I Even Wore Makeup Yesterday.

I had a meeting with a new client yesterday. The meeting was in midtown near the post office at Grand Central so I ventured out early in order to get my expired passport renewed. I read up on the whole passport renewal situation prior leaving the house. People with an expired passport can use the mail-in registration form if the passport is less than 15-years-old. Mine is 13-years-old. I contemplated using the mail, I really did. Had I had the two photographic requirements, I probably would have. But I’m in the process of finally changing my last name from one derogatory term to describe a white person (Howley) to another, more refined sounding derogatory term to describe a white person (Boudreaux).

When I visited the DMV last week I was told that I needed a valid passport or a birth certificate in order to change my name and in order to get a New York State license so I can join the millions of other New Yorkers that bitch about jury duty. I can’t find my birth certificate, which leaves me with the daunting task of either dealing with the Freehold, New Jersey government, or renewing my expired passport. I opted for the latter even though I’ll have to do it all over again once I change my name. And because I like to worry these days, I decided that instead of risking the loss of my old passport at the hands of U.S. Postal Service, I’d renew it in person.

After standing in line for an hour, filling out a form (that an employee gave me after I explained why I was there), and then waiting some more, the woman behind the counter told me, “Can’t use this form. Hafta use the mail.”

“What do you mean? It says if the passport is less than 15-years-old I can use the mail. It doesn’t say anywhere here or online that I have to use the mail.”

“Well, ya hafta.” She looked at me and shrugged.

I read in a book recently that if a pregnant woman is stressed out a hormone called “catecholamine” can cross the placenta and go directly into her unborn baby. The book also mentions not to smoke, drink alcohol, smoke crack, or inject heroin. It even tells you not to do sit-ups. But the book fails to mention that pregnant women should avoid the post office (or any other government agency for that matter). But it should.

“I just want to get this over with. What do you recommend that I do at this point?”

“If you’re worried about losing your old passport, fill this out, write a check for 67.00, get back in that line, and send it certified.”

“I have to stand in line again?”

The man who originally gave me the wrong form walked up and touched my shoulder. “Ma’am, if you fill that out, I can show you how to use the automated system. You don’t have to stand in line again.”

“OK. Can I at least get my passport photos?”

“Where are they?” Said the woman behind the counter. “I don’t see them.”

“Your coworker said they would be on the ledge.”

She turned around and without getting up from her chair, slid it over to a counter behind her. She picked up my photos, looked down at the pictures, back up at me and with a great big, friendly smile she said, “At least you look great in your photo! Look at you!” She pointed at it. “You look like a little boy!”

A boy? I scanned her face for some sort of understanding. Why had she said this to me? Was she being sarcastic? Rude? Hostile? Was this her way of seeking revenge? After all, I was the one who stood in line for over an hour only to be told that I hadn’t needed to. Was she being serious? After looking into her eyes, I realized that she was being earnest and not at all hostile. That this was her way of paying me – a pregnant woman of five and a half months – a compliment.


  1. nervous and small March 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm


    My thoughts exactly….but then I remembered that they’re [hopefully] being shipped to the engines of passport manufacturing [oh wait…do we know that or not?…].

    Anyway…still a great tale……u rool mihow!


  2. Mommy on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown March 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I ran into a former boss when I was 6 months pregnant. I told him my exciting news – “I’m having a baby!” He was not a mean person so I know he was just trying to be funny. But he replied “Oh good. I didn’t know if you were pregnant or had really let yourself go.” I gained sixty pounds during my pregnancy so actually I was pregnant AND I had let myself go. People will say weird things to you when you are pregnant and they usually are trying to be nice. Perhaps people should just smile at pregnant women.

    I’m so happy to hear you and Toby are having a boy. I have this cute sling that I wasn’t able to use (largely because I had a huge baby and I gained 60 pounds) but if you want it, I’ll have Melissa & Rob pass it along. It is blue and brown and really cute. Cheers!


  3. We are so low on cash funds these days we’ll take anything people want to hand-us-down. :] Anything. I will even take used diapers, ring ‘em out, GOOD to go!


  4. And, oh my goodness, 60 pounds?! Rachel, a friend of ours, told us she gained 47 and that blew my mind. I am having trouble walking up the stairs with an extra 15 right now, add in some groceries and I pant like an obese yellow lab. Things are just gonna get worse, too. For example, today I noticed that I can no longer safely put on my socks.


  5. I put on 75 with Simone. Of course, two months in bed didn’t help. One girlfriend of mine put on 100. She looked like she swallowed the Michelan man. She lost it all in a year though. I think her diet consisted of Diet Cokes and cigarettes though so I don’t recommend that.

    Also, that is a fantastic sling. I will make sure I get it to send to you!


  6. y’all are making me realize that there’s hope to one day losing all this weight. I lied when I said 15 pounds. Truth be told, I refuse to get on the scale. I stopped doing so about three weeks ago. Granted, I am not given much of a choice at the doctor’s. That happens in early April. I’m sure I’ll faint.

    I could do the diet coke, but the cigarettes? Maybe not. However, my friend Aaron sent me this picture Those were the days!


  7. Yeah, cigarettes do work wonders. Nothing like chemo for weight loss!


  8. You know what sucks? The fact that my google ads right now read something about getting a new birth certificate in no time flat. And Tobyjoe just informed me that it’s part of the google adsense terms of service that I not click on any of my own links. How badly does it suck if I want to use my own google ads and can’t do so?

    How frustrating.

    Now, back to bashing smokers and how much weight we’re gaining…


  9. Mommy on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown March 23, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    60 pounds. I don’t own a scale and wouldn’t suggest buying one. They weighed me at the hospital before giving birth – 192! I weighed more than my husband! I ate three big meals and snacked all afternoon. Chocolate makes you have a sweet baby ;) I’m back to normal weight although my belly button still looks kinda weird. Going up and down stairs will burn it all off.

    We’ll look around and see if we have some fun stuff to send your way. You know – I think we have an extra copy of Good Night Moon. You know the old copies before they photoshopped the cigarette out of the photo of the illustrator.


  10. Remember: Muscle weighs more than fat. And I imagine all pregnant women are developing some serious baby-carrying muscles.

    Also, I can’t believe the post office. I suppose I should feel better that they won’t cut pregnant women slack, but if I saw this BS, I would have started a riot. Do they do this to the little old ladies and men too?

    And scales suck. Just be healthy and happy


  11. here you go:
    and hey, did you guys register anywhere yet? i want to buy presents!


  12. We have one started at Amazon. Then we stopped because we were going to try Baby Center. But their registry is dead for now. So, we should have our Amazon registry up and running within the next couple of days. It’s just so hard knowing what we’ll need! :]


  13. can’t you get a passport amended if you change your name? i’m not sure, but i thought i read that.


  14. yeah, once I get my name changed and my license with the new passport, I can send in the old passport, a copy of my marriage license (at least I hope it’s a copy) and they will send me a new passport. Or so I read. I think.

    tien, for some reason, akizmet marked you as spam at first. It should be fixed yet. You aren’t spam now are you? :]


  15. Clearly this woman didn’t notice your freshly waxed eyebrows.


  16. perhaps it’s the commenting from around the world thing?


  17. Missy: Damn right! Hadn’t even thought about my AWESOME eyebrows!

    Tien: bet you’re right.


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