As I said this morning and I will write again; thank you everybody for all your moral support. I do not know how else I would have been able to come to such a life changing decision without you by my side both literally and in spirit.
Well, to get started, I decided to go to the courthouse yesterday so I could get a lay of the land and see where I needed to park, where the courtroom was, and what the exact procedures were going to be so I could be prepared for today. The officers were very helpful and explained everything and I spoke to a very nice lady in the clerk of the court office and all was well. I left, got in the car and started to drive away when it hit me that it was my last day as a married lady and it took my breath and I began to cry so hard I thought I needed to drive to the ocean because I find it so peaceful and wonderful there.
So…in my crying I got on the wrong entrance to I-4 and instead of heading toward Daytona I ended up going the other way. No matter I thought. I’ll drive to Vero Beach and see if I can get ahold of Susan. Thankfully, she was home and was right there for me! We met at Capt. Hiram’s on the water and she made sure we sat right by the water so I could smell the salt air and look at the boats. Even a catfish swam up to where we were and hung around and said “hi!” in his own fishie way. We talked and laughed and walked by the boats and I felt right side up again.
I spoke to a few friends and mom last night for last minute moral support and mom told me to go to bed early so I could be well rested.
Cue insomnia in….one, two, three! Yep…no sleep for this little girl. I got ready and made it to the courthouse by 8:00 am and went through the process of sitting and waiting for Judge Dickey to appear at nine. (That really is his name by the way. “Don’t it just figure?”) I was all alone in the waiting area when an older lady appeared and began to pace and then sat next to me and began to talk to me. She was going through a divorce too and began to tell me all about herself and her husband and her life in Vermont; now Winter Park. Her granddaughter will be going to ——! Small world, eh?
Just then my trusty high school bud Leslie walks up and I introduce her to the nice lady. Leslie, ever the friendly and talkative one begins to give the nice lady advice about what to do about property titles and how to go about changing this and who to talk to about it. Now, how does Leslie know this? She’s a nurse. I’ll tell you, I think she’s a super hero in disguise. If ever you need help chasing a criminal down a major road on foot in traffic, or a tree falls on your car in the rain, or someone tries to screw up your pic line in the hospital you call Leslie. She knows from personal experience what to do for you. Just dial. Ask for Leslie. Leslie Wilson.
So, they call us all into the courtroom and I only then begin to notice everybody’s attire. Aren’t you suppose to dress properly to enter a courtroom? I’m the only one there in proper heels, hosiery, very nice skirt andsweater and I look around and see Shlubville! For shame people!!! Leslie of course chuckles at this because she tells me it’s 2009 and the times have changed. Change them back I say! Even the lawyers looked shabby. Except there was an older lady lawyer who did have a skirt on but you know what? It was a mini skirt. And she had wrinkly knees. My heavens did you even know that your knees get wrinkly when you get old? Oh great. One more thing.
Leslie and I sat next to the lawyers and suddenly the lady lawyers are talking about their kids and out fly the baby pictures and the cooing and oohing. Our Super Hero naturally joins in. She makes me laugh so much. I must have had a freaked out look on my face because the lady lawyer next to me asked why I was there and I told her and she let me know that Judge Dickey is very nice and he will be very gentle and funny and not to be afraid. I still was though.
And then! In walks the officer and yells, “All rise for Judge Dickey! Oops never mind!” And with that she spins around when she sees that Judge Dickey appeared and then disappeared behind her. How positively Python! I took this as a good omen. It would seem Judge Dickey had forgotten his robe. Silly Judge Dickey. A short while later she re-announces him and he appears smiling and laughing. I like him already!
The first case is called up and it is the lawyer announcing that she has removed herself from the case for lack of payment from the defendant. And the defendant walks up and says he has no money and we are looking at him like “Are you kidding? What do you want the judge to do you ding dong?”
The next case was the nice old lady and her lawyer walks her through the legal steps for and that’s when I hear him ask the nice old lady to explain why her marriage is irretrievably broken and she has to explain to the judge. Inside I was thinking “What fresh Hell is this?!” I didn’t know I’d have to do that. I’m sick to my stomach now.
Then it’s my turn and I hear my name and as I rise I feel my head spin and I’m thinking, “Don’t faint in front of Judge Dickey! Don’t faint in front of the Judge!” So Judge Dickey asks when Gregory and I were married and I answer. He asks if I believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken and if so why. Outside voice: “Well your Honor, my husband did not keep his promises financially…blah, blah, blah…” (Inside voice: “Judge, I married a no good lyin’ bum who never did me no good and lied every chance he could and I would like to know on what level of Dante’s Hell did I end up and where’s Virgil to get me out of this insane inferno?! Two snaps and a head roll…mmmmhhhmm….girl you know it!) The Judge asked if I would like my maiden name reinstated effective immediately to which I responded,”Yes, please your honor.”
The next thing I hear I am divorced and am asked to sit down and wait for the clerk of the court to come and get me. The next case is another divorce and the husband and wife both appear and explain the agreed upon arrangements to the Judge. He asks the same questions and they respond. He asks the wife if she would like to have her name changed and Shaquanda says no she is keeping her married name Judge because she EARNED it. (Snaps again ladies!) Every woman in court room smirked and let out a giggle.
Off we all go with the clerk of the court and I am yet again set off in a tizzy at the miserable state of our working dress code. I am in shock and Leslie just laughs and laughs. We left and went to a really cool old Mayberry RFD kind of restaurant in downtown Sanford for breakfast. Nice place if you like that sort of thing.
I left with my papers in hand and went to the Driver’s License office to have my name changed. It took no time at all and when the lady saw my name she said, “Do you know a Doctor ——?” “That’s my dad!” “Oh I just loved him! He helped with a sick building case….tell him I said hi!” (Still famous after all these years pop! Go pop!!! ) 🙂 I started to feel very tired and went home, got into my pjs, fell asleep on the couch with Max cuddled next to me
until about 6 this evening.
So…here I am. My former name but a new me. What a weird feeling. But a good weird. A happy weird. Even excited! I am going to spend thissummer healing and traveling (North Carolina here I come!!!!!) and spending lots of time with all you guys.
And Max, of course.
Well, that’s my story.