We get on the road and arrive in Florida what feels like 3 years later. As we drive into our subdivision, I pass all kinds of interesting creatures: an ibis, something that lives in a nest the size of an SUV, colorful lizards and frogs, and, yes, an alligator, sunning in the lake not 2 blocks from my house. People pass him as if he is a mailbox. We name him Carl.
For mundane reasons I won't explain, we have to get our licenses changed over quickly and it is one of the first tasks we undertake. I wish we hadn't. I go to the DMV with an appointment, all of my paperwork filled out, and a box full of every piece of paper they might ask for and some they won't. I'm ultra-prepared. I'm psyched; I'm there early and there's no wait! Andrew breezes through the process and I prepare to as well, but there's a woman who has it out for me that day. "The social security office says June 1 isn't your birthday," she says. She seems almost happy to follow up with, "You'll have to go there to straighten that out." "No!" I say. "I've ordered a passport with that card; there has to be a mistake on this end." "Nope," she insists and sends me to the 9th circle of hell.
If you were wondering what that is -- it's the social security office in the Old People Capital of the US. Hours of waiting. By the time my number is called, I'm furious. The woman behind the counter pulls up my record and says, "There's no problem here. Everything is correct." I want to stab someone in the eye. I drive 1/2 an hour back to the DMV, where a new guy pulls my SS# up on the screen and says, "Why did you go through all of that? Your birthdate was fine all along!"
Andrew, thinking himself immune from this insanity, inwardly chuckled at me, I'm sure of it. At least, he does until we get all the way home, and he finds out his new name in FL is "Andrew Tllman." A big ugly misprint on his shiny new license. I love moving.