Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Lost Passport

A month or so ago I took my passport into the office to scan it so that I could send a copy of it to a bank. I noticed that my passport was due to expire next year and thought “ Oo I am going to be very grown up and get on to this sooner rather than later” and as ALWAYS happens when I start a thought when I am supposed to be performing an action, everything falls apart. I did not put it, as I ought, where it belongs in "The Safe". Oh the irony. On the back of my brain fart about renewing my passport I put it “Somewhere Safe” not " In The Safe" with the intention of following up on  it the very next day. Bitter laughter peeps.
My safe places are always VERY BAD IDEAS. I know this. Knowing this has me stopping dead in my tracks when the very notion of “A Safe Place” pops into my head. Red lights flash. Sirens wail. My whole brain goes into high alert and screams “NO. NO. NO.  DO NOT DO THIS. Put it back in the actual usual place where the object lives. PLEEEEEEEEEZE.”  Do I listen?  Hell no, because I think I am better than the sum total of my experience. Honestly what is the point of a brain if my superego is constantly overridden by a weak ego buckling down to my id?  SIGH.

A couple of weeks ago I got a call about the copy of the passport that I had sent in. It seemed the bank wanted to actually see the original. That is when I started my meltdown. Fuzzy memories about brain sirens and warnings washed over me. I had lost my passport. I was a complete wreck.  I come from Zimbabwe remember? And losing a passport is the stuff of nightmares.  I still carry that fear around with me even though I have not had a Zimbabwean passport for 10 years. And my heart breaks a little just writing that, but that is another very long story.

The Fear
So there I was passport less and panicking. I did a panic hunt. You all know how well those turn out? You don’t? Well they don’t work unless what you are looking for smells bad or makes a lot of noise to guide you to its location. The house was in a mess from the after effects of a few months of living nothing but Steel Magnolias with left over piles of props and costumes and things not put away. Bryan was away so I put off the bank saying that maybe he had the passport with him. You never know. Right? Well Bryan did not, why would he? Clutching at straws, my dears, was what I was doing. I felt sorry for myself for a bit and sighed and avoided the issue  by deciding that the best thing to do would be to TURN THE HOUSE UPSIDE DOWN and then PUT IT BACK TOGETHER........later. This exercise required a weekend. There was nothing for it but to wait for a few days. So, that is what I did. Procrastinated. Waited for the weekend hoping against hope that the passport would mysteriously appear in the meantime, by magic, as they  do. 

By the time the weekend arrived I had whipped myself up to a frenzy of self loathing. If I could just organise my life a bit better I would not "lose shit". Not that  a passport is shit you understand.. The house would not be an almighty, god awful mess. The Sofa cover would be clean and the pillows fragrant and plump. I would be a domestic goddess in the kitchen and present my family with delicious home cooked meals every day. If  I was not such a scatter brained, lazy lump, my life would look like this 1950's nostalgic snap shot.... I got a bit carried away over the whole losing the passport thing.

I emptied every single drawer, cupboard, and envelope in our house. From top to bottom and under the stairs. I threw away old shoes. Old bills - shredded.  Magazines that had not seen the light of day for years - recycled. Miscellaneous lanyards (why the hell do I have lanyards for events that took place three years ago you ask? Well because you never know when you might need them. Ha. Tossed. In my now hysterical state of finding the passport and hating my junked up life I threw things away. Every bit of IKEA that was not used to put something together (you know those odd screws) now forever gone. Keys from another life time- maybe - trashed. Plastic spoons and silly empty small jewelry boxes, bits of string, bread bag clips- why did I even have a collection of those?ALL GONE.  Old clothes, belonging to Bryan, gone to a better home.  Clothes that I have not worn for years and don’t fit me, well, not quite gone but one step closer to being gone. Never in my life have I had such a major clean out before.  I was bloody amazing. The whole house sorted.
At this point let me just say that I am not the only person who has lost something in our house. Bryan has lost the only key to the Volvo. It has sat ( the Volvo)  is solitary splendor in the drive way for so long that one of its tires is  now flat ( just saying) so this was a good opportunity to really hunt down that key. I looked everywhere as I have shown above.

I did not do the office.  No . No. Because, I felt, rather strongly as it happens, that if I was tearing the house apart the least Bryan could do was the office. I asked, very nicely, if he would do this. Maybe I was too nice because my sense of righteous indignation and panic was clearly not picked up on. Bryan did not so much as lift a piece of paper in the office. He went for a bike ride. He played backgammon with Philip. He listened to interesting pod-casts sitting in the luxurious comfort of the cushions on the sofa, like a cat sunning himself, smug and cozy. He read whole chapters of the latest Ben Elton Novel, something about changing History – like I bloody care what the book was called….. fume, fume, fume, smoke billowing out of my ears, fume.
....and on my blog
I found nothing in the house. Ever the optimist (ha!) and still hopeful that Bryan would do the home office, I decided, as a last ditch effort, to look in my office at work. That was, after all, where I did the scanning. Turning my office upside down was not terribly productive. Emptying my desk drawers produced nothing but two tatty packs of chewing gum that I did not know I had.

Then Bryan travelled. Again. He went to Uganda. The office was not touched. It's mess was gloriously undisturbed. I thought cruel thoughts about it being a pity that the Ebola outbreak was too bloody far away to be a just punishment for a husband that does not look in the office for his wife's passport and his volvo key. I was struck upon by a hateful  burst of fury which had me charging into the office muttering under my breath about “ what a Sod I was married to.” Please note not an SOB his mother is wonderful.  How “ALL MEN ARE USELESS.” The remaining men in the house, my two marvelous sons, were as quiet as mice, tiptoeing about upstairs trying to be invisible. I stomped about the two square feet of office that are not covered with piles of props and clothes from the show and Bryan's bike paraphernalia feeling like a Mighty Martyr.  

I found my passport in the second place that I looked, in a box of papers waiting to be filed. Where I ,no doubt, had put it. There will be absolutely no discussion about that EVER.

I triumphantly left the mess holding high my passport.

Hell will freeze over before I tidy up that room considering the hours I spent on the rest of the house.  And of course Bryan is utterly oblivious.

Bryan's solution  to his problem was to order another key for the Volvo. GRRRRNNNNN.

Philip, in what can only be described as  with foolhardy aplomb , pointed out that seeing as I was due to renew my passport anyway he could not understand why I got into such a snit over the whole thing.

Cameron was probably wishing he was in Cape Town.


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