Because I am bad at filling out W-4s (but adequate at producing babies) it turns out that the gub'ment people owe me some money this year. And I am using that money to get passports for the Gentleman Husband and myself. It's freaking me out not having one, because I'm sure I will end up missing out on some amazing last-minute adventure. (And yes, maybe I do have my life confused with the lives of TV and movie people and folks with, you know, money, but a girl can dream.) I realize it's not uncommon to be an American without a passport, and have previously defended my fellow Americans from the scoffs of the British on that very subject. But still. I want one.
Of course, once I get one I will want to go somewhere with it. That's the bit I'm still trying to sort out. But it won't matter because I will never get our passports processed and it's all Sam's Club's fault. They keep screwing up our pictures! We all went in on Saturday and took our passport photos (mine, GH's, and the two boys) because they only charge $5 per photo instead of the $15 per photo that the passport office charges. I'm trying to be thrifty. In my picture I'm trying not to smile but also thinking about international travel which makes me want to smile and so I ended up looking a bit smirky.
Today GH and I met up at the Post Office on his lunch break for our passport application appointment (which, yes, you have to make). Aaaaaaaand both of our photos were too small. Like, the girl who took our pictures didn't zoom in enough or something. So we made a new appointment for tomorrow and hauled ourselves and the kids back to Sam's Club for retakes. (Note: I had no make up on and was wearing a hat over my disgusting, matted down hair.)
GH: Yeah, but that's what most people probably look like after an international flight anyway.
Me: Tired and pissed off with crappy hair? Sounds right.
Unfortunately, the woman at the photo lab was the same one who took our initial pics on Saturday.We took the new pictures. (This time I looked like I was staring with dead eyes of hate at the camera, which, not far off.) We grabbed a not-at-all-healthy lunch at the food court while we waited for the new pics to process since that's all we now had time for. GH went back to work, and I got the new photos. The employee tried to wander off while I opened them, but I called her back over.
Me: My husband's photo still looks really small. It's barely bigger that the one from Saturday.
Her: No, it's fine. I checked it.
Me: Really? It's smaller than mine. I'm worried that they won't take it at the passport office.
Her: Well . . . I mean . . . I coooouuuuld resize it . . . if you really want . . . (translation: if you really want to be an anal cow about it) but I checked and double checked and I'm positive it's the right size.
Me: And if it's not?
Her: Then you can just come back in!
Me: Yeah, except that would mean I've been in here three times. I don't want to come in three times.
I knew she had to be sucking crack balls, so I drove straight to the post office, hoping that TDL wouldn't pee his pants, and showed the guy at the passport office the pictures. He burst out laughing and told me that not only was GH's picture way too small, but it wasn't centered and there's no way the government would accept it. Also my picture was now too big. And then I said the word of Whore and I really hope TDL didn't hear me. He says they get the worst photos from Sam's Club and Walmart (shocker). Your best bet if you don't want to pay $15 for them to do it at the office? Walgreens, who charges $12.
Ugh. So now I will call Sam's and speak to a manager and explain that they need to get their staff freaking trained if they are going to take people's money in exchange for something they claim is a passport photo. And when you don't know how to do your job the right response is not to tell the mom dragging kids around that she can just keep going back and forth between Sam's and the post office. And I want all my money back and I won't be giving them another chance to get it right because they are awful.
You know Costco would have gotten it right the first time. I'm just saying.
UPDATE: I just got a call from the woman at the passport office (the one we had our initial appointment with). I guess when she came back from her lunch break the guy there told her I'd come in. So she was calling to tell me to go to this specific store to get our photos tonight by 7pm because she knows that GH is rushed for time tomorrow and that way I can just come in by myself and get everything processed. THAT is some service! Way to be, government agency!