Let's just hit the highlights. I have an antibacterial shower to take.
Like any law abiding American, I walked in, got my number and took a seat. The Social Security office is comparable to church in that no one wants anyone to see the back of their head. There were few people in the front row. A few more in the middle row. One more in the back row. And the side chairs lining the perimeter of the room were packed. Standing room only.
Like we do on Sundays, I fit myself into the back row. I was able to see every one enter and leave. More importantly, I was easily accessible to the exit at all times. I sat next to an adorable 3 year old and her parents. I figured she was small, gave me elbow room, and didn't reek of booze and/or cigarettes.
Then, just in time to ruin the first three minutes of my experience, that adorable child pulled 1/2 pound of lint out of her bellybutton and handed it to her mother. Enough to fill a sock, and maybe a teddy bear. I couldn't handle it. Immediately, I checked the sound settings on my phone to see if the camera would make that loud "campichit!" noise if I started taking pictures. This required documentation.
A toddler sat in front of me with his young mother. Also very cute and curious (the toddler). He enjoyed smiling through his three or so teeth. He also enjoyed giving high fives to each of us in the back row. Children and adults alike. And climbing on the chairs. And making the water fountain splash. And exploring the men's bathroom. I learned thirty minutes later that his name was Cage. Which, ironically, is exactly where he belonged.
I entered this situation knowing I'd have to wait a bit. I pulled number 360 and they called 344 shortly after I got seated. Twenty minutes after my arrival a gal in a wheelchair arrived and set up shop behind me. She wanted to be there as much as I did. Which wasn't at all.
In fact, she didn't want to be there so badly, she found no value in getting dressed for the occasion. With her flannel pajama pants still on, she said, " If Ida knowed this was gonna take so long, I woulda gone home an showered."
I responded with, "There's still time." Of course, that was all in my head - where I'm 1 foot taller, 10 times wittier and about 100 lbs. heavier. I never had the guts to say it aloud.
47 minutes after I blazed through the doors, I was at the desk confirming my parents were legal citizens and that Cody actually had the guts to rope the wind.
I was prepared enough to prove both in writing.
I exploded through the north door of the Social Security office like I hadn't breathed through my nose in an hour. Probably because I hadn't. Another step closer to the name change, another lunch break wasted. I think tomorrow I'll spare myself spend the hour doing something more pleasant. Like stepping on legos.