My Life in Forms and Numbers

The past week has been a blur of activity. As you know from my blog post last week, my daughter’s identity was stolen. The saga continues. On Monday, we drove to Rock Hill to talk to the good people at the Social Security office. And we waited. red tape 5

And we waited. Did you know the screens actually change while you wait at the Social Security office? I didn’t, but I can’t say much for the entertainment value. I already knew that it was hot and sunny. It’s summer in South Carolina, for heaven’s sake. You either have hot and sunny, or hot and rainy. Since we had just been outside and it wasn’t raining, the obvious second choice was hot and sunny.

red tape 6

As it turns out, they didn’t much care that her Social Security number had been stolen, so the tired-looking man directed her to set up an account online with them. It will update once a year, AFTER she pays her taxes. Well, gee, someone else could have used her SS number to get a job and leave her holding the bag for their taxes by next year, so we’re mailing an affadavit to the IRS today.

Next on the agenda was changing the name on the title of her car from mine to hers, since she’ll be married in three weeks. “Just run by the DMV,” my husband said. “It’ll be easy,” he said. I’m sure he sat in his office laughing fiendishly while my daughter and I visited this building FOUR times over the next two days. red tape 4 On the up side, they have a little screen, too. I know the picture is blurry, but that was the way my vision looked after I’d been there four times.

It’s a rather innocuous looking little building, isn’t it? I think the first thing taught to new hires at the DMV is, “Never make eye contact with anyone.” After all, if they can’t see the people, they can pretend there’s no one there. It works very well for them, too. They also give out one bit of information at a time to make certain that you have to visit multiple times. In addition, you never see only one person on a visit. You sign in with the receptionist wait, see someone, get a form, sit down to fill it out, go back to the receptionist, and have your number called again. Wash, rinse, repeat over and over.  That way, they stay very busy and keep their jobs.

red tape 3

In between the FOUR visits to the DMV over the next two days we also visited our county administrative building (or “the building with a big clock in front of it,” as described by the helpful employee at the DMV who never actually said “the county administrative building”) twice. She actually had a point, because there are three government buildings on that corner. My daughter will get to visit the one across the street to buy her marriage license.

Red tape

Interesting side note: In South Carolina, the couple must appear in person with two forms of identification, one of which must be a picture ID, to apply for the license. Then there’s a twenty-four hour waiting period before anyone in the world with the receipt can appear to retrieve said license. “Why?” you might ask. Well, the waiting period gives the groom time to sober up before the couple can actually be wed. However, I see a problem with this logic. If the bride (or her father) can keep the groom drunk for two days, the waiting period is useless. She can still TRAP him. People like hunting in South Carolina. I’ve never killed or trapped anything, but I know people who have. Ooooooo!red tape 1red tape 2

In order to change the tag on her car, we had to pay taxes on the car again, though I had just paid them in February. After that, I filled out another form (from the DMV after we turned in the license tag, trip four, taken to the administrative building, trip two) which should result in a refund of the taxes for the eight months I’ve now paid twice. We went to two different offices in the administrative building – auditor’s and treasurer’s. Love the decor. The long hallway presents possibilities for a story.

I think all government buildings should be on the same couple of blocks in town. However, that might be difficult since most of the buildings in Lancaster are government buildings. There are a few businesses and restaurants sprinkled among them to fool us into thinking we are more than a group of government buildings. It’s an evil plan, but it’s working.

Do I sound a little crazy and distracted – confused, perhaps? That would be about right. Last night, my daughter and I designed her wedding programme after we had selected the pictures for her wedding portraits and ordered them online, too. And we laughed, and we laughed, and we laughed. You know the hysterical kind of laughter that starts and doesn’t stop after you’ve had several days like this?

Oh, and in between all this running, we painted the porch furniture and made the centerpieces for her reception tables. (We’re about to make our third run to Walmart for more paint.) We did all that outside, and just before we finished, it started raining. It’s been that kind of a week. I had to laugh.

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About Robin Helm

Robin Helm's latest work is Understanding Elizabeth, a stand-alone Regency Romance. She joined three other JAFF authors for a best selling Christmas anthology - A Very Austen Christmas. After publishing all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy, she published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, a grandson, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

7 thoughts on “My Life in Forms and Numbers

  1. Laura Hile

    “Hurry up and wait” does not apply to the mother-of-the-bride. Sounds like when you are not updating your to-do list or writing checks, you are cleaning or painting or planting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      You’re so right, Laura. There is no “down” time, and the list keeps growing. Yesterday I found out I can’t use the church’s tablecloths at the reception. Now I have to rent or buy. I really needed something else to do.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Susan Kaye

    IN the words of Gilda Radnor as Emily Lattella, “It’s always something, Mr. Fader.” You’ll all laugh about this one day. And not that high-pitched, evil clown, run-by-the-asylum sort of thing you’re doing now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I loved Gilda Radnor. All of her characters were spot-on and funny as falling down. Much of what she said was wise.

      I’m looking forward to loosing the evil clown laugh.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Gayle Mills

    I nominate you for 2015 Mother of the Year. When this is all over, you can come to my house and recuperate. We’ll sit around the pool and drink iced tea — that is supposing that my kitchen has a floor and the cabinets have been installed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I can sit by your pool and drink iced tea with you whether or not the kitchen has a floor and the cabinets have been installed. You should write a post about your recent adventures. I’ll post it for you.



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