|Earrings: CRIV, Dress: Vestique, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Vest: Target, Purse: Tory Burch|
This outfit started as just the dress. I ran out for what I thought was going to be a quick errand to the passport office in it.
Much of the time I wear dresses as an easy option and not necessarily to "look dressed up".
They are one piece, have no legs, no waistband (to remind you that you may or may not have eaten too much), and no matching (or intentional mismatching) to think about. All around minimal effort required. The day I wore this it was 90 degrees outside. If you know me, you know that I sweat. A lot. Like a hairy, obese, dude. As in, if it's over 75 degrees, beads of upper lip sweat are a standard accessory on my face. Homegirl needs all of the ventilation she can get. Know what I am sayin'? I love dresses, and it never crossed my mind that this one was going to cause me any problems. I was wrong.
I set out on my way to update my passport with my married name which required a new photo, an updated application, and marriage license documentation. I went to the drugstore, got a new picture, drove 35 minutes (deep into the country) to the passport office, submitted my documentation, filled out the new application, and was thinking to myself... "Man, it is not often that you go to a government office and get in and out without any sort of snafu. Today was a good day." < cue Ice Cube >
The woman who was helping me gathered all of my paperwork, got it ready to mail it off for me, and took one last look at everything. It was then that she furrowed her brow, cocked her head to the side in deep thought, made a weird sound between her pursed lips, then called her co-worker over to the counter.
Passport Office Lady #1:
"Nance, can you come here, please? What do you think about this photo, do you think it is acceptable or do you think they are going to decline her application?"
Passport Lady #2:
"Ahhhh, yeah. < stops for effect and looks me up and down > I'm afraid this photo is unacceptable. See here, you are wearing these spaghetti straps, and "they" require that a woman wear a bit more clothing than that. You need thicker straps, or sleeves, something. < Insert judgmental glare at my shoulders. >
WHAT . THE . ACTUAL . FK?
I need thicker straps???
For a passport photo??
For a photo of my face that will be used to identify me when I travel?
There are requirements around the FKing diameter, girth, span, and breadth of a STRAP on my shoulder???
Is this even a real thing?
Am I being punked?
I felt like I was being shamed. Nance and her co-worker were slut shaming me with their eyes and tones. Over the flimsiness of my scant dress straps.
Apparently, this.... "straps not being substantial enough" is indeed a real thing in the passport world.
So, I go to my car, assuming that there is SOMETHING, surely, in my car that I can drape around my shoulders. Assuming also that there is a drug store close by. At least closer than the 35 minutes it took me to get there from my house.
I go to my car. Nothing. I had recently cleaned it out (see previous post about purging). I find a CVS 10 miles away. I figured I'd borrow, or worst case, have to buy a tourist t-shirt from CVS to cover my scandalous shoulders up with. I get to the drug store, have a t-shirt in hand, am at the register, tell the cashier that I also need a quick passport photo taken and she tells me "I'm sorry, baby, our camera is broken". I nod with a tense jaw. (Anger oozing from my pores.) I put the shirt back. I go to my car. I drive 35 minutes home. I grab this vest. I go to another drug store near my house, get another photo taken. I drive 35 minutes BACK to the passport office, where Nance and her co-worker "thoroughly review", approve, and finally send everything off for me.
I check the mail about a week later and see an envelope from the US Passport Office.
Score! At least got my new passport back in record time! Uh no. The application (that "Nance" thoroughly reviewed for accuracy) was missing a signature. Sweet and gentle, geezus. ARE.YOU.FKN.SEROIOUS??? ? I just had to laugh.
Anyway, that experience, while not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, was so annoying and baffling, that I'll never look at this dress without thinking of that first-world fiasco. Sometimes articles of clothing get tied to a memory. This will forever be the "dress I was slut-shamed at the passport office in" dress.
I know that Nance is sitting there in that passport office right now, beige cardigan draped over her chaste shoulders, laughing at me. Fkin Nance.