Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Marriage Tax on Women

Wow!  It's been a couple of months since I've written anything of note, but in my own defense, my last entry was the day before school started and things have been hectic.

I got married in June, and there has been quite an adjustment period, what with people trying to make things difficult, and only hurting the wrong people (kids) in the process. Kids grow up, gain understanding, and then find it hard to forgive the ones who created obstacles.  I won't be that person, because I've already lived through that and know what damage it does.  So...

Getting my name changed is still going on.  The SSA was fast to update it, but the state department of education is slow on updating my license, so my maiden name is confusing students from their printed schedules. It's funny because everyone is having trouble adjusting to my name change except for my husband.  He's wanted that name change since I we were teenagers, I understand.  :) 

I suppose my old name will eventually fade away.  My sister wasn't kidding when she said it takes forever to get it changed everywhere.  I'm wondering if my bank will require me to buy all new checks, rather than using up the ones I've already paid for.  

I had to pay for a new driver's license, complete with the worst picture to date.  If I'd known going in, I'd at least have kept my hair down and smiled.  But the clerk was one of those whose joy is giving people one shot to take the worst photo of them that she can, so I'm stuck with it.  It just shows me with Resting Bitch Face, so that's pretty normal.  I just look so grim.  Lol

Passport... I'll have to get a new passport to change my name on it, and that'll be $150.  Last I checked, a brand new one was only $110! So what's with the extra $40?

All the information I'd found online told me I would also have to pay a few hundred dollars to change my name, but that turned out to be incorrect in my county at least. 

Why does everybody get a kickback just because a woman gets married? Why not the men?  Changing a single name in a computer does not cost but a few cents of manpower time, after all.

Anyway, I'm excited about my next trip, and I've been looking around for new travel tips, but they're all the same old recycled ones.  I've seen several on how to take all your jewelry with you: put your earrings through a button, run your necklaces through a straw, press it between two layers of Press & Seal... Here's my tip to all of you:  leave the freaking jewelry at home!  Then you won't lose it, or get robbed for your impressive costume jewelry or engagement ring. Less to keep up with, and believe me, you're not going to impress the people in another country by being accessorized to the nines.  Be practical.

Here's another one I don't get - using a bunch of packing cubes inside your luggage to keep things organized and separated.  Oh yes, in a world where the weight of your baggage is an important consideration, you should add extra bags inside of your bags.  Maybe I'm missing something here, but wouldn't those extra zippers and fabric add weight?  If you want to compartmentalize because there would be a scandal if your clean panties touched your clean socks, use ziplock bags.  They don't weigh more than a breath, they're waterproof, and you can put all your undies in together in case the TSA decides to rummage through your suitcase - no strange dirty hands touching your underwear. You can also use a bigger zip bag as a portable washing machine, a car sick bag (happened twice in my tour group on the last trip), a place to put damp clothes to protect your dry ones, or even a compartment in your daypack to store your snacks. You can use them for travel cushions, a ball to entertain you and a friend, and a dry sack to protect your phone and camera in a sudden downpour.

Here's another thought: take some big garbage bags. They make emergency ponchos, a dry place to sit, a backpack cover in the rain, and even a trash bag.  Garbage bags travel very small and light.  Yes, the locals will have nice rain gear, but will you ever see them again?