Pre Work: Passports and Patience

14 May, 2011

I spent 3 hours at the Glendale Post Office today completing the paperwork for Tate and Drew’s passports.  They don’t make appointments – you just show up and stand in line.  Seemed simple enough.

Because Tate is under 16, her Dad, John had to be there to show ID and sign the paperwork for her.  Fortunately it is always pleasant to hang out with John – never uncomfortable or stressful.  We all met up there in the lobby of the Post Office at 10 am.  Even with no more than 4 – 5 people ahead of us it still took us over an hour to get our turn.

Me, always being over prepared, had made copies of everything before heading over and asked John to bring copies of his driver’s license too.  When we finally made it to the counter I was certain we would be fast.   All our paperwork was completely filled out, we had copies and originals of driver’s licenses, social security cards, and birth certificates.   And it was quick, but because John had left his driver’s license in the printer/copier at home when he made his copy (that we didn’t even need! – my fault!) we could only complete Drew’s application.

We had a good laugh, a bit frustrated, but John was a good sport.  He ran home to get his driver’s license and the kids and I got back in line to wait again.  By this time it was well after 11 and we were all more than disappointed that we had to hang out for another hour or more.

Drew, the ever eager driver, offered to drive to McDonald’s to get everyone lunch.  So armed with my credit card he took off, meanwhile Tate tried to reach her Dad to find out what he wanted for lunch.  Fifteen minutes of text messages and phone calls, and we still didn’t get the timing right to get John’s order before Drew was in the drive-thru.  We just ordered what Tate thought was the right thing.  John and Drew arrived back about the same time.

The Glendale Post Office is a historic landmark, constructed during the Great Depression, in Italian Renaissance style with marble, tile, bronze, and ornamental plaster work.  It is a beautiful building and standing in line I discovered stairways and doors that I had not seen the 50 or 60 other times I had been in the Post Office to mail packages or buy stamps.  If you want to see the building, there’s a great video here.

Lunch, talking to our fellow line members and trying to keep some bozo from cutting in line in front of us kept us entertained and made the next hour of waiting go by faster than the first.   This time our turn at the counter was quick and painless, except for the $242 for the two passports and shipping (ouch!).

Finally finished we left relieved!  Tate left with John to go see a movie on a lovely Saturday afternoon.  Drew and I went to see our own movie.  It was a movie or a nap…standing in line at the Post Office can really wear you out.

Passports are on their way!


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