Do NOT Smile for the Camera or else…

So it`s a little strange and shocking (apparently) to hear that someone like me is without a passport. Yes I admit that last October, I was aware that my travel rights would be limited once my 5 year term ran out. I guess I just got so caught up in the move and the changes happening around me. I didn`t go renew it before it expired. Bad.

So after it had expired I just procrastinated because you know how it gets around the holidays. Plus I got sick. None of this is an excuse and believe me, I am kicking myself now for not being more proactive.

As the year drew to a close, I began getting a little “bothered” but I didn`t know why. I guess it hit me when I found out that passport control was becoming much more stringent. For all intensive reasons, I was stuck. My wings were clipped. Even if I wanted to, I wasn`t going anywhere. This realization was enough to send me off in my car on one of the coldest nights of the year.

I showed up 3 minutes before midnight when the store was closing. I rushed up to the photo desk and pled with the guy to do my passport photo. He must have felt sorry for my state of desperation, because he just chuckled and agreed. I tried (unsuccessfully) to make myself look half decent in the tiny mirror and resigned myself to what may be the worst passport picture ever.

I plopped myself on the chair and wondered why the clerk was looking at my feet in amusement. Only then did I notice to my dismay, that in my exuberant haste, I had forgotten to put on shoes. I was still wearing my slippers which complimented nicely my fleece snowman pajamas. Whatever. I didn`t care. I was taking the first step to getting my ticket out of this deep freeze.

Several clicks later, he tried to get a decent shot that would be acceptable by both myself and the Canadian Government. We both looked expectantly at the photo that would reveal itself on the digital screen (ah technology) and groaned one after another. The standards are quite strict and there can be no smile, no shadows, must be squared and centered among other weird rules. It is quite a feat not to smile when the cameraman is clearly being entertained by your efforts.

After a few tries, we got one that was sufficient but I can assure you that I will get a few “that`s YOU?” comments. I have to tell myself that passport photos are meant to capture your most awful look possible. If you didn`t look like a dirty criminal just dragged out of dumpster then it just wouldn`t work out, see? Gotta give those border guards something to laugh about, don`t we? In any case, it can`t get worse. It`s all up hill from here!

Grateful for digital cameras. (delete delete delete)

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