Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Identity Crisis

Who am I, really?

OK, fine, I've been blogging on that very subject since 2002ish. But it's now a question with more practical implications.

Back in the day, when a cashmere twinset was the height of style, I was a married lady who went by Shannon Johnson. While this name was legally 86'ed almost four years ago, it still crops up in the most unlikely and annoying of places, like a many-headed retro-traditionalist hydra:


1. My screechiest nightmares.

2. My cellphone bill.

3. Some of my checks.

4. My passport.


None of those mattered until today, in fact, they were all kind of funny. Like routine hauntings from the Ghosts of Bad Ideas Past. However, now I'm going to Mexico. Next month. And apparently, you need a valid passport for that (how Brenda and Dylan snuck into Baja to go surfing without even a driver's license is either a big ol' plot hole, or just further proof that the imaginary rich really are different).

My passport's completely valid, well, in that it has a datestamp on it for sometime in the future. But it's got the wrong name on it, creating the current crisis. Especially as every attempt to call the State Department's helpline involves me pressing the number "0" and barking the word, "Operator!", which just sends me back to the main menu.

So, folks, tell me what to do.

17 comments:

Analyst said...

Just go to the Passport Office on 19th street. Bring a copy of your travel itinerary, license, birth certificate, and voter ID. Tell them you need an appointment to get your passport expedited as you have immediate travel scheduled.

FoggyDew said...

I'd say call your senator, but ohhh, wait a minute. OK, sorry, had to do it. Do what the analyst said. Or you can mail it in with the expedite fee.

If your passport's valid, what's the problem? Or is it one of semantics? Do they really look at those things?

restaurant refugee said...

This rather blows, sorry. I think the Analyst's advice is pretty spot on, however.

Shannon said...

Analyst - The website says you can only do the passport office if you are travelling within two weeks, but the travel agent says that's a bunch of horsepuckey if you can bring an itinerary.

Foggy - The passport is in my former name, and all my other ID (not to mention my plane tickets) are under the current name. Apparently that's a teensy problem.

Refugee - Thanks! I doubt it's the end of hte world, but it's just annoying!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the passport people will list your old name in your new passport under the "alias" section. It's almost like having a secret identity!

lacochran said...

Who would know? Seriously, you have at some point been that legally. Who's going to question it? Nobody.

Meanwhile, you can get an illicit thrill. Which is perfect for a good time in Mexico.

And as they say...

Vaya con tequila, Amiga!

lacochran said...

But in 3 oz. portions or less.

Shannon said...

Anon - Oooh, neat! Wonder if they'd throw in any of my college nicknames...

Lacochran - 3 oz tequila in a clear, quart-size, zip-top bag...gotcha.

rondamarie said...

You are going about this the wrong way, see, you tried to contact the US government about this. Mistake.

What you need to do, and what will be a million times easier, is to do some internet research and find out the names of some of the writers on the particular episode of 90210 you refer to. Call one of them up and simply ask how Brenda and Dylan got to Mexico without a passport.

Zipcode said...

analyst is correct -- take your iternery - you may have to pay the expedite fee

ha at brenda and dylan - remember brenda didn't have her birth certificate so Daddy Jim Walsh got all mad and thus Brenda had to go to France for the summer - which started the whole Dylan and Kelly thing - ha

Brett said...

agree with analyst or go to a passport agency and pay the expedite fee. be sure to wear mascara and bat your eyelashes in a very non terrorist way.

[F]oxymoron said...

You have to think outside of the box... just get involved with the drug trade. They'll make sure you get where you need to go. Just don't misplace the product.

Shannon said...

rondamarie - Actually, I should just book my flight with Plot Hole Airlines.

Zip - Unfortunately, they're not letting me make an appointment unless I'm less than two weeks from departure - so I have to do the passport-by-mail plus expedite fee thing.

Brett - That's the current plan. I even wore my "Not a Terrorist Cleavage Top."

Foxy - I can't misplace the product if it's in my...ew, never mind.

pixability said...

This happened to me once (post 9/11) when I was flying internationally.I brought my marriage certificate and they let me through. If you can't get a new passport in time, your best bet is to bring any name change documentation you have- photo IDs, a marriage or divorce certificate, etc.

Shannon said...

Pix (may I call you Pix?) - I submitted my paperwork today, and it looks like I'll get my passport in plenty of time. I assume I could fly with my passport and divorce decree, but I didn't like the idea of my plane ticket and ID not matching. Also, I don't want to risk losing the decree - sometimes I like to sleep with it under my pillow at night.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

I've done passport by mail a few times, and it's easy. I think technically your passport is not valid if it doesn't have your current legal name, so I'm guessing they're gonna just send you a new one. In these post-9/11 times, I don't think you'd have gotten on a plane without doing this.