VANCOUVER—Now that Canadian passports can be renewed for ten years, local thirty-something Melanie Bart was looking forward to her stunning new picture.  “I thought this was my big chance!  I could take a really good photo and use it for ten whole years. It was my moment to shine.”

In preparation, Bart had a blowout and stopped by the make-up counter at The Bay just before heading to Black’s Photography.  She wore her red cashmere sweater with the flattering neckline and her favorite diamond stud earrings.  Even her teeth were freshly polished, thanks to a recent trip to the dentist.

“When I walked into Black’s, I was so ready to take a picture that I could show off for a decade.  My hair looked great and my make-up was flattering, without being overdone.  It was game on!”

What Bart didn’t prepare for was a malfunctioning photo machine.  “The clerk told me that their passport camera had been down since that morning.  I felt myself start to panic – my window of opportunity to take the perfect picture was closing.  I had to act fast.”

After learning that Walmart also took passport photos, Bart changed tack.  “I tried to keep calm and told myself that it was no big deal.  I just had to walk to the other end of the mall, go up three levels and get my picture taken. But I only had twenty minutes before the stores closed.”

En route to Walmart, Bart enjoyed a free granola bar sample and helped an elderly woman by carrying her case of Ensure.  When she arrived at the photo studio, it was closing.

“The woman was nice enough to stay open so I could take my picture, but I could tell she really just wanted to go home.  I only had a moment to glance in the mirror before she ushered me to the stool and started taking pictures.”

After three retakes, Bart finally agreed to the photo.  “They just kept getting worse.  I was so frazzled and I wanted to take more, but the woman convinced me it was a good pic.  I think she just wanted to get rid of me. But the result is awful.  I’m sweaty, there’s food in my teeth and she made me tuck my hair behind my ears.”

After Bart’s initial excitement over getting a passport good until 2024, she’s now reconsidering. “I already spent money on the hair appointment, make-up and this stupid picture, so I guess I’ll go ahead and get my passport.  But I may only renew for five years.”

By Molly Donovan

I grew up in the USA, but don't hold that against me because I'm also Canadian. Just think of me as the mole.

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