Monday, June 19, 2017

PO, Pay, Passports

Image result for passportsHave you tried to get a passport recently? Richard and I spent four hours in this sweltering heat doing just that. Thank goodness, I'd prepared for the disaster that we all expect when dealing with government entities: we found our birth certificates; made sure to have cash, checks, and cards; brought driver's licenses; packed lunch, water, supper and sleeping bags. 

Oh yes, I also read all the directions on the website, fill out the forms online saving them to my Google drive, and checked the hours of the post office (PO) we planned to use. Together we called the boys just in case 48 hours passed, so they could tell search dogs where to begin.

We started early. At the PO we discovered that our birth certificates are worthless. Seriously? We've had these for almost 60 years. These babies allowed us to get SSNs. Mine put me through college (twice). They married out of our parents' hair.  And encouraged divorced on several occasions. To replace such important official documents, there is only one place to go: The Courthouse. 

Now this is Louisiana where The Courthouse is important. Confederate generals may stand guard over the proceedings. (You just never really know.) George Washington, Huey "The Kingfish" Long, Edwin Edwards et al stare down from gilded frames hiding cracks in every recess of the walls.

Give the parish $1034 for papers that are different from the originals only in that most some of the information is wrong--on the new certificates. 

Go to the office supply store to make copies of the online forms because we needed paper versions. Why have the forms online, you ask? For the convenience, they answer. The real reason however is that as applicants we must raise our right hand; swear that the information is correct, bona fide, and unscrupulous; and sign under penalty of law that our children will without argument vouchsafe our identities. 

Image result for passportsBack at the PO Richard begins his "processing" while I run back to the office store and get my "papers" since we got two for Richard (lucky b-word), but none for me. Richard flirts and gets his picture taken--it's great. What can I say? He's a good-looking guy. 

I race back to the PO, fix my hair take out my ponytail, refresh my lipstick and grimace for what is possibly the worst picture I have ever taken. I never take good pictures, but really? My eyes are open, so she says, "This is the one." 

I look like I'm a prime suspect on one of those cop show that Richard watches: sweaty, red faced, wild mussy hair, no makeup. In other words, impeccable. I had just trotted (okay, slowly) four miles blocks in 200 90 degree heat. Meanwhile every speck of makeup had dripped off my face, except what I had scrubbed onto my sleeve. Disgusting, I know, but "them's the facts."

Unfortunately I don't have a mug shot; I am certain I'd have been decent in comparison.  Thus, for the 10 years I will look exactly like myself on the one official document that I must use to travel the world. In other words, I can go anywhere looking horrible while my handsome husband is turning the eye of every security guard who frisks him he runs across. I doubt I'll be frisked. 

cupcakekristie: “ i’m outta here passport case ”A passport costs $110 and the expedition fee is another $60 and the application fee is $25 and the execution fee is $25 for a total of $5261 per adult. 

Sage advice for those without passports: prepare, print and make copies all your documents. Go to at least three ATMs for unmarked bills. Then prepare to cheese it up a bit. Maybe don't go after running a full marathon on a hot day. Better yet, have your passport photo taken on your way to your next swanky party.


Denise said...

Hilarious Mary! I thoroughly enjoy your writing.

Kaja said...

Blimey, Mary! We just fill in the forms and post them off with any documents they need. Are you planning a trip? Come here!

Karen S said...

Thankfully our process is a lot easier - but , yes, the documents do have to be the right ones!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

We got everything done but nothing can be done the easy way. I tell myself that if it's a big ordeal fewer people will attempt to get them illegally. I know I'm not going to try!

Kaja, the passports are so we can jump up to Canada while on vacation in the Great Northwest. We'll go to North Dakota to visit my sister, then on to Montana and the Rockies and as many of the National Parks as we can jam into our trip. And I do wish we could pull our little camper your way!

Thanks for visiting everyone!