Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Vanity Diaries, Passport Photo Edition

The Walgreen's clerk peered at me around her camera as I sat in a chair in front of a white screen.  "You can smile, but you can't show your teeth," she said.

What?  The horror!  Except for a few models, most of us don't look good with a "neutral facial expression," as they say on the state department website.  (What is a neutral expression anyway?) My new passport photo was going to look like a mug shot.  I sulked vainly (and in vain), and slunk out with two photos of me wearing something suspiciously similar to a smirk on my face.

I love my old passport photo.  I was getting ready to go to Nepal when it was taken, and I was smiling, wearing a necklace that was supposed to protect Sherpas from avalanches.  I tried to take my own this time, but gave up after fruitlessly trying to edit it to the correct dimensions. Even the apps failed me, either rejecting the photo or appearing sketchy.  Walgreen's it was, although $13 for two tiny pictures (that you don't even like) seemed kind of ridiculous.

My old passport has stamps from places like Argentina, Chile, and Iceland, and a commemorative one from an outpost in Antarctica.  In my picture, I look so much younger, although I thought I was old then.  I lived in a different state, had a different job, and was in a long-ago relationship.  As I nervously put my old passport in the mail (I hate to be away from it, because what if a great trip materializes while it's gone?), I wonder what the next ten years of travel will be like.  Where will I go? Who will I meet? (Seriously, where should I go? I'm thinking about Norway, or maybe back to Iceland, to start).

I guess it could be worse.  I just saw the real mug shot of someone I used to work with, who is probably going to go away for awhile.  Compared to that, I'll take my freedom smirk.  It means I can go pretty much anywhere I want, when I want to.  As soon as I figure out where.




18 comments:

  1. I just renewed my driver's license and had to get a new photo taken. I really liked my old photo and really wished I could've just used it for another 7 years....but no. Now I'm stuck with an ugly mug shot (and darn, it I look older too!)

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    1. A good driver's license photo is so rare! Mine is just OK, but better than the one on my ID for work. I look mad in that one!

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  2. Hee, hee. Glad you will be renewed for another 10 years, favorite photo or no. Looked at our passports the other day and was dismayed to see that they expired last year....I thought we had another year. A current passport in your pocket, though, that's a magic carpet to adventure!

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    1. Mine doesn't expire till December, but now a lot of countries require 6 months left on them to travel.

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    2. Yep, we had to get ours renewed last year because of the 6-month requirement.

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  3. Norway has always look intriguing to me, with all those fjords and small villages and mountains. But Iceland....and New Zealand again....and Fiji...and....

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    1. Or Spain, or Scotland again, or Chile again

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  4. Passport photos are more awesome if you go as a group... my module went in (also to a Walgreen's) for the pictures for our official "government" passports a while back, and it was pretty fun comparing bad pictures. None were spared, haha!

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  5. Freedom smirk has me laughing! I still haven't gotten a passport. I was waiting to lose weight to get mine, and then I lost weight, but it just seemed so daunting to get that I froze. And now I feel like I need one more than ever with our weird political climate. Freedom smirk, here I come!

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    1. Get one! It's good to have the option!

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  6. Be thankful you had at least ten years of awesome passport picture! :-). Can't wait to hear where that passport takes you in the future!!!

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    1. I'm trying to decide! There's so many places to go.

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    2. An older member of my Commission was invited on a trip to Tasmania by his grandson. He said it was awesomely beautiful!

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  7. i wonder if a smirk is what nice people do.

    when i got my passport renewed last year, everyone at work thought i looked like i was smirking - what other conclusion could i reach.

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    1. Of course! I had to...Otherwise I just look mad. And who could be mad about travel?

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