I got up at the you-know-what-of-dawn today in order to make it to Danbury, CT, today for a new driver's license. Yes, I know what you're thinking, we are moving to New Jersey in about a week, but you see, for ease of transition, it's easier to get myself in order in Connecticut first. This meant a visit to the Social Security Administration for a new card (where I discovered that my mother's legal maiden name is spelled differently than she thought ... according to the feds, anyhow), to the DMV, the bank, and to the post office for a new passport!
Whew. There was also some packing up of gigantic notebooks full of notes and papers so I can tackle my graduate exam in a few weeks after we're settled, as well as oodles of other things from the slowly emptying Galatz house in Connecticut.
|Passport, Here I Come!|
Then, a few hours later at the post office, the postal worker asked me to remove my hat. "Well, I can't," I said, "I've got to keep it on for religious reasons, I'm an Orthodox Jew." Another blank stare. "Um, well, I don't know what to tell you," he said. With my vast experience in this field, I asked him if there was a waiver or something I could sign, and he, once again, stared blankly at me. Inevitably, he pulled out a piece of loose-leaf paper and said, "I guess just write a note or something, to whom it may concern, explaining the hat thing." So I wrote the following:
To whom it may concern:
In my passport photo, I am wearing a hat. This is because I am a religious, Orthodox Jew, and am required by bible and law to cover my hair.
Chaviva GalatzHopefully my mention of "law" will play to their heartstrings. If they decline my passport, you can bet I'll raise a ruckus.
Overall I wasn't left with a sour taste in my mouth from either experience, it's just a long, grueling process this name change and getting married is. I'm forever going to be known by the non-Jewish public (and some of the Jewish public, unfortunately) as CHA-viva. As in, the "ch" of cheese. It gives me a nice Latina flare, right? I'm so diverse. Except not.
So my question for the readers is: Do you have a passport in which your hair is covered? A driver's license? Any other legal ID? How did you deal with having to cover your hair (or how did your wife handle it)? Is it a big deal? I almost think it'd be harder for a muslim woman in a full covering to get her driver's license ... how does THAT work?