Well, it's official.
Leave it to me to have to keep up with the Garcías and los Fernández.
I am proud to announce I now contar con not one last name, no, not one measly anglosaxonized Irish surname but a full fledged double-appellido Spanish moniker.
At least in the depths of the Spanish Social Security administration's data system, that is.
I owe thanks to the shockingly persistent staff of the Social Security office in Salamanca, who spent much of Tuesday morning attempting to give me online access to the administration's web system. I urgently needed a document for my residency renewal, and getting web access to print any report I'd like any old bureaocratic day of the week seemed the best solution.
Until we asked the system to grant me digital permission to access data.
The problem showed its face quietly at first.
I began to pick up barely audible rumblings from the far side of the desk.
Pero sólo tiene un appellido.
But she only has one last name.
The rumblings soon grew in urgency and volume.
¡Pero ES que sólo TIENE uno! ¡Bueno!
The database that so cooperatively registers the euros it extracts from my bank account every month flatly refused to recognize a social security participant with one last name. It folded its arms and stuck its tongue out at us. Two last names or the database wasn't playing.
Of course I couldn't be the first extranjero with one surname. But the system had decided I was. What were we to do?
My now fully committed funcionaria quickly typed "no consta" in the field for the second surname, which would have christened me "Erin Corcoran NotApplicable", more or less. I could live with that.
I suggested we simply grant me the surname of our choice, leaving
a small clue to its questionable origins.
My suggestion? "Erin Corcoran Ninguno".
The funcionaria then offered me García, far more elegant, until we remembered that the social security payments the system tracked for Erin Corcoran García wouldn't be mine. Which was the point, after all.
After a call to another office for help, we entered the symbol stage.
And after noble attempts with X's and dashes and a brief dalliance with the asterisk, a new social security paying Spanish resident was born.
Erin Corcoran ~~~
But you can call me Señora Corcoran TresGuiones.