The Identity Test
In the UK, when you apply for your first adult passport you have to have an interview. I think this is funny because I was able to get through the entire naturalization process without any kind of interview. They didn’t even give me a spelling test and maybe they should’ve before granting me citizenship.
My passport interview was yesterday and I think I might have failed. It all started when the traffic was particularly bad getting to the interview office. Our car is on its last legs and overheats in traffic. My husband deals with this by turning it off when we’re not moving. I deal with it by stressing out and having an anxiety attack.
By the time I got to the interview, I was in such a state that I looked the wrong way when crossing the street and almost got killed. I can’t believe I still don’t know which way to look when crossing the street here. I was glad that wasn’t one of the interview questions.
When I got to the building the interview would be in, I couldn’t figure out how to open the door. The front door was locked and I dealt with this problem by pulling on the door as hard as I could and saying, “I can’t open it.” I guess I thought I could use brute force to yank it open. If I’d taken a minute to calm down, I would’ve noticed the button I needed to push to get buzzed in. Why do I always have such a problem with doors?
By the time I got to the interview office, I was all panic on the inside, but I managed to keep a calm exterior. I sat down at the desk across from my interviewer, Dawn, who gave me a little speech about the importance of preventing identity theft and then told me that the interview was to be casual, and that she would just ask me some questions from my passport application. No problem right? That’s what you would think.
After she established that I had filled in my application form myself, she started asking the questions, and everything I had ever known in my life rushed out of my brain. The interview went something like this.
Dawn: When was your mother born?
Me: I really should know that, but I don’t.
Dawn: Do you know how old your mother is?
Me: I’m sorry, but I don’t. I know she’s older than me.
Dawn: When did your parents get married?
Me: Nobody knows that. I had to call them to find out.
Dawn: Okay, when is your husband’s birthday?
Me: I’m drawing a blank. Please don’t tell my husband I don’t’ know when his birthday is.
Dawn: When was your naturalization ceremony?
Me: I think it was in July. I brought me certificate with me I’ll check.
Dawn: You can’t check just tell me when it was.
After getting out of the office I checked. It was in August. About midway through, I told Dawn that I thought I was failing the interview and she just laughed. When I got outside and told my husband about all the questions I didn’t know the answers to and he said, “I can’t believe it. How do you fail your own identity test?”
He can’t complain though because when he pulled out of the parking garage he failed the which-side-of-the-road-do-you-drive-on-in-this-country test. Luckily, there was no one else on the road at the time.
Now I just have to wait to see if my passport arrives in the mail.