The husband said he was going to prepare me for our ten-day trip to Singapore (he often travels overseas for work) by mentioning that things never go exactly as planned. I don’t think he ever could have anticipated this hiccup though. You see, we never got on the plane. We never even got past check in.
It was a Monday, the first of February. We were excited and happy when we walked into Detroit Metro with suitcases full of warm-weather gear and backpacks loaded with books, earplugs, chargers, iTunes and games for the 19 hour flight.
Don printed his ticket at the kiosk, but the machine didn’t like my passport, so I checked with the attendant. He seemed a little irritated with me, but got the same message when he scanned it. He looked inside, then pointed at the date: Expires March 17th.
“Yes, I see. What’s the issue?” I asked. My stomach started fluttering.
“Your passport has to be valid for six months after your date of entry,” he said. “You can’t fly.” There was no wriggle room, no ifs, ands, or buts, and he had absolutely no sympathy for me. Why should he?
I looked at Don. He looked back at me and shrugged. “I guess we reschedule our trip,” was all he said. He was so accepting of this that I wanted to cry. Instead, I put on my big girl pants. We carried our stuff out of the airport to wait for a ride home. There was no swearing, no eye-rolling, no gnashing of teeth. No rolling on the floor, kicking and screaming.
I can’t say that I was cheery, but by the time evening rolled around we were laughing about it, both of us blaming ourselves. I knew I cut it close with the expiration date, but didn’t want to send it to the government to get it renewed because I feared I wouldn’t get it back in time (renewals are at an all time high). I never imagined the passport had to be good for 6 months past your arrival date. Don said he’s lulled into complacency because he has a visa and special clearance when he flies.
Then I found this quote by Andy Rooney:
It’s okay. Things don’t always go as planned. We didn’t base our happiness on a trip to Singapore. We got wicked-good corned beef sandwiches from Main Street Deli for lunch. I went to the grocery store and bought milk. We snuggled on the couch to watch TV together, and went to sleep in our own bed. It’s okay.
The next day we rescheduled our entire trip. I sent my old passport off for a renewed one. I’m not going to bother unpacking.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, adult contemporary fiction, a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.