I had pride. More importantly, one I had fought to get back.
I'm keeping it.
And this makes me happy.