Friday, June 16, 2017

#adulting: How to be a Mrs.

Hello guys! I don't know about you, but I recently have many self-proclaimed experts offering lots of unnecessary advice on my Faceb...

Hello guys!

I don't know about you, but I recently have many self-proclaimed experts offering lots of unnecessary advice on my Facebook feed. Like this girl who has become an overnight nutritionist because she's beginning to embark on her diet (results tbc), this guy who dispenses financial advice because why not, and this other girl who is the relationship expert because I don't think you need any qualifications for that.

Translation: I'm a psycho who wants to marry her boyfriend but he doesn't seem to want to marry me. But I'm posting this in hopes of getting likes so that I can get affirmation that this is normal. 

Anyway, because I am married, I am now an expert at all things matrimonial. Like you know, how to get married and all that jazz. As in, the administrative and logistical stuff. I have no tips on how you stay married because I just got married, but maybe that will be something I can cover next week. By then, I would have a wealth of quality experience to share. But for now let me just talk about taking your husband's last name.
So it's not that common to take your husband's surname in Singapore. Like sure, maybe you change it on Facebook, maybe you let people call you Mrs So-and-So, but that's apparently not the definition of taking on your husband's surname.

But I didn't know that. I was very excited about the idea of having two last names. I thought I would be able to use them interchangeably. On days when I feel like a paikia I could use my Chinese name, and on days when I feel like a British spy I could use my classy angmoh name.
(Via Giphy).

So when people (read: non-Singaporeans) asked me whether I was going to take James' surname, I was very confused. Like, why are they asking me this? Is there a right answer? Can't you just call me whatever you want to call me? Why do all of them end their question with, "Not that there's anything wrong if you don't"?
(Via Romper).

So just to let you know, in the non-Singapore countries (I have not done a quantitative study, but I am quite tempted to say non-South-East Asian countries), it is very common for women to take on their husbands surname after marriage. This means, you have to consult a lawyer to draft a deed poll for submission to ICA. In layman terms, you pay a lawyer to fill in a form for you to sign, and then you give this signed document to ICA and pay to change the name on your IC to your new name.
(Via Tenor).

Which seems very straightforward. But, my Singaporean friends, by doing so, your previous identity is gone ok. Like for me, there will not be a Jacqueline Wong anymore. Which is fine. I can live without Jacqueline Wong. I can get used to my new Angmoh name. As in I will have to change all my bank records, credit cards, utility bills, insurance details and so on but I can get used to it once all the initial administrative work is done.
(Via Giphy).

BUT. What about my Chinese name? I'm currently "Wong Syn Li Jacqueline". What happens if you take out the Wong and replace it with an angmoh surname? Then what happens to my Chinese surname in my characters? Take it out? Please, my Chinese name is 黄圣丽. People might mistake me for some saintly character if I omit the 黄.
(Via Tumblr).

So you might suggest that I hyphenate my name. Hyphenating my name does not solve anything. You still need to get a deed poll, still have to go through the administrative nightmare, but the next time I fill in forms, I will need 28 characters instead of 19. (The hyphen will become a mandatory character). And seriously, with the number of lucky draws I join, I don't have any time (or space) to spare.
(Via Wifflegif).

Luckily, I have found a solution. After lots of Googling, I found that the great ICA lets you include your married name in a separate line on your NRIC. Which is what I did! It's very simple. Let me also teach you how to be a Mrs while keeping your maiden name in your NRIC.

1. Go to iC Online and select "Change my NRIC particulars".

2. Sign in with your SingPass.

3. Submit the necessary documents.

This includes a digital version of your passport photo, scanned copies of both sides of your existing NRIC, as well as a scanned copy of your marriage certificate. You know, to prove that you're married and you're not a crazy psycho stalker pretending to be married to someone.
(Photo by Smithankyou).

And like, seriously how many people have scanners these days? Not many. I used CamScanner to scan my documents! Although now I'm leaning towards PhotoScan by Google. No particular reason why apart from that my phone is a Google Pixel and I like when everything is in sync.

4. Submit payment.

It's $60, and you can pay with credit/debit/NETS. Very quick and convenient. And within the next few days, you will get a collection slip in the mail and you can use the ICA eAppointment service to book an appointment to collect your NRIC. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
(Via Giphy).

5. Collect your NRIC.

So on the day of your appointment, you turn up with all the original documents and you get called almost immediately. They verify all your documents, present you with your new NRIC, punch a hole in your old NRIC and then you're good to go. Oh and also they scan an image of your retina. It's a new thing apparently. Or an old thing that I never knew about until I happened to be in ICA collecting my NRIC.

So anyway! This was my old NRIC.
And here's my new one!
So yes I know I've aged quite a bit, but that's not the point really! The point is, I have two names on my NRIC now! Three is you include my Chinese name. I mean sure, it's a little squeezy but no one really looks at my IC now that I've stopped clubbing. And also because I like to flash my drivers licence for identification now, since I don't use it for anything else.

So tadah! This has solved all my problems of judgey people asking me whether I have taken James' name, and also saves me the trouble from changing all the cards in my wallet. And also that trip to the lawyer office. But if you're interested, I checked with my good friend Thad, and he says that you can get a deed poll for around $50.

And before I end, I want to clarify that James was fine whether I took his name or not. But you know, when people add your name onto their IC - commitment ok. I am sure he is touched. Okay and now a good song.


TGIF guys! Have a good weekend!
❤ Jac.

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