Yes, that’s right: I am ready to get arrested. I took a practice mug shot the other day, which tells me that I am ready because there is no way that the passport photo I took could be construed as anything other than a mug shot. No one’s going to let me into their country with that picture, it’s the slammer and that’s it. What was I thinking not putting on makeup and doing it at the end of the day? Yes, my punishment for not taking this picture seriously enough is the picture I got.
It has not always been this way. On September 12, 2001, I went to donate blood (the Pentagon is not far from where I live). But the Red Cross was only taking blood from approved donors (or at least those who already knew their letter). Since I couldn’t donate blood, I stopped at the DMV that was on the way home. For some reason the picture they took that day was the best photo that I have ever taken from a machine. Last year when I renewed my license they took my picture away; they made me take another practice mug shot. I wanted to keep the picture as a reminder of 9/11 and, well, for vanity’s sake. But it is gone.
The passport photo, it’s not as if I’m planning a vacation on some exotic beach or a stroll in Paris, it's just that in my current passport I still have my old married last name and I want to be rid of that name. I am who I was before I was married (at least in name), and my passport needs to reflect that reality. Unfortunately, the picture is a bit of reality too. I told the cute young guy working in the store that I look horrible in it, he said it’s okay. Yes, I wanted to say, for a mug shot.