My friend Katie told me not long ago, on the topic of moving overseas (which she has more experience than she would probably like), "Don't worry about every decision and option that you have to think about. It will work out! One way or another it will all work out. And, besides, it is the stuff that you never saw coming that'll get you."
Ne'er a truer word was spoke, as it turns out.
I never saw it coming that my passport had expired.
Not once did I say, in all my preparations for this UK-trip loaded with meetings, interviews, and life-altering decisions to make, "Gee, I better check my passport and make sure everything is OK with it." Even though I can now vividly recall using it two years ago to get into the British Virgin Islands and remarking on the fact that it was set to expire in March of 2008 and that I said to Daddy-007, "I better get it renewed when we get home so I don't forget about it!" Well, guess what, ya' DumbAss, you FORGOT ABOUT IT!
I am holding my husband minimally responsible because he has felt compelled to keep all our passports together in a safe spot in his office (and I am sure I would've looked for it when I made the reservations and then would've compulsively opened it to look at the photo of my 10-years-younger self and then would've noticed the date). I can't fault him for feeling compelled, though, since my last foray into the Land of LaLa while traveling. You see a few years ago I left to go on a spa trip with my fabulous friend, Pendalicious, and after driving the 2 and a 1/2 hours to Chicago (like I did today) and going to check-in was flabbergasted when the agent asked me for my passport. "What? Oh my Gaaaaaawd. I forgot it!" The agent was incredibly kind and I was incredibly lucky. It was when you could still travel to Mexico on a birth certificate and I just happened to have been born in Cook County (where Chicago is located). She gave me directions to the nearest city office where I could get a copy and, literally, I was back at O'Hare in less than two hours with birth certificate in hand. My plane was still attached to the jet bridge, in fact, but I couldn't board b/c you have to check in at least 1/2 and hour before an international flight. I got the next flight out, though, and ended up getting in a matter of minutes after my friend. N o big deal. Comparatively.
I was not so lucky this time.... They had room to put me on a flight the next day and I could've gone downtown to the City Center office with tickets in hand to get an expidited passport, but there was one little problem.
That the fare difference was $1700.00.
So, I could end up paying $2500.00 for my ticket over.... or insist that Daddy-007 go by himself this time and then we'd use that currently unspent $1700 on tickets for BOTH of us, PLUS hotel, to go back again in April. We won't be able to find an apartment over there before then, anyway.
OK, so there is MORE irony to be savored with all this crappitude.... I just got diagnosed with ADD yesterday. Although it seemed like a ADD (with reservations) diagnosis. I meet enough of the criteria, but barely. After today....
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present Exhibit A:
Picture a photo of a sobbing, ridiculous 36 year old woman who forgets simple things like renewing a passport every 10 years or even to check it before leaving on important overseas flights.
I am taking shelter at my sister's house in Chicago for the evening and will return home tomorrow to take care of the three kids by myself for the rest of the week. Yay me. I am so glad that I took time after leaving O'Hare despondently this afternoon to treat myself to a delicious lunch and a movie. (FYI: Escapist fun is always the right prescription for misery! And The Curious Case of Bejamin Button was REALLY GOOD.)
Thanks for all the kind thoughts about the trip on my earlier posts. I am taking one of those anti-anxiety pills now and am looking forward to a totally zonked out night's sleep. I am not looking forward to waking up to the harsh reality tomorrow, though. Sigh....