Sunday, January 21, 2007

I dreamed I voted

Last night I dreamed that I was going to vote for the first time. I was very excited. The polling station was at a school--I think it was the school where The Boy's mom teaches, lots of peach-colored concrete--and I was almost at the front of the line when I realized: oh, no! I haven't registered to vote yet!

Which is true, because I haven't.

After my citizenship ceremony, the first person to talk to me when I walked out of the building was a woman who offered me a voter registration application. Which I accepted with enthusiasm. But it's still sitting on the kitchen counter, incomplete.

I shall fill it out (fill it in? Which is the American way??) as soon as I'm done here.

I did succeed in applying for a passport this week, Post Office ineptitude notwithstanding. When I went into the PO in the morning, the old dude behind the counter explained in excruciating detail what I needed to provide as part of the application. It included two photographs (passport-sized, natch). Could I have those taken at the PO, I asked. No, he said, you have to go elsewhere.

So at lunchtime, I went over to the UPS store on Newbury Street and paid $15 for two photographs that (gasp!) actually make me look my age. Scary.

I mean, I always have some kind of problem with any photos of myself, because I look stupid or goofy or awkward, or else I have my eyes closed. But these shots actually made me look as old as I am.

On the bright side, ten years from now they'll remind me of how young I used to be.

Photos in hand, I trotted back to the PO and handed over my application. The same old dude behind the counter charged me a delivery fee, and then directed me to another window. Where I discovered that I could have had my photos taken at the PO. And that the old dude had charged me an extra $15 for photos anyway.

Eventually it all got sorted out, and they gave me back the $15, and I had the process expedited (that'll be another $50, please) so I'll have my passport in two weeks. Usually it takes six to eight weeks, but as we're going to England in March, I figured it would be better to have everything safely taken care of. Otherwise, knowing my luck, it would turn up the day after I'm supposed to leave.

The other scary thing is that they took my certificate of naturalization. They claim I'll get it back. I certainly hope so; it's my only proof of citizenship, and I'll be damned if I'm getting myself tangled up in any more red tape in the pursuit of a quiet American life.


Blogger Laura said...

you fill in the blanks, you fill out the form.

go figure.

9:58 AM  

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