Access Denied

Our Passports are in need of renewing. We (and when I say we I mean my husband) have completed the laborious task of filling out the forms – six times over. We have had our photos taken.

Ah yes, the photos. We had them taken yesterday. You know how some days you look in the mirror and you think, “I’m an attractive looking person.” and then other days, not so much. Yesterday was a not so much day. Then it came photo time. Remove all jewellery and your glasses. O.K., so no earrings to help pretty me up, not a good thing. No glasses. The only times that I don’t have my glasses on are when I’m asleep for the night or swimming. I don’t even know what I look like without my glasses on – mostly because I can’t make out my reflection in the mirror. I tend to think of myself as somewhat fuzzy.

I took off my glasses and immediately noticed that I felt a little tired. This will mean only one thing in the photo, that slightly lazy eye of mine that has a mind of its own and acts up when I am tired and not wearing my glasses will not be doing me any favours. Great.

Then came the orders. Stare into the camera lens (I couldn’t even see the camera), keep your head down (you cannot make your neck look longer like Oprah showed us to do with your head down) and no smiling or showing your teeth. Hair behind your ears so that your ears can be seen – no problem I have my dad’s Buddah ears. Oh my. This is not going to be a pretty picture.

I did not look at the final result. I was too scared to.

Last night I mentioned to my husband that I didn’t have the guts to look at my picture. He responded with two words, “It’s bad.” Then he added his usual, “but your beautiful, anyhow it’s just a passport picture.” He never tells me that pictures of me are bad. This one must be BAD.

I summoned up my courage to look this morning. I looked and then I gasped. I can’t travel for the next five years. My eldest son saw what I was doing and he responded with, “I know, we all decided that your picture is the worst.” So, they discussed it. Ouch. I bet they were laughing. Then he added, “You look like a Serbian dockworker.” I gasped again because even though I’ve never seen a Serbian dockworker I just know that, that is exactly what I look like. My son responded to my gasp with “Mommy. It doesn’t look anything like you.” Too little, too late kid.

I don’t know why any official would let any of us in. We all look quite angry (except for my husband, why does he look O.K.?) and capable of overthrowing any country. I may not even be allowed on the plane, I definitely look like someone who will one day need to be escorted off of some plane somewhere.

Would it have hurt so much to allow us a little smile?

I hate passport photos. At least when I have to show my health card photo I’m sick so expectations are low.

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6 responses to “Access Denied

  1. You certainly made me smile. I often don’t like what I look like on photos but the last time I had my photo taken for my passport it was done digitally and the photographer could take another photo until I found it was ok (note that I don’t write “good”).
    By the way concerning the reason why you had your passports renewed, did you get my email?

    • Ilanadavita, It would seem that we do not have the same technology as in France, or maybe they got tired of too many women having picture after picture taken until they came up with one that was good enough.
      I’m sorry, I thought that I responded to your email. We just booked the hotel and I couldn’t be more excited!

  2. Oh how you make me laugh! You have to wonder though, if they strip away everything that makes us look like us, how can they recognize us? Also, if we go missing, is that the picture shown around the world? Don’t go missing.

    • Big, you have just horrified me with an image of THAT photo of myself flashing across the CNN screen as they conduct a world-wide search, except that the woman they’d be looking for would be wearing glasses and earrings!

  3. you made me laugh so hard shvester is going to think there is a mad woman in her attic or something like that. I’ve also had humilating experiences over my passport picture. I heard that Angelina Jolie is horrified by her passport picture too. (Ok, I just made that up, but it’s probably true).

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