Thursday, August 4, 2011


So the Mrs. and I decided we want to get personalized license plates for our cars in Pennsylvania. Sadly, LDOS and ILVDSNY did not make the cut for our new plates. We decided to go with a classic approach (major props to Kristin for the inspiration): BNJNDA and BNJNDA2, an homage to our nickname Benjanda.

This is not our first tangle with PennDOT. For those that know how much trouble we had to go through to get my car registered in the state, Pennsylvania is extremely inefficient when it comes to its bureaucracy. We mailed our application in a few weeks ago for Amanda's car (apparently we still live in the 20th century where correspondence is delivered by hand. Heard of the internet? It's only been around for 20 or so years). It was returned to us last week, asking us "what does this mean?" That was all they asked. We had no clue what they meant, much less what "this" means. Eventually we figured out they wanted to know what BNJNDA stands for, lest we sneak some impure, derogatory phrase on to our car. Our response:

To whom it may concern:

“BNJNDA” is an abbreviated form of “Benjanda”, a portmanteau of “BENJamin and amANDA”, legally recognized as Benjamin Charles and Amanda Kristine Soltoff, joined in a union of holy matrimony in the Commonwealth of Virginia on May 21st, 2011. Prior to this marriage, we were known as Benjamin Charles Soltoff and Amanda Kristine Bell. “Benjanda” was first derived by our mutual friend (Kristin Eileen Gaul neĆ© DePalma) in the first year of our courtship, that of the twelfth grade of high school. It symbolizes the close bonds we formed in our journey towards wedded bliss. We wish to share the symbol of our bonds with the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond, to remind them that true partnership, in every sense, exists for those willing to brave the numerous challenges and pitfalls which try the patience of so many would-be spouses.

We added the 2 because it is our second car. We hope this resolves any confusion on the matter.

Respectfully submitted,

Benjamin and Amanda Soltoff

We hope they find this explanation satisfactory.


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