So I cried in the ID card office yesterday.
Let me set the stage for you…
- It was like 99° outside
- I’ve been battling a nasty headache for TWO DAYS
- Grace had been whiny all morning and finally settled for a nap 40 minutes before we had to leave the house
- We rushed all the way out to Andy’s campus to pick him up and it took longer than I expected so we were only going to have 45 minutes at the ID office before closing time
- I was anxious about the whole process to begin with
- AND I’m 12 weeks pregnant and still haven’t had a prenatal appointment because I’ve been waiting for some magical Tricare enrollment package to come in the mail.
We find the building at the back of the base and get ourselves just through the front door only to be confronted with a sign that says they’ve reached capacity for the day and we should consider finding another ID card office if we’ve traveled a great distance.
I almost lost it right then, but I decided to put my big girl panties on and deal with it proactively. We wandered over to the office and saw the same sign again which didn’t bode well for our cause. A dark-haired girl was sitting at a small desk in the back corner and everyone else appeared to be waiting for their turn in line.
So naturally I made eye contact with the girl at the desk in the hopes of striking up a conversation about the situation we were in.
Did she acknowledge us?
She just sat there.
After standing in the doorway for a few minutes like a bunch of buffoons, we started walking toward her and just asked if there was really no chance we would be seen.
She checked with some mystery person in the back who said we could stay. Phew!
Fortunately they had a nice play area set up for the kids so Grace thought the ID office was actually a fun place to be!
We waited for about an hour and were finally called back.
I heard our number called out but didn’t see where the voice was coming from. The other people who had been called back followed the staff person back to their desk, but we just heard a voice out of nowhere.
Then, the voice sounded out again, “38!” but this time more agitated. Because we were on our feet, I could tell the direction it was coming from this time so we made our way back to the lady’s desk. In an attempt to lighten the mood, I said, “Sorry! We didn’t know where you were!”
She says, “I’m right here. Same place I’ve been all along.”
We wait for an hour only to get some crabby old spinster assigned to us. This is gonna be great.
Andy stepped up to her (cluttered) desk, slid the folder of our documentation over to her and told her that we were there to obtain ID cards.
She looked at him like he had 7 heads.
OH COME ON LADY! THIS IS WHAT YOU DO ALL DAY LONG!
Because she’s staring at him with a vacant expression, he tells her he’s newly enlisted and that we are there to get our first set of ID cards.
Before looking through our documentation or anything else she asks Andy if he shaved that morning.
Mind you Andy is a fair-skinned, light haired guy that can generally go 2 days without shaving and still look baby faced.
He tells her that he had shaved that day and she pretty much tells him he looks scruffy and he’s going to have to grab his kit from the car to take care of it.
Yeah, like he carries a shaving kit with him everywhere he goes?!?!
After explaining that he didn’t have one with him and that his orders are to complete medical school and that he is not currently held to the grooming standards, she insisted that he shave or she couldn’t help us.
She shooed him of to the PX to buy shaving cream and razors and in the meantime she rifled through the rest of our papers.
Everything was good EXCEPT our marriage license. We only had 2 photocopies of it in our file cabinet, so I brought a copy instead of the original. I should have known better but I guess I figured that if I had so much other official documentation and we didn’t even have the original, it might be ok.
I was wrong.
She goes on and on about how copies are no good and anyone could mock up a fake license, blah, blah, blah.
I’m pissed off at this point because I know this means that we are going to all have to come back and their hours are crap with Andy’s school schedule and it’s going to interrupt naptime again and I’m not going to be able to make a prenatal appointment and the universe must hate me.
I was trying to hold back my tears but she kept asking me stupid questions and lecturing me and I just broke down. Like sobs. It was embarrassing.
Grace was sitting on the floor playing with dolls from the playroom, Andy was driving over to the PX for his blasted razors and shaving cream, and I was standing there sobbing in front of this total stranger. I must have seemed like a total basket case.
I was really only mad at myself. Why did we wait 6 weeks for some info packet that was never going to come? Why didn’t we ask better questions when we enlisted or when I called the ID office in the first place. Why? Why? Why?!
Of course it all could have been a little better if the woman would have had a little compassion, but whatevs.
I’ve got to contact the county on Monday to get an official copy of our marriage license (why on EARTH don’t we have one??) and then we have to coordinate another day to go all the way out there and start this hoopla all over again.
Lord help me!