We had reached an impasse. I stubbornly insisted that he renew his passport and he refused, saying, “I’m not planning to go anywhere.”

As if that was in any way relevant.

The conversation always ended with my exasperated appeal, “It doesn’t matter! You should always have a valid passport!”

passportSure, my need for him to possess a passport was predicated upon my immigrant grandparents’ neurotic fears of deportation. We are, to a great degree, programmed to react or overreact to our ancestral anxiety.  But his grandmother’s family was almost entirely wiped during the Holocaust. I simply could not fathom his having allowed his passport to expire.

Not only anxiety but fantasy motivated my nagging, as well. I’ve always loved to travel and one of my only regrets is that we haven’t had much time or the financial means to do so lately.

When we were newly married and without children, we used to threaten to call one another at work to say, “Meet me at the airport with a suitcase.” But neither of us ever found an opportunity to make good on the threat.

Now we both travel for business—attending conferences, delivering lectures, teaching workshops. One leaves for the airport early on Sunday morning, while the other settles into a fitful sleep after the garage door closes.  We return from our respective trips exhausted, and the re-entry to work and family life is often jarring.

Two months ago, he came home and announced that he had mailed his passport application. I tried not to gloat.

But when the envelope arrived from the State Dept. a few weeks later, while he was attending a conference in Indianapolis, I simply couldn’t resist. I mean, he was already traveling and I could just meet him at the airport with his new, valid passport. Between us we have ample miles on Delta to finance a spontaneous vacation.

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This lighthearted “conversation” ended with my mild oath at our current stalemate. Still, I’m confident that it will happen someday. One of us will make that phone call.

Wanderlust will win.


Comments (1)

Smiling big-time at this. I too fantasize about travel … and then thud back to the reality of a job, and two small kids, and their school schedules.

But someday, it’ll happen! I would looooove to take family heritage trips to Ireland (hubby’s side) and Poland (my side.) Maybe when the kids are older?

Oh, and (sheepish grin) my own passport is expired. I really should look into that.

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