New Kid In Town

I changed my surname when I got hitched. Not because I had aspirations of being a docile 1950s housewife, rather I just felt like a change from the one I'd received upon exiting the womb. Plus, when you added Reid to my given names Shauna Lee, it made me sound even more like a clapped-out country and western singer. SHAWWWNA LUHEEEE REEEEED. Who could walk away from that? Shauna Lee, my Shauna Lee Why won't you come back to me? The fridge is empty And I need my tea Come home, Shauna Lee. If you change your name by marriage the Australian authorities give you 12 months in which you can get a new passport for free. When did I discover that? After 23 months of marriage. D'oh! So now I have cough up the handsome fee of £75. And of course this comes after already paying £50 to obtain a Change of Name Certificate from the NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages people because the Passport people don't accept non-Australian marriage certificates. Are they suggesting a marriage certificate with a floating head of Elvis it is not legitimate? That's an outrage. Last night I was tearing through the flat looking for even more forms of Identification to satisfy the Passport people. I could not find a bloody thing. I upturned boxes, emptied bookshelves and unmade the bed all in vain. There was a panicky, unsettling feeling that the search should have been a lot easier than it was. It wasn't til later on when I wanted to read Gareth a funny bit from a book that I figured it out. I was flicking through the pages and getting increasingly cranky at not being able to find the right passage. It was like I had typed the keyword into my brain and could not figure out why the book wasn't automatically searching and turning itself to correct the page. That would be because IT WAS A BOOK and not a computer. Likewise when I was sitting on the floor surrounded by shoes and dumbells and dirty socks, the keywords DRIVERS LICENCE were zapping across my eyes and I couldn't understand why the drawers were not opening themselves and why the boxes were not automatically being sorted. I thought there should be random objects floating in the air Mary Poppins style from the sheer force of my searching thoughts. But instead I was getting your search has returned 0 results. It was such a crushing feeling to realise I would have to look in a completely manual, analogue fashion.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

22 thoughts on “New Kid In Town

  1. Hahah! I do that all the time, particularly when searching for books in a bookstore/library, or when grocery shopping. “Ctrl+F Black Beans.” One day, I say.. it’ll become possible 🙂

  2. I’ve gotta question for you Miss Shauna Lee, if you were a clapped-out country singer, would you choose to sing in an Australian or Nashville accent?

  3. yep, not regretting passing on the name change one bit. i’m telling you, my signature would have read B. Nazir and you can imagine the Benazir Bhutto jokes, right?

    Shauna Lee Reid, it sounds like a superhero’s secret identity. honest!

  4. Cool. With that name, you’d get top billing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Who cares if you can sing?

    Passports are a right pain in the rectum – I changed my name by deed poll when I was 16, then by marriage when I was 24 and do you think it wasn’t a drama (not to mention a hellish expense!) when I wanted to get a passport?

    Mine expires next year. I’m SO looking forward to doing it all again.

    Oh, but thank goodness they changed the rules about who can ID you. In the old days, if you didn’t happen to know a police officer, judge, bank manager, member of the clergy etc, you were really screwed. Now any old bod who’s a) on the electroal roll or b) holds an Oz passport can do the deed. Common sense from bureaucrats? Who’d have thunk it?

  5. If you change your name by marriage the Australian authorities give you 12 months in which you can get a new passport for free.


    Wish I had known that too!

  6. Having worked with a Passports Office, believe I understand the frustrations!

    We get people getting well and truly ticked off about need BDM certificates.

    Mind you, it’s all just because we want to get it right and make it easier for the customer in the future.

    I don’t work in Passports any more though 🙂


  7. Now, Shauna Lee Reid signing in a Scottish accent – that would be priceless.

    Especially if you could work in the word ‘murder’ in a George Galloway accent.

    I haven’t changed my name since marrying, but might do it one day. Maybe if we have kids so the little things aren’t confused by having a different name to me.

  8. I always do the “UNDO” command. Please! Undo! Just go back to the way it was before I told that annoying story with no direction. CTRL Z, CTRL Z.

  9. OMG – from the title I thought you were going to say you are preggers.

    Phew – gotta have a lie down now.

  10. Oh when I’m drawing in the real world with paper and pen, if I screw up I can be heard to mutter UNDO.

    I do this for a job so you’d think I’d know there is no better.

    POl x

  11. Yes, computers applied to life:

    Hubby: “Shauna, how are you today?”
    Shauna: “I’m fine.”
    Google: Did you mean: “I’m feeling crap – please pamper me or your life won’t be worth living!”

    Scott F 😉

  12. It would kind of depend on the name, though. Reid is perfectly nice. One of my daughters is going out with a chap with a terrible name and I’d hate her to change to that. And I know someone very nice whose married name is Twaddle. Hmm.

  13. At least you only have to get a new passport for one country? I gleefully embraced dual citizenship for Jacob and me and then discovered that you can’t gad about on whatever passport you want and that depending on where you’re traveliing are comitted to updating BOTH at intervals. Twice the money. And the Australian passport is a darn site cheaper than the Dutch one I can tell you! Just a word of warning if you’re considering the citizen-of-the-world thing at any point.

    I didn’t change my surname when the dutchman and I got hitched. What Australians do to his surname (it involves lots of o’s, an I and a J next to each other) would make me sound like a Mills and Boon nomme-de-plume. Here’s “Faith van Rouge”…..uuugh…..nowhere near as cool as a clapped out country singer.

  14. ha!
    my married surname, the double-bunger one, doesnt fit on my credit card, and noone can pronounce it anyway. Lots of silent letters and multi-cultural connotations etc.
    and if my existence was digitalised….. I should like to use photoshop rather a lot.
    (btw pol x, scan your drawings and fiddle them…its cool.)

  15. Surnames are an absolute minefield. I was adamant that I didn’t want to change mine… and about six months into marriage, finally gave in.

    It’s not that there was anything wrong with my husband’s name, but I like my own name and I wanted to keep it. Sigh.

    Mind you, my passport is still in my real name…

    That would be fantastic if you could Google your possessions. Though for books, there’s always LibraryThing. What book were you showing Gareth?

  16. Oh my god, at my work we recently had to CRB check 160 people. A million forms of ID required from all of them, we are required to see ORIGINALS but they live all over the UK, the form is bloody difficult and gets rejected for things like, they’ve filled the form in correctly BUT they’ve ticked married and have kept their maiden name, and then you need to send it back with a little explanation. Or they’ve left a space in the middle of the postcode (normal, surely).

    Beaurocracy. Never mind that I can’t even spell it, it’s a NIGHTMARE.

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