Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations…And the Social Security Office

4 Oct

“In life we all go through trials and tribulations. So now tell me, will you pass or will you make a mess?” ― Jonathan Anthony Burkett


I went to Zumba this morning with the neighborhood ladies. It was so invigorating and fun. I was wiggling and jiggling and sweating up a salsa storm. When I got home, I went for a walk, umbrella in hand, with a threatening drizzle.

When I got back, I decided this was the day I was going to bite the bullet and go over to the Social Security Office. I called first and asked if I needed an appointment and also what I needed to apply for Medicare and check on my future social security benefits. I explained my situation. I didn’t have enough quarters of social security on my own, but would have to apply for services under my ex-husband’s record. After thirty-nine years of marriage, that’s the least I’m entitled to. Thry said I just needed his social security number to access the information. I knew the number by heart after all those years. I packed a lunch.  

The parking gods were with me and I found a spot right in front. Good sign, right? Other cars were double parked and off on the street in a long line. I walked in and went to one of the two computers to sign in and get a number, but the one I went to was en Español, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it to English. I asked the nice man standing next to me. He tapped a couple of buttons and, voila, English. I was D79. There were a dozen or more people behind shuttered windows assisting people. How long could it take, right?

It was 11:27. Well, I was excited when D79 was called at 12:15. I explained my situation to the clerk. He looked up my social and said I wasn’t eligible for Medicare on my own. I had to use Mr. Ex’s info. Bummer! I could not  fill out any paperwork online either. I had to talk to SS clerk. He said he’d give me an appointment for November because there was a long wait. I said, “I’m here. Can I see someone today?” He told me I could, but it might be a 2 1/2 to 3 hour wait. I said that would be fine. After all, I packed a lunch. (Not really. Just some nuts in a baggie and a bottle of water.)

I sat down with about fifty other people thinking, this is going to be a long wait. Then, I had a brainstorm. Pat Lobe Toyota was just a couple blocks down the street. I’ve taken my neighbor there  many times for service. I walked down the street, parked myself in a comy faux leather chair in the pretty air conditioned waiting area, and made some phone calls. Beats the stuffy, packed, dreary SS Office. They have a coffee machine, soft drink dispenser, etc. I didn’t partake, feeling guilty enough for pretending to be a customer. I hung out there for about an hour and walked back.

By now, the place was standing room only. I did find a place to sit, and I told myself, “I will be patient. I don’t care how long it takes. I have nothing to do until 7 pm.” They close at 4. I talked to a few poeple sitting next to me, and spent time reading my CRHP handbook and I had my Bible and read the Scripture passages for out group meeting tonight. (And a lot more) 

By 2:30, I started to worry that maybe they called my number early when I was at the Toyota place. I got nervous. Had I sat there in vain. Finally, around 3 o’clock, the board lit up and someone called out D79, window 10. Yay! I walked down the long aisle and spoke to a very nice lady. I explained my situation, she took my info, and social security numbers for me and EX. GUESS WHAT? I didn’t have all the necessary paperwork. I had a copy of my divorce decree, BUT, they needed an original copy with the official county seal and stamp. I didn’t have one. I needed an official stamped marriage certificate. I even asked, “Why would I have a divorce decree if I wasn’t married?” 

She was very nice, but long and short, I have to go back again another time when I get all that official paperwork, and start all over again. Bummer! But you know what? I just smiled and said, “Thank you very much for your help.” I walked in with low expectations and the patience of Job, and walked out half a day later with a smile and a list of things to do. 

Do you want to know my SECRET? I watched “The Secret” last night before I went to bed. Otherwise, I’d be spitting nails right now. 

It’s been one heck of a journey so far. I’m ready. Where’s the finish line?

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