I am not what you would call an organizational wizard. Paperwork seems to filter through my fingers into nothingness, or end up on the floor covered in smears of tomato sauce and/or drawings of naked stick figures. I’m talking about 8×11 sheets of printer paper, mind you. So when various government organizations issue me very small identification cards, I can guarantee you that I will lose them almost immediately. Once, a credit card came in the mail and I didn’t even open the envelope before losing it. True story.
My gym id has been lost so many times that they have, no bullshit, printed off a barcode and taped it to my cell phone using packing tape. I rarely lose my cell phone, because that would mean I’d have to stop texting long enough to set it down somewhere and walk away. Thus far, the barcode on my cellphone has remained in place for almost two weeks. This is a record for me.
Let’s all take a moment to be incredibly impressed that I kept my military identification card from April 4, 2008 until late May or early June 2012 when it fell out of my purse at a bar in Denver. That is OBSCENELY long for me. I only have one ID that I’ve had longer than that, and it’s because I always just let long term boyfriends/husbands keep it in their wallets for the 65% of the time that I get to a bar and realize I don’t have my ID.
You may be wondering how I got a military ID over a year before I had a military wedding. That’s easy. It’s because I had a sham wedding on April Fools Day 2008, in San Antonio, TX. Which is not a city I acknowledge, geographically. We flew out to look at houses, I said “This place is bullshit. What if I die here, alone, on an anthill.” And Chris said “how about we get married and then the military will let us get a nicer house.” And I was like, “okay, let’s do this” because I’m big on thinking things through. Then I said, “but it can’t be real, because we already set a wedding date for a year from now in CO, and I’m not giving up a giant cake and being the princess-boss for a whole day just to expedite things.”
So we found a judge, said fake vows while I literally crossed my fingers behind my back, took our little certificate and left. We were supposed to walk into the lobby and turn the certificate into the record-keeping department with a check for some dollars. Instead, we went to Hard Rock Cafe, ate some seriously shitty food, and then flew home to CO. I showed my sham certificate on base, said that I was too independent to change my name legally, and then got my ID and my pay upgrade. Then, I shredded the certificate, never to speak of it again until now.
I’ve waited a couple of months to go get a new military ID, but since I’m going to NYC for BlogHer next week, I’d like to have the support system of being able to play Xbox in the USO lounge at the airport. I didn’t know it’d be such a pain in the ass to obtain a new one, though I should have, because the military is nothing if not inefficient.
I had to drive an hour to the base, then drag my screeching toddler into the hospital to find Chris, then take him away from clinic, across base, to an office labeled “Military Personnel Office/DEERS education”
The gentleman at the front desk, who looked like a very effeminate Tracy Jordan, but somehow less smart, listened to my story. This is a literal transcript of the conversation:
I need a replacement military ID
What happened to your old military ID
I lost it
Okay ma’am. If you lost your ID, you need to drive to the south gate and fill out a form 1168 sworn witness statement, then bring two forms of government ID and a form 1168 to this office and meet with us.
Two forms of government ID? Does it matter if they are the same form of ID?
I’m sorry ma’am?
Well, okay, so I have two Colorado ID cards. Can I just use both of those?
Is one of them a driver’s license?
No. I had a Texas driver’s license, but I lost that. This is just two of the same Colorado ID card, but from different dates.
Two cards…is one from Texas and one from Colorado?
NO DUDE. They’re both Colorado ID cards. Like, the kind you get when you aren’t legal to drive, because technically I’m not a legal Colorado driver, but that’s not what we’re talking about.
Ma’am, I don’t understand what you-
Okay, guy. Can I just talk to one of the DEERS maybe? Since they’re educated and all?
*Chris made me leave the office at this point and drive over to the South Gate to fill out the form*
The Very Serious MP at the South Gate informed me that I’d need to fill out a detailed statement how and when I lost my ID, including times.
Dude, if I knew exactly where and when I lost my ID it wouldn’t be very fucking lost, now would it?? No. I’d just turn my ass around and retrieve it.
So I took some…creative license with the form. Then I turned it in. Then he read it out loud back to me, and made me sign an oath swearing it was all true. How was I supposed to know I was under oath?? It’s a military spouse ID, for God’s sake, not a nuclear disarmament treaty.
Once I had made my sworn statement, wandered back across base to Tracy McJordan, and presented my two Colorado IDs (with two different names, and in one I have my eyes cross and tongue out, and in the other I’m wearing a tiara), I managed to strong-arm an old woman with a smoker’s cough into giving me a new ID. Finally.
I made a “chinpokomon” face for this one, in case you are curious. And I’m about 78% sure that it’s either in my gym bag or my checkbook right now.