I understand why they don’t want you to smile in driver’s licence photos. No one is smiling when they get pulled over. Or as Carol Leifer said in stand up routine, “If you need a picture of me how I look when I get pulled over, I should be crying hysterically with one of boobs pulled out.
But Passport photos don’t make sense. I took me two minutes just to shoot my new passport photo because when I would think of my trip, I’d break out into a smile that would make the Cheshire Cat reexamine the meaning of happiness. I’ll be smiling as I go through customs at every stop, shamelessly asking them to put an old fashioned stamp in my passport.
When I applied for my new passport, I was surprised by two things. First, Passport Canada has really got their shit together. I was in and out of the office in Downtown Calgary in under 30 minutes. Second, they didn’t want my old passport. Granted, it expired over 15 years ago. I kept meaning to renew it but living in the States and renewing a Canadian Passport is a huge headache. Plus for many years, I was travelling to places that did not require a passport…and then, for many more years, I couldn’t travel at all; for a time because of business obligations and then because I just couldn’t afford it (See blog post: Where do you find the money?) But when I asked if they needed it, they smiled and said, “Keep it as a souvenir.” It is full of stamps but best of all it has a great old photo of me, which I have been able to place side by side for a startling comparison.
Oh my God! Look at the hair! Hey, it was the 90s. Don’t judge me. But I can’t help but see these two photos and think, “From lady killer to serial killer.”
Good thing I shaved and can smile on the side of the road. I’f I looked like this image all the time, I’d never get picked up.