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Story Time: Documents and dimples

Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 12:04 pm

By Lorry Myers

Many years ago, my boss convinced me to request a report of earnings from the Social Security Administration. I was supposed to review that information for errors that would be much easier to fix sooner rather than later. The federal government request form was simple: name, address, social security number, and birthdate.

Facts I knew by heart.

Two weeks later, a representative from the federal government called informing me there was false information on the form I’d filled out and the government did not take things like that lightly. Apparently, I’d written the wrong birthdate on the social security request form. Puzzled, I asked the caller to read the date I’d written and it was correct.

That was the day I was born. But not according to the federal government.

My social security number matched my name, but the birth date was not a match at all. When I protested, I was sternly advised to check my birth certificate because obviously the day I was born was not really the day I was born.

Really? It had been a while since I’d needed my birth certificate and when I finally got my hands on it, there it was in black and white. Why had no one never noticed before?

Apparently, my official birthdate wasn’t my birthdate at all. How could that be?

I immediately drove to my mom’s house to see what she remembered. My mother told a sweet story about how I arrived with dimples, which all the nurses adored! She seemed to have her facts in order, right down to the time of my birth and my birth weight. When I dramatically handed her my official birth certificate, my mother’s eyes grew wide and she looked at me like she was seeing me for the first time. Not one piece of information she remembered about my birth matched what was recorded on my birth certificate.

“Mom!” I cried, suddenly feeling ill. “Did you take home the wrong baby? Maybe I am someone else. Maybe I am not who I think I am?”

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.