Monday, April 1, 2013
I AM A MAN!
April 1, 2013
Pastorgraphs: “An April Fool’s Joke…On Me”
Sometimes these weekly musings are serious, sometimes not. Today’s is not. I’m a bit late getting this out because Anita and I just returned from our appointment at the Social Security Administration (SSA). We both become eligible for Medicare within a couple months, and learned there are penalties if we don’t register for Medicare in a timely fashion. Since our upcoming birthdays are one month apart and we are both within the three month window SSA provides, we decided to file at the same time.
Anita went first. Things went fairly smoothly for her at first, except that she had to definitively prove she IS a US Citizen (something the government, including the Department of Defense for which she worked for 45 years never questioned). You see, because her father was a Navy aviator stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she was born on “US soil” (military base), but not in the 50 states. It took some doing, but the SSA now accepts that she is a “foreign born” US Citizen, and eligible for Medicare.
Mine was a whole different story. I applied for Medicare online, and since I was born in the good old US of A, counted on getting approved without much fanfare. You cannot imagine the shock when SSA called and asked that I come in with my certified birth certificate. When asked if there was a problem, the nice lady said when I requested a replacement Social Security card back in 1988, someone at SSA entered that I was (are you ready for this?) a FEMALE!
[Pause –waiting for the laughter to die down. Please laugh. I did too, and still am.]
That’s right, for the past quarter century the SSA has been accepting my Social Security and Medicare contributions from a FEMALE with the unusual name of William L. Jenkins, Jr. I mean, it’s not Willamena, or Billie Sue. And shouldn’t the Jr. at the end been a hint?
I had been warned of the life changes associated with aging, but this one was not expecting. Talk about your big-time identify crisis!
This could have been serious. How do you get the Federal government to admit a mistake, and even then, will they be able to correct it in their database? What if they insist they cannot change their records? Was this going to be some horrendous ordeal? And how do you go about proving your gender to the Federal government, other than…well I’m not going there.
So I called home and prepared my sister Linda that she might have another sister instead of two living brothers. And what about my marriage? Did Florida have a same-sex marriage law in 1993 when Anita and I got married in Pensacola?
Good news: By providing a certified copy of my birth certificate, the SSA is going to update their records and switch me back to being MALE. My manhood has been restored.
I should have listened to my own Easter sermon, not worrying about how this stone was going to get rolled away.
And speaking of the Easter service, it was excellent. The Sanctuary was full, the music excellent. Thank you, Pastor Donald Owens, for inviting me to preach. It reminded me of the wonderful combined congregation services we had a few years ago, only this one was the best yet! And thank you Jeannetta Kramer for sharing the photo she took of me back in the pulpit again.
I’m happy to be a MAN again. (That’s how I roll.) Hope all this starts your week off with a chuckle. Laughter is good for the soul.
From the Quote Garden:
“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”
~ Grandma Moses ~
Christ United Methodist Ministry Center
“Christ in the Heart of San Diego”
3295 Meade Avenue - San Diego, CA 92116 - (619) 284-9205