Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bubble and Froth...

It was time to renew my passport--and where did that 10 years go??--so I send in the paperwork and the money earlier in the month, along with a note advising the passport folks that the old one must be returned to me because it has all my UK documentation glued inside (See pages 9, 13, 23, etc.).  I can't lose my permanent residency permit, nor do I want to lose all the stamps from my travels.

Yesterday, I get my little Priority Mail envelope.  And what do you suppose?

Oh, I got my shiny new passport all right.  But that's all I got.  There was nothing else in the envelope.  (And here's a funny, human thing:  Clearly there is nothing else in that envelope, and yet I looked inside several times, even sticking my hand in--apparently in case my old passport had become invisible).  Bottom line: no passport, no permits, no documents glued to See pages 9, 13, 23, etc.

It's somewhere around 7:30 in the evening.  I didn't walk to the mailbox until it had marginally cooled down, though the humidity was still very high and the poor dogs were panting before we'd barely made it out of the driveway.  My point being, it was too late to call the frigging Department of State.

Which leaves me with hours--many hours--to stew.  I don't like stewing.  I have a vivid imagination.  My brain cooks in all those thick, negative juices, bubbling and frothing with worse-case scenarios.  I haven't as yet decided what I'm going to do--in terms of returning to Scotland, or finding my place here in America--but having the option, the choice, suddenly in jeopardy??  Yikes.  Talk about boiling cauldrons...

Enhance the calm, woman

Eventually I talk myself into settling down, getting a grip.  Even if I've lost my passport with all my permits, I still have the other paperwork: letters from the British government, original documents, proof.  It's all in a big folder, not conveniently located in my handy little carry-it-with-me passport, but still.  I do have what I need. 

First thing this morning, I call the DoS, expecting to be on hold for hours, assuming I can even connect to a real person.  This is the government after all.  Which just goes to show what I know.  I get through straightaway, get a very nice guy to help me, and find out that they mail the old passport separately from the new; I should be receiving the second envelope within the next few weeks.

Total relief.  I felt almost lightheaded, having options again.  Regardless of what I decide to do in the end--and I could very well stay in the States--I wanted the freedom to make that choice.

And now I have it.  Though I could have done without the bubbling and the frothing...

N.B.  Just returned from the mailbox this evening.  My old passport has arrived.  Go figure.


  1. Glad to hear there was a happy ending! You were taking a huge risk sending anything to the government and expecting it to be returned.

    1. The problem is I don't live anywhere near a passport office. It's either Seattle or San Francisco from here.

      I just love those fraught moments. Not.