Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blog posts from the edge

This week I suffered the trauma of having to buy deodorant for my 8 1/2-year-old child. I don't think I needed deodorant until I was at least 13 or 14 -- I used it before then, but only to avoid standing out in the terrifying confines of the seventh-grade girls' locker room. But G is on a much different developmental path than the agonizingly slow one I followed, and she really needs that stick of strawberry-scented Teen Spirit. It seems like a bit of a drag to have to use deodorant before you're 9, but if the third-graders at her school are any indication, she'll have company by next year.

In other news, my struggle to get a passport continues. Now, I was not only born in the United States, but in a U.S. military hospital, on a U.S. military base, where I was delivered by a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. With those qualifications, I should be more than a citizen. I should be a Super Citizen whose picture is featured on government Web sites. Sort of like "Where's Waldo?" only it would be "Where's Vanessa?" and instead of a red-and-white stocking hat, I'd have a little American flag on a stick.

However, the aforementioned military hospital screwed up my records, and as a result, my birth certificate didn't get filed until more than three years after my birth. Well, as it turns out, if you have a delayed birth certificate, you need to present supporting documentation to prove you're a citizen when applying for a passport, and I haven't got any. When I called the National Passport Information Center, the lady on the phone ran through a whole list of documents that would be acceptable: Baptismal certificate? No. Hospital birth certificate? No. School records? No. Census records? No. High-school yearbook? No.

Finally I said "Look, my parents have been divorced since 1987, we've all moved multiple times since then, and any documents that might have existed have been lost. What can I do?" She said that a parent or older sibling could submit an affidavit stating knowledge of my birth, so now I just have to locate the affidavit form -- she thought it was available online, but it isn't -- and get it signed and notarized. All I can say is, it's a darn good thing both my parents are still alive, because I'm the eldest in my family by eight years and would be out of luck if I needed a sibling to vouch for me.

Anyway, if I ever do get this passport, I'm going to have to leave the country at least four times a year to make it worth the hassle. Anyone want to buy me a ticket to Paris? I hear they sell some lovely deodorant there.


Anonymous said...


Had to comment on the dinner menu in the previous post -boy oh boy, have I been there and done that! Reminds me of when my kids were real young - went shopping at the store and got to the petfood aisle.
They spotted some 'people treats' for dogs, and wondered if they were any good. I had them roll over and play dead in the aisle, then gave each one a biscuit. They thought they were good - the downside was my now ex-wife almost divorced me.

And the kids do occasionally chase cars, but what the heck......

Love the blog, and am sorry about your husband.

A friend in cyberspace, The Bookman

Well-heeled mom said...

I taught third grade and quite a few of the girls needed deodorant!

Pixilated Mum said...

Deodorant, eh? We'll keep it a Secret. LOL (I so could not resist. Although I probably should have. LOL)

That whole passport thing sounds like ... well, it sounds annoying as all get-out. So you basically have to prove your existence to the government? Like, did you have to do that for IRS? They took your money gladly, huh? Oy. Double oy. How convenient. Bleccch.

Did I sound like a lunatic right there? LOL

And, yes, Jude for the lost cause. I really think the duck's not going to make it, but we'll see. It's just sort of sad. know what I mean?

pgvet2 said...

I think it's a stalling tactic by the State Department. I was born in the US, I've been in the US Army, I've worked for the US Government twice, two major financial institutions, and a US Senator. After moving to California I applied for a passport and they sent me a 5 page document asking for my life history, documentation and witnesses. It's ridiculous.

I stumbled upon your blog today. I'm sorry for your loss. My sister had a very similiar experience in 2001. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless.