Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Worst Passport Picture Ever
So I didn't need a passport to travel to Springfield, MO over Thanksgiving break, but a few times on the drive, you could have fooled me.
Instead of a Thanksgiving recap (it's coming!) I am going to talk about passports. Specifically passport pictures.
I was 16 in my first passport picture. It was taken at the AAA in Kanawha City on MaCorkle Avenue. I needed a passport to go on a two week trip to Europe with a group from high school between my junior and senior years of high school. For some reason I had a day off school and I was able to go get the picture taken. I don't really think there is much I could have done differently to get a "better picture". Little did I know that this picture would haunt me for the next 10 years.
When I got my passport picture taken I didn't think I looked that bad. And then I got my actual passport. It seems the United States was using some new technology: scanners. This new technology caused my skin to turn a different color. Why couldn't they just laminate a hard copy of the picture to the passport like they did with my friends who applied at the EXACT same time? At the time I thought my biggest concern was the fact that my skin was off colored. Boy was I wrong.
A picture is worth 1,000 words and my passport picture leaves me pretty speechless, except for a really good laugh.
I don't even know where to start. The bangs, the eyebrows, the mock turtleneck, the sweater over the mock turtleneck. wow.
I do know this. Despite my horrible picture, my old passport always provided good laughs for the people who looked at it and for me as well.
When I studied abroad our passports were often collected as a group and then passed back out to us. Whoever was passing them out would usually just look at the picture and hand it to the person. With mine, they always had to look at the name too.
When I was flying home from Amsterdam in 2007, I showed my passport to passport control. The passport agent looked at my passport and looked at me. He proceeded to do this about 5 more times. He asked some questions. I told him it was an old picture and sheepishly giggled. He stamped my passport and said to me, "You look much better now." I waited for my friend on the other side. She asked me what the passport agent and I talked about because he didn't ask her anything. I told her everything and she could hardly believe it.
We got to our gate and had to go through security. This time my friend and I went together. We handed our tickets and passports over. The agent took an extended look at my passport and told me to make sure I didn't get that haircut again. We both had a good laugh.
2009 rolled around and it was finally time to get a new passport. I guess I could have gotten a new one sooner, but I sort of liked my old one with all of its stamps and I am too cheap to get a replacement if the old one is still good. I went to another AAA. This time it was in Nashville. (Passport pictures are free for members!). I was ready for a great picture. Well, I was ready for a picture without bangs.
And they have changed the passport photo rules. You can't have an open smile. WTF.
I guess this one will have to do for the next 9 years.
Happy traveling! All this talk of passports makes me want to plan a trip!