This afternoon we were required to complete our Carte de Sejour (residency papers to stay in France). My appointment was 1 hour before David’s, so I traveled to the office and started being processed. The first stop after reception was height & weight, the second stop was vision & blood sugar, the third stop was radiology (they were checking for TB, maybe it is just me, but shouldn’t they check this during the Visa procedure before a person enters the country and exposes people for several months), the fourth stop was to talk to a doctor without my shirt on – I automatically thought of the Jerry Seinfeld joke about having to undress at doctor’s offices and when he says, “The doctor will not talk to you unless you are not wearing clothes.”
He was evaluating my paperwork that I carried from room to room. He asked me, “Did you marry your cousin?” Very puzzled, I said, “NO!” He said, “Why is your nom (last name) the same as your husband’s?” Remembering another time I ran into this confusion with registering the boys for school here, I explained that in the United States women usually take their husband’s name and do not hyphenate with their maiden and married names, like in France. He looked at me very seriously and said, “I think you married your cousin.” He then continued with the medical exam, medical results and looking over my immunization records. David’s only question was why didn’t you have your appointment at the same time as your wife? I guess they don’t schedule cousins to have appointments at the same time.