Passport Perspectives

I’m going on vacation, and I need a valid passport.

Mine is not only expired, I can’t find it.  I’ve looked everywhere and it’s not to be found.

So I realize I have to get it replaced.  Looking on the website, I see that it’s going to cost $110 just for the renewal.  No problem.  I mean, that’s not too bad.

However, since my trip is less than 30 days, which means I need to expedite the process, and pay an additional $60 fee.  Suddenly, this isn’t looking so good, financially.  .

In fact, when the price tag started going up, my interest in doing this and spending the additional money started to recede.

Mind you, I realize this is not a proper strategy, considering the Passport will not mystically renew itself, nor will the price suddenly drop if I time it just right.  At some point i am going to have to do this or cancel my vacation (which clearly isn’t going to happen.  I mean, I’m going to choose to loose out on a $2000 trip just so I can save $170?  Even my own Saboteur says that’s ridiculous.)

But let’s look at this.  I begin to have reservations at spending $170.  “It’s ridiculous,” I say.  I’m spending nearly $200 additional dollars just so I can leave on this trip that I’m already spending several thousand on.”  (Notice, the default is now that I’ve got thousands of dollars at stake, and I’m already paying a tab over $200 in my mind for this passport.)

I start forgetting to make an appointment.  I start thinknig perhaps if I manage to find it I will not have to deal with this rediculous fee, but in my increasing threat and impending doom, I keep forgetting to look for where else my passport might be.

All because of that extra $60 fee.

If only I didn’t have to pay that extra $60, I would think to myself.  If only I had just renewed by mail a few months ago when my wife suggested I do that.  If only this, if only that.  But now I’m screwed here and I have to suffer the indignity of having to spend an additional $60 because I couldn’t get my butt in gear.  (By the way, any of this sound familiar?  Perhaps the situation is different, but that pattern of resistance then regret?  Man, is it consuming.  And quite tiring.)

Ok.  So here’s where the fun happens.  I contact the passport center to swallow my pride and make an appointment to rush this process.  While on the phone, the lovely lady reminds me of all the documents I need to bring.

Drivers lisence.  CHECK.

Filled out forms CHECK

Proof of U.S. Citizenship… what?  You know, like a passport?  I don’t have a passport that’s what I’m doing this ridiculous thing int eh first place (If you haven’t guessed by now, this whole thing is rather rediculous.)  Or maybe a birth certificate?  No, that would be where my Passport is, and I can’t find it.

“No problem” she calmly assures me.  “When you come in, we can do a file search and locate your birth records for you.  There will be an additional $150 charge for that.  Plus, there’s an extra rush charge to get the new certificates.”

“WAIT A MINUTE!!! Are you telling me that I now have to spend over $350 for this thing?”

“Yes, sir.   I’m sorry.  But those are the fees.”

Great.  So what was once a simple $110 has now more than tripled.  And I hang up the phone submerged in even more frustration, blame, anxiety, self-anger, embarrassment and just plain stubborn 10-year-old.

And then… I find the passport.  There it was, in all its glory.  Saved!!!

I quickly open it, hoping that it’s still valid so that I will not have to face this indignity… I’m sorry, rediculous indignity of having to spend over $350.

Sadly, it has expired.  I still have to go in and get it renewed.

But, look at this?  I just saved myself $150 because I have the original.  And that extra processing fee.

I am suddenly beaming with joy.  “Wow.  This is only going to cost me about $170.  that’s great.  I’ll gladly pay that.  That’s nothing.

 

Isn’t it interesting how our perspectives can change so quickly.  And that which was a ridiculous indignity suddenly becomes a wonderful thing.

(Oh yes, and the process was crazy easy, even a pleasure and I’m all ready to go.)

 

Not only that, but