Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Drop Kick Me Through the Goal Posts of Life

 Last week I went to Denver International Airport to do my interview for the Global Entry TSA program. Rob enrolled me so that we could both use TSA pre-approved lanes at the airport no matter where we traveled, and we had waited a year for the appointment. The only thing I had to do was show up at the appointed time with my passport.

When I arrived at the Global Entry office in DIA there was a line of four people in front of a large locked door with no windows. A phone was mounted on the wall next to the door, as we all had to call in separately to let them know we had arrived. Tension buzzed between us, especially between the two guys who didn't have appointments. I felt a little smug that I had done everything by the book.

Those of us with appointments were buzzed into a little waiting room adjacent to where the interviews took place. We could hear all the questions and replies and I felt like a "win" was imminent. When I was summoned to the interview window I strode confidently to the green chair and sat with my purse in my lap, from which I extracted a passport.

When prompted, I handed that document to my interviewer and he stared with wide eyes for three seconds before turning it around and showing me the photo page. It wasn't my face that looked back at me, but my son's. I felt my mouth drop open, as described in novels, my heart rate jumped, and I exclaimed, "Oh, no!"

I had pulled the passport from its hiding place the night before, after we hosted a high school swim meet. The late night and the craziness of the swim meet had distracted me so that I could not even find my own face!  Fortunately the interviewer could "pass" me with the use of my driver's license, but I need to go back to the airport (a 90-minute round trip) and get my passport scanned.

When I recounted this to some friends on a walk last week, they burst out laughing. One, a friend from the South, said "Oh Lawd! Drop-kick me, Baby Jesus, through the goal posts of life!" My story forgotten in hearing this delightful phrase, she told us all about the older woman who used it in her childhood. My friend repeated it in a broad Southern accent and I made her promise to text me the phrase later.

I've made countless foolish errors over the last few weeks, some minor and some that caused serious inconvenience. It's good that humility grows in this decade of my 50's - if I made this many mistakes in my 20's I'm not sure my self-confidence would have recovered. Truth be told, it hasn't quite recovered since last week's debacle, but I now have an apt phrase to describe my stumbling through the goal posts of life.