Changing Templates…again…

So I typed out a fabulously pithy post this morning about changing templates here at the Lettuce and in my own life, and, as is the way with marvelous prose that I’ve created, the Universe ate it. I think it might have belched afterward and asked for a mint.

The gist was that I’ve been thinking a lot about changing the template, if you will, of my life and starting with something new that looks and feels different, and this morning I was totally on board with that idea. By tonight, though, after loads of fighting with Flickr and Blogger and my own Old Lady Brain, I’m thinking maybe familiar is best. Give me a few days, I will have changed templates a dozen times.

The picture over there was taken at Tiffany’s in NYC on my Spring Break trip in 1997. I was still single, still in love with Audrey Hepburn and acting and the theatre. I had been to the UK for six weeks two years prior and it had changed my life. I didn’t have any greyhounds or an English husband or an ex-husband or any of that. I was just me, that version of me…that template.

Is there a limit on how many times you can change a template out? Hope not.

It just gets better and better…

For the first time in I don’t know how long, I was told I’d be getting a tax refund. Actual money back from the government. Money to get me out of the hole I’m in…money, real money.

Now you all that follow my oh-so-exciting life via The Lettuce know that whenever something good is about to happen or has happened in my life, something bad is bound to follow. “Whenever God closes a door, God opens a window…” and then someone slams the window shut on my hands or I’m stuck behind the closed door, however you’d like to continue that metaphor.

I wait and wait for my refund like a good, honest taxpaying American. I’ve had to deal with smaller paychecks all year but now it’s going to pay off for me. Still waiting, I go to the post one day to return with a letter from the IRS. It seems that due to several audits of tax returns filed between 2003 and I guess 2006, there is a huge debt owed to the IRS by a social security number attached to mine. Anyone want to guess who belongs to that number? Because that number is attached to my number (never mind the divorce decree that states that all back taxes owed to the government are the responsibility of my ex-husband, not me…darn, guess I gave away the owner of the other SSN there, didn’t I?) the feds have KEPT my refund to be put toward the balance owed.

You are kidding me. I will admit, just to those of you reading today (but don’t tell anyone) to a minor meltdown when I got that letter. My tax refund money, while not an astronomical amount, was my wedding money. This was seed money for my move to the UK. This was going to take care of the little debts I still have control over and set me firmly on the path to credit rating recovery.

I emailed my ex, who was very apologetic but was unable to help me. Seems that with interest owed, my piddly return was just a drop in a huge ocean of a balance owed to the feds. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if I hadn’t told him what had happened he would never have noticed the difference when he looked over his statement from the IRS.

My dad’s accountant, who prepared my returns, has a copy of my divorce decree now and is going to see if there’s anything he can do. Sadly, because at the time of the first audit the ex and I were still married and he wasn’t beating me I think I’m out of luck as far as relief goes.

Well, beloveds, gentle readers, it’s about to happen again. Upon hearing the news that our economic stimulus payments from the feds (also known as Dubya handing out cash on his way out the door after ruining our economy for eight years) would be distributed early, I immediately beat a path to the website to see when I could expect a nice jump in my bank balance. I used their calculator thinking that not only would it tell me what I already know, that I’m supposed to be getting $600, but it would also say when to expect it.

Yes on the $600, but there was an interesting caveat under the total…”The estimated payment amount could be reduced, however, if you have an unpaid tax liability.”

You have GOT to be kidding me. When, I ask you, do I get to be free of that relationship and free of bailing out someone else’s problems with the IRS?

There had better be a crisp new $600 entry in the debit column of my online bank register on May 3rd or I may just explode. Might want to put a hard hat by the computer just in case, the fall out will be nasty.

A Nancy by Any Other Name…

So all I wanted was to be Nancy Allen again. No more Lassiter, that’s his name and not mine. Nancy Elizabeth Allen…just in time to become Nancy Elizabeth Dunne but that’s another issue all together.

Because I did not appear in court on the day of my divorce hearing (upon the advice of my ex-husband’s lawyer), the request made in the divorce papers to have my maiden name restored was not granted. Okay…trying hard not to get too wound up over that. I did what I was told and was stuck with Lassiter even though I was told I’d be Allen again.

Because…well, I really don’t know why, actually, I was never sent a certified and real copy of the divorce decree. I got a PDF copy forwarded to me from my ex-husband that was presumably sent to him by his lawyer. Okay…so now I have to go to Spartanburg County and pay for a copy of something I should have been sent in the first place.

And because of all of this ridiculousness I can’t change my name now because that process, per the SSA, could take up to 4-6 weeks to get my card back with my new name, and I don’t think I can change my name on my passport if it isn’t attached to my social security number…and by the time that’s done, I won’t have the two months or more it will take to get my new passport before I potentially go visit Simon in May.

I’m going to be Lassiter till I marry Simon, I’m afraid. A Nancy by Any Other Name may still be Nancy, but she’s not a Happy Nancy, to be sure.

Go on, gloat…

Everyone who said I should change my travel plans and be in the US today for my divorce hearing…everyone who said I shouldn’t just trust that things would go okay and I’d have some closure…well, you were all right. Seems Scott’s lawyer didn’t make it to court with some paperwork that was needed and so I am still married.

Married, tired, and disappointed…and in dire need of closure.