So my aunt Deborah is an attorney. Mom emailed her and told her about my little set-to with my company, and asked if she and my uncle Hughie had had to submit proof of marriage to the state so Deborah could get on Hughie’s benefits, because they had different last names, too. (As Image said: Of course my spouse and I have different last names. We have different parents.”) This was Deborah’s response:

Well, I think that’s bullshit. As a matter of law, you can take any name you want to, so long as there is no intent to deceive. So, an unmarried couple might — for very otherworldly reasons — want to take the same name. I do think Catie has a point; you can have the same name and not be married; you can have different names and be married. All or none. To answer the first

question, yes, we did have to provide a marriage certificate [. . .] But I think this is a requirement whether the name is the same or not.

Not that I *intend* to sue, but it’s nice to know an actual attorney agrees that they’re full of shit.

The covers were *very* heavy this morning, and there were many dreams, some of which were just plain bizarre and others of which were quite nightmarish. ‘Peter Wingfield is about 30, bleached blonde, working in a Walgreens in San Jose and pregnant’ fell under ‘bizarre’ and ‘I am driving a car which has a steering wheel at a 90 degree right angle from the windshield and which is going faster and faster no matter how hard I press the brakes’ falls under ‘nightmarish’.

My parents have just been disabusing Deirdre and me of any notions we had that we were getting away with reading in bed as children. I’d actually been disabused of the notion a few years ago, but am being further disabused now, by Dad saying that he only knew we were doing it when Mom sent him downstairs to fling the doors open and shout, “AH HAH!” which even now makes me cringe in embarrassment and humiliation at getting caught. I didn’t know Mom *sent* him, sheesh. :)

Deirdre, however, is being freshly disabused, evidently. :)

So this made me tell my friends online this story: my family did this really really silly thing when Deirdre and I were kids. We got into this tradition of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before going to bed. Or rather, after we were *in* bed. Deirdre’s and my rooms were across from each other, and Dad would stand between them, and POINT at one of us or at himself and we would say one word from the pledge and then the next POINT would say the next word and sometimes he’d point at you SEVERAL times and you’d get to say SEVERAL words, and sometimes he’d POINT at himself and forget that he was actually supposed to say something, and he’d go, “OH!” and then say his word, and somehow it got ’round to us saying, “And justice for Paul,” at the end, which was justice for Paul um I’ve forgotten his last name now who was a friend of ours and a politician who one day suddenly turned coat and went to work for British Petroleum, which, when he called my Uncle Packy, who was one of his best friends, to tell him, caused Packy to say, “Whore,” in disgust and hang up the phone, and Paul called back and said, “Fuck you!” and hung up in return, and if I recall correctly we stopped saying “justice for Paul” after that.

:)

From HR:

She just needs to understand that if we provide the carrier her spouse’s name and then something were to turn up later down the road and she falsified her application, then that is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

To HR:

With regards to Denise’s response: _Anyone_ who falsifies an insurance claim is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Whether my last name is the same as my spouse’s is entirely irrelevant to that fact.

I don’t think Denise is understanding the basis of my complaint. I understand that they are concerned with insurance fraud. I don’t object to having to provide proof of marriage. I understand that they are providing me with a service and that in good faith I should be willing to provide them with proof that I’m not trying to defraud them. That isn’t inherently an objectionable situation.

What I do object to is having to provide proof of marriage _because my last name is different from my spouse’s_. It is my understanding that married couples who share the same last name are not requested to provide proof of marriage.

This is a discriminatory policy, and that is what I object to. The implication is that a married couple with the same last name is inherently more trustworthy than a married couple with different last names.

I’m genuinely not trying to be difficult on this issue. It’s merely that I feel very strongly about it, and I believe that it’s a policy that should be reconsidered. I’m sure that APCS doesn’t intend discrimination, and there is a comparatively simple solution; all that needs to be done is require proof of marriage from anyone claiming to be married.

If this doesn’t work, next time I’ll use even *smaller* words. Grr.

DELETE DELETE DELETE!

Ahahah. I have just deleted over 150 messages from my work inbox. That is very satisfying. DELETE DELETE DELETE!

My poor QA guy keeps saying, “shit!” about things today. Vincent *very* rarely swears. He must be having a hell of a day. We’ve got quarterly releases to…night? Or tomorrow night. But yeah. Poor Vincent.

Email from HR this morning:

You can let her know that we ask this of all employees who are adding dependents with different last names whether it be children or spouse’s. Because our policies do not allow anything but a spouse, we are permitted to request information. If we don’t do it, then the carrier will to make sure they aren’t insuring an ineligible dependent. So therefore, we do it so the employee doesn’t have to work directly with the carrier.

My response:

I understand why they’re making the request they’re making. I understand that in order to put Ted on my policy I will have to produce some sort of documentation proving that I’m married to him. I don’t happen to have a copy of my marriage certificate available; like I said, I do have some nice wedding photos. What precisely are we considering ‘proof’, here?

My objection is that I believe this to be discriminatory. From what I’m reading here, I’m understanding that if, hypothetically, I were to add my brother to my insurance and list him as my spouse, that unless and until I filed a claim in his name, it would be assumed that I was telling the truth, and that he was my spouse, because he has the same last name as I do. My understanding is that because my husband has a different last name than I do, I am assumed to be telling a falsehood, and therefore must prove that I am indeed married to him.

I don’t believe the fact that this is being requested of other people whose children or spouses who have different last names makes it right. It is merely discriminatory. Non-discriminatory procedure would be requiring proof of marriage from all employees who claim to be married.

I’m not at all sure the hypothetical brother situation is going to do anything but confuse and annoy them, but by *God* I can’t let this lie. I seriously feel I’m being discriminated against. I *get* that I’m going to have to provide the documentation, but I’m going to do everything I bloody well can to get the policy changed. It’s *wrong*.