May 30, 2015

Have I Been 'Living In Sin' For 17 Years?

Have I been living in sin for 17 years? SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

When I received notification that my ancient red and white health card was going to expire and I would forfeit my rights to free Ontario health coverage if I didn't re-register for a new 'fancy pants' version, I gathered up the required three forms of identification and left for work just a wee bit early so I'd have time to slip through the glass door of Saunder's Men's Wear.

It must be as old as the town itself - this shop with it's heavy door and jingling bell and rows of suit jackets and shoe polish - and in a corner with a little counter is where us small town folk go to do government business...from license photographs to new health cards.

I plopped my paperwork down along with my birth certificate, my drivers license, and my passport.  The trouble is, my health card - because it's the old version - still has my maiden name AND SO, unless I can prove my legal name change I CANNOT GET A NEW HEALTH CARD and, without a new health card I DO NOT HAVE OHIP COVERAGE.

"You need to bring in your marriage certificate," she told me.

Two days later, having found my marriage certificate from the archives that is our already many years together, I went back in with determination that I could take care of business.


"This isn't a marriage certificate."

I pointed to the top where it says, 'Certificate of Marriage'.

"This isn't a marriage certificate," she said again, turning to a little poster on the wall with a picture of a golden card that looked like a birth certificate.  "You need that."

I tried to argue.  "I've never had that.  Why would they let me change all my other information?  Isn't my license an official document?  My tax returns?"  What I really wanted to say was: please, please, please don't make me have to come back here for a third time to try and make this happen!

She was apologetic and kind and I sighed and repeated over and over in my own head, 'patience & grace, patience & grace'.  "It's not your fault," I told her, gathering my things again after she gave instruction as to how I would go about obtaining a legal marriage certificate.

And so I left - no closer to regaining my free health care.

And then I thought: what if I'm not actually married at all??!!??

Which, of course, is ridiculous BUT WHAT IF??!!  How great of a story would that be!?



So I've paid the fee and sent my request for a certificate.  Which won't get here for fifteen days.  Which means I'd better not get sick, or fall down a well, or stub my toe for at least a month until I find myself protected beneath that beautiful blanket of free health care (that they so ruthlessly snatched back).

And if, in some strange twist of affairs, it turns out we're not actually married {we were the first marriage ever performed by our officiant so it's not out of the question to think, perhaps, he forgot to send away the papers...} we shall elope to Vegas, honeymoon in New Orleans, and then run away to Europe for a year while the shame of our sin-living dims to a distant memory in the beautiful shadow of a Roman Coliseum.


June is GIVEAWAY month here at SelfBinding Retrospect.  You'll be challenged to take some time for yourself, share the ways you unplug and recharge, and enter for your chance to win a cute little gift pack I've put together with some of my own favorite 'Stolen Moments' tools.  I will start taking entries on June 1.  Check out the giveaway page if you want to know more!

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  1. AnonymousMay 30, 2015

    Well, that is interesting.....we do not have a card either! Always thought that piece of paper was all we needed.

    1. It was always good enough for me! Not for the government though, apparently :(

  2. I've never heard of needing anything else either and our Certificate of Marriage was always good enough for name changes too. Hmmm, wonder when this came into use. DON'T get sick or hurt anytime soon!

    1. Ironically, I cut my thumb pretty deeply within hours of writing this post - thankfully it stopped bleeding but gee whiz! ;)

  3. Likely aren't legally married since they changed the legal definition around 2005 :)

  4. StephanieJune 02, 2015


  5. I've wondered the same thing in the past. is this little paper really legal???

  6. really? i guess we are in the same boat... we have no gold type card.. jsut what we signed at the church the day we got married.. hmmm how many other ppl know this?? i was able to change my drivers licence and health card with it.. even get the new fancy health card with that certificate.. hmm does that mean I'm not really married too hmmm

    1. the rules must have changed because when I did my license back when we first got married it was no problem - now they won't even recognize it (I think it's just one more way they can squeeze a little money of us)

    2. It's called a revenue tool now.

    3. Whatever happened to plain old fashioned romance? ;)

    4. That train has sailed

  7. Good luck with all that! Keep us posted!

  8. I don't have a gold card either, just that little paper thingy.

  9. Who has those little pieces of paper anymore?


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