Sometimes I absolutely scare myself with the ability I’ve adopted to finish tasks and put them out of my mind. This is necessary at work because I have so many deals that they start getting jumbled together if I don’t hit the mental “erase” button. But in my personal life? This obviously is not good. Not good at all.
Yesterday, after looking forward to morphing from the "awkward 7th grader growing out her bangs" look I had going on to something that actually looked like the adult that I profess to be, I finally got to the shop, sat down and started flipping through magazines while some guy in his 20's got a serious beard (think ZZ Top without the scraggly stuff at the bottom...or Grizzly Adams) and haircut.
So, young Kris Kringle got out of the way and I jumped in the chair. There I was…sitting there when Greg – the Miracle Worker - started making small talk with me by asking me what I’d been up to (other than growing hair and gaining weight) since he’d seen me last. He asked about what events I had coming up…because we tend to schedule my hair colorings at times when I have a higher probability than normal of being photographed so that I can look my best, bless my heart.
(Did I actually write colorings? Um. Wait. Actually, we call it “highlighting.” Yeah. That).
Greg has a memory for detail that is impressive, and he seems to enjoy picking up the strings of conversation that we laid down seven or eight weeks earlier and moving them forward a bit. I don't know if he makes notes or what...but he always seems to remember something I told him that I was about to do the last time that I was in. Which is quite excellent if you think about it. I told him that all was well, and that we’d just survived Spring Break and were all fired up about putting in the new pool liner.
(You know…it’s sad when the best news you have to offer someone is your new pool liner. Even if it is totally awesome, scary blue, and rocking my backyard right now as I write this.)
I was telling him about Brian’s upcoming trip to France after graduation in May, and how excited I was that he was going to be having this opportunity…blah…blah…and then it hit me. "It" meaning something that can only be described as OMG with shallow breathing where those beads of sweat pop out on your upper lip because you have just realized that something could be going horribly wrong.
In slow motion...Brian...in May...graduation trip...France...O...M...G...
Didn’t he need to have a new passport? Wasn’t that something that the French teacher braving this trip pointed out to us...that we needed to check to see if his would be expired? It was at that point that I went into full fledged freak out mode. Here’s the narrative that was running through my head…
What year is this?
Didn’t I get his passport for a trip in 2006? Wait...that was five years ago...a passport for a child under 18 is only good for five years...
Oh no! Haven't I done this? Why haven't I already gotten this updated? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
How many weeks is it until he leaves? Seven? We can totally pay extra to have it expedited.
Wait! Did I even bother to pick up a form to renew this thing at the post office? I am so totally screwed on this one.
What were you thinking? Get your head out, girl!. I know that you put a note on your May calendar to get it out of the safe deposit box but HELLO! Did you bother to update the actual passport?
Did you? Did you? Think. Think. Think...
And on and on and on...
So, my internal conversation with myself means that I’m tuning out Greg…who asks “Are you okay?” I don’t know if he noticed that I’d gone pale or if I just shut up and that was unusual in itself.
I told him what I thought I might have done...or more correctly what I may have failed to do...and he said…”Ah, don’t worry about it. You’ll figure it out.”
Okay. Whatever...Mr. "So Glad It's You and Not Me". (I can totally read your mind.)
The other sad news is that I didn't even get to fully enjoy my shampooing. I love having my hair washed. Oh but NO. I was too busy hyperventilating at the time.
I grasped mentally for any remembrance of the post office…of filling out a form…paying money…having Brian with me to do all of this. Surely I would have gotten some crappy service at the post office like I did in 2006 when the lady with the post nasal drip kept our family of four in line for 45 minutes while she went through 63 Kleenex and coughing fits every 3.5 minutes. It was a "fun day" in the third circle of Hades otherwise known as the "passport line." See, I can remember THAT. Anytime after that? Nope.
After about ten minutes of stressing, I vaguely remembered being in the post office with him and the extra little pictures that they returned to me. Surely I didn’t dream this?
Or did I? Was my brain trying to fool my body into lowering my blood pressure by giving me a grain of hope that all was well? I honestly did not know.
I had that Ye Olde Unsettled Feeling all last night. Man, I hate that. I put it out of my mind by writing and watching mindless crap on television. Self-medicating, you know?
I thought today's post might be titled: "You Might Be a Moron IF You Pay a Ridiculous Amount Of Money To Send Your Kid To France For His Senior Trip But He Can't Go Because His Blonde Mother Couldn't Remember To Update His Passport" or something equally tragic. I figured that the chances of this were about 50/50. I was too scared to ask Brian for fear that it might actually be true.
So, this morning, I went to work, went straight to the safe deposit box and found the passport that we’d renewed last summer – in June to be exact. It all came flooding back…we were waiting until June so that Brian would be 18 and we could get a ten year passport instead of a five year one. The reason that I couldn't remember it was because it was nearly a year ago. I can't remember what I had for dinner last night...so this is totally understandable.
There are no words to express my appreciation for the fact that this is a non-issue. Yes, I am all into early preparation and stuff. That's pretty much my modus operandi. I know this...but there's always that fear that I'll go blonde when it really matters...Now, if I can get my blood pressure off of DEFCOM5…that would totally rock.