Monday, July 11, 2011

Adventures In Obtaining a Passport

I had an expired passport with my maiden name on it.  It had zero stamps in it, a fact I blame on my brother... but that's another story.  With the upcoming trip to Haiti, I needed to get a new one.  I woke up one morning totally motivated to check this task off my list.  Here are the factors that contributed to my lack of motivation:

1.  It is hot.  Like 118 degrees hot.
2.  I have three Crazies who would be accompanying me.
3.  Two out of three Crazies are in carseats.
4.  This errand included two stops, in and out of the car.
5.  One stop included a trip through a security check-point.

Are you seeing why this took some initiative on my part?  I hope you will empathize.

Okay.  So I woke up early, and actually did my hair and make-up, and got dressed in something besides work out clothes.  I got all three kids fed and dressed so we could be out the door by 8:30 to beat the searing desert heat.  First stop was Walgreens to get my passport pictures taken (hence the hair and make-up).  In and out in ten minutes with no crying.  We're off to a great start!  Next stop, Superior Court building.  I find my way to the parking lot... again a success, as I'm prone to getting lost.  Everyone out of the car, Babycakes in the stroller.  We walk to the building only to be rejected by the "Employee Only Entrance, Public Entrance on South Side of the Building" sign.  I have to make a quick decision, load everyone back up (refold the stroller and strap two into carseats again), OR walk the quarter mile around to the other side.  We walk.  Determined to keep the mood light and be the optimist... I counter every complaint about heat and length of this trek with lighthearted encouragement and promises of a trip to Dunkin' Doughnuts if we can make it through with good attitudes.    That's right, I bribed them.  We make it to the opposite side of the building and make it through security.  I reopen the stroller, get my bag from the xray machine and we're off to the passport office.  Feeling pretty smug that I have remembered all the crucial paperwork, including my checkbook, the lovely receptionist gives me the necessary application.  I settle into the waiting room, filling out the paperwork while simultaneously feeding the wee one and entertaining the big ones.  I get back in line, only to get stuck behind the woman who is arguing with the same receptionist about her current felony charge and why would it be on her criminal record forever... pipes up my eldest, "Mom, what's a felony?"... "Is she a thief?"  *Loudly*  Stern mom laser beam eyes eventually get him to zip it.  Finally, felon gives up and I get to turn in my paperwork and $110.00.  Government employee tells me my face it too big.  "Excuse me?"  "Your face in the picture... it's too big.  You'll need to get new photos."  Sweet.  So that ten bucks I dropped at Walgreens with the expert passport photo taker didn't ensure me quality passport photos?  I get to take the gang back to get new ones?  Excellent.  The good news is, I can process my application without it, and send it new ones through the mail.  I open my check-book to fork over the moolah only to discover it is empty.  No new checks.  Seriously?  Government Employee actually laughs at me, in pity.  "You'll have to come back again with a check."

Take two this morning. Hair and make-up.  Back to Walgreens.  Back to the Courthouse.  This time, we had what I'll dub a "security mishap"... I go through the metal detector first carrying the babe.  I wait on the other side for Sweetpea to come through... then.... Buddy shouts through to me (standing next to the man with the badge and gun)... "Mom, what size bomb do you think will blow this place up?  Like a hand grenade?"  No joke.  Every person within shouting distance spins around to look at the kid who just dropped the "B" word while going through security.  We had to have a private talk about that one.  With a screaming baby in tow, we make it through the first stop at reception, and then settle in to wait the hour and fifteen minutes until my name is called.  Government Employee number two asks me, first thing, "Why did you come here to get your passport?"  "Ummmmm, where else should I have gone?"  "Why didn't you just mail in your application, it's just a renewal with a name change.  You could have just mailed it in."

Why lady?  I'm just a glutton for punishment, that's why.
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Amanda said...

Oh my! Sounds like you had quite the exciting trip!

Almost Precious said...

Love that you maintained your sense of humor throughout this ordeal. I would have had a total melt-down. LOL

Too bad the first lady you saw at the court house didn't catch that it was a passport renewal, would have saved you the second trip. But sometimes life refuses to be easy and I suppose these obstacles eventually gives us strength ... as they say; "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" :D

Kelly Rivera (Hageman) said...

For starters, I can totally hear your voice as you're telling this story and it actually made me laugh so hard I cried a little! I miss hearing you stories. Secondly, CONGRATS on such a beautiful family, and for taking such a huge leap of faith with Haiti! God will bless your obedience. You know that. Love and miss you girl.

Pamela said...

Oh, my goodness, I even knew part of the story, but I laughed hysterically. How bad can it get????? Well, leave it to the Crazies.... does that term include the adults?

The Momma/Nanny said...

I can SO relate to this. I only have one crazy of my own, but I am a nanny for two that belong to someone else. It takes a LOT of motivation to take on a day like this. I'm impressed!!
I had a similar day like this a while ago when I had to pay a ticket. Parked in the wrong area, walked forever in the heat, and then got rejected at security for having a cell phone. Back to car, back inside, and my wallet was in the glove box. Back to car, back inside, pay, drive home, declare group nap time. :P
Also I hope the 110' thing was a joke. I'm so, SO sorry if it wasn't. I'm such a baby at 80' that I would melt into a puddle of self-pity over anything above 100.

Welcome! said...

omg. that's all i can say. ;)

michaela said...

hey hey MICHAELA!!! thanks for the sweet blog comment. YAY for new blog friends.

ok, first your blog is a.dorable!! like full of color. so fun. fun fun. (i need a major blog face lift).

second, i'm laughing out loud at this post. seriously funny. only because we've all been there. now i'm sweating because i didn't update my name on my passport after the wedding. not that i have plans to go somewhere with sand and girlie drinks, but still...

well, nice to meet you!!


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