i received my new passport today. it came complete with a really terrible photograph of me. i had a nightmare last night that any number of foreign countries would either not let me in or out of their homelands. i dreamed that they took one look at passport judi and said things like, "sorry madam. that couldn't possibly be you - you are much younger or thinner or better looking than that. we have to deny you entry or exit or take you directly to prison never to be heard from again". the husband of course thinks i am crazy. he said he didn't even think the photo was that bad. that was a really wrong thing for him to say.
it is not just that i hate the photo in my new passport - it's that i hate everything about my new passport. first of all, it is embedded with an electronic chip which apparently has stored in it all my pertinent information. because of the electronic component, you can not bend or fold it and god forbid you should get it wet. i don't want a passport that is so high maintenance. this new passport has pages and pages of rules and quotes by martin luther king, teddy roosevelt and john f. kennedy. there are photos of mt. rushmore, the liberty bell and the statue of liberty. then there are three pages of scary rules and warnings and one section where you are supposed to fill out, in pencil, your home address and your address in any foreign country you happen to be. each time you change hotels or locations you are supposed to erase the previous address and fill in a new one. i am thinking that the people who thought up this feature have never traveled with a jewish prince who happens to change hotels on a whim. i am barely able to keep a travel diary much less spend my days writing and erasing in my electronic passport. i don't want to have to add a number two pencil to my travel essentials.
the last thing i hate about my new passport is that this may very well be my last. at my age, every time i buy something that is purported to last ten to fifteen years i get very nervous. if you have read previous blogs, you would know that i refuse to buy a new, badly needed mattress for that very same reason. i don't want my next mattress to be my last. i am only hoping that if i never buy a new mattress i will live forever. my new passport is good for ten years. i don't want this to be my last passport. i have a terrible fear that when i get to heaven god will scan my electronic chip, take one look at my photo, and not let me in on the grounds that i don't look a thing like that woman.