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Passport Hell Part I

I had a passport once long, long ago. I needed one to get to and from Germany. I was probably around 7 or 8. That passport expired around the same time I started to grow boobs and pop zits. And I never applied for a new one.

Until now. Why? Because I’m going to Canada in exactly 9 days. No, I didn’t wait until the last minute. I applied for it back in January, when we decided we would be taking this trip.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home. Although my hair isn’t the biggest problem here.

I went to the local pharmacy and paid 15 bucks for the ugliest picture anyone could possibly have taken of me. An orangutan could have done a better job with his feet.

I meticulously filled out the paperwork, checked and double checked that I had all of the correct forms, proof of citizenship, a pint of my blood and first born. I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s.

I trekked my ass down to the post office. No, not any post office. It had to be a special post office that processes passports. Luckily for me, there was one in the next town.

After forking over $110 plus a processing fee that I blocked out because what difference does it make? A passport could cost $5,000. If you need a passport, you need a passport. Does the government or world or whatever have us by the cajones or what?

Umm, what was I saying? Oh right…

After forking over some moola, and spending an exorbitant amount of time in line as well as with the man behind the counter, I felt a sense of relief rush through me. It was on its way. Done. Complete. Check. Now I just had to wait the four to six weeks it would take to come in the mail. This was on January 21st. I had plenty of time.

Or so I thought. On February 13th, I received an official looking letter from the State of Connecticut. This envelope was too small to fit a passport. Although with the way technology is these days, who knows? This envelope could contain a chip. To be planted in your ear. I could only hope. I ripped it open. Eager to find out what was inside.

“The evidence of U.S. citizenship or nationality you submitted is not acceptable…the full names of your parent(s) are not listed…”

WHAT? I made a panicked phone call to my mother. Because my mother is the all-knowing, keeper of everything go-to person (I’m not kidding either. If you want her number, let me know). “OH-MY-GOD-MOTHER-MY-PASSPORT-APPLICATION-GOT-REJECTED!!!” I screamed into her ear.

Here’s a little birth certificate lesson for all of you: Apparently there are TWO types…the long form and the short form.

My dear all-knowing mother keeps a copy of everything from the receipt of a pack of gum she bought at CVS in 1994 to…you got it, all of her children’s birth certificates.

After a quick discussion with her, we figured out that I sent the short form. But guess what? The short form DID have my parents’ names listed on it because she checked. You know, on her copy. The State of Connecticut is blind. And my mother is never wrong. Plus she can read. She is not blind.

Unimportant Note: In case you are wondering why I didn’t just send the long form, it’s because I don’t have it. It got lost in a move. Or I probably took it out of our fire-safe lock box for one reason or another and didn’t put it back. I’m betting on the latter.

Most people would have called the State of Connecticut Passport Agency and demanded an explanation. But alas! I am not most people. What did I do next? Stay tuned…this is compelling stuff here. You won’t want to miss it. Or maybe you will. You be the judge.