Dear Homeland Security: People with different last names CAN be related

Posted on
Feb 2, 2010
Posted in: Rants and Raves

Maiden name: Lotsa

Dear Dept. of Homeland Security;

First off, allow me to congratulate you on the reactionary and absurd measures you’ve taken to keep us “safe”. Kudos on that. Also, the continuing ability of your workers to single out female travelers and drive them to tears is nothing short of amazing. Of course, I can only speak of my own experiences (and stories heard from friends), but nevertheless, good job on that.

However, there is an issue that I feel I need to bring up with you. We seem to keep having a nasty little run in every time I want to come into the United States. Because, for some reason, your employees don’t want to acknowledge the validity of my marriage to my lovely husband, simply because I decided not to take the last name “Fishkin.” Yeah. Call me crazy for passing that one up.

The whole situation has become a bit bothersome.

Every time we return to the states from another country, my husband and I fill out those little customs cards. You know, the ones that ask if we’ve been to a farm or if we’re carrying butterfly pupae up our anuses or whatever? We do so, diligently, and each time we trip up when we see the line, “only one form per household.”

Because, see, we tend to think that when you say, “one form per household,” you mean that one form is required per household. You can understand our confusion.

The first time we had any problems was before we were married. We asked the flight attendants on the plane if we needed two forms, explaining that we lived together and had different last names. They told us we needed just one form, but out of paranoia, I filled out another. When we went through passport control, the gentleman there kindly told us we didn’t need two forms – so he only initialed Rand’s, and let us through.

We then went to get our bags, and went to the final checkpoint, where the TSA-hole looked at our passports, and Rand’s initialed form.

“Where’s yours?” he asked.

“Oh, I was told that since we’re in the same household, we just needed one.”

“No. Where’s yours?”

“I don’t have one – I was told – ”

“Ma’am, I DON’T CARE what you were told, unless you have your own form, you aren’t going anywhere.”

Nice. So he sent me back up the stairs, where they first told me I didn’t need my own form. And then, when I asked them to sign my form, they said again, “But it’s only one per household.”


Err … sorry. The point is, I was actually able to point down to the guy who wouldn’t let me in, and said, “It might be one form per household, but that guy won’t let me into the country unless you sign this.”

They did, begrudgingly. Since then, we’ve gotten hitched, but I haven’t changed my name. Some TSA agents understand this, and let us through (I suspect they would have let us consider ourselves one household even if we weren’t hitched). Others demand that we each have our own form, even though we have the exact same address on each. They look at our different names, and have even advised me to change mine.

Wow. Thanks, TSA. Because your employees are too moronic to tell that PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT LAST NAMES ARE RELATED, I should change my name? Sure. That seems fair.

Another TSA-hole told Rand that since his first name is technically the letter “S” (long, long story), he should change it, as it made his passport look suspicious.

Again, I must ask, are you fucking kidding me, TSA? Because apparently you are fine with some lunatic smuggling a bomb in his nutsack, but your brains start to fart when two married people have different last names? Or someone has an initial that doesn’t stand for anything? Congrats. By those standards you’d have detained Maria Shriver and Harry S. Truman.

Not that you morons know who those people are or were.


The Everywhereist



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