The Purloined Passport by
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Prompted By Senior Moments

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The Purloined Passport

I pride myself on being organized,  in fact organizing became my second career!   (See Second Career)

And altho I would tell my organizing clients to keep important documents in a desk or file cabinet,  for some reason I always kept my own passport in my dresser drawer.

Several years ago our friend Ken invited us to join him on a trip to Normandy.  We have cousins as well as friends in Paris and so we planned to visit them first and then meet up with Ken.

Now it happened about that time I ordered new bedroom furniture,  and in anticipation of its arrival I’d emptied all the dresser drawers.  The new furniture arrived and I arranged for the delivery guys to cart away the old pieces.

Then as the date of our French departure approached,   I began to pack and I looked in my new dresser for my passport.   But I looked in vain – no dice!!

Did I accidentally leave it in the old dresser to be hauled away by the delivery men?   Or did those delivery guys actually steal my passport?

Whatever the case,   I needed a new one and quick,  so I had no choice but to pay a hefty sum to a passport service to expedite it.

We had a wonderful trip seeing friends and family in Paris,  and then meeting Ken for a fascinating and very moving time in Normandy.

When we got back home I was going through the mail when I found my old passport in my desk.   Apparently when I emptied my old dresser drawers,   I moved the passport to my desk for safekeeping.

That was surely wise –  but too bad I didn’t remember I’d done it before paying the passport service their exorbitant fee!   But c’est la vie!

– Dana Susan Lehrman


Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Passports


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Tough one, Dana. Consistency helps. I used to always remember everything, “I’ll remember where I put that”. No longer. Now, it is important to know where all your important documents are. You were lucky that you got the expedited passport. These days, it’s taking 17 weeks, if you can get a slot at the post office to even make the application!

    • Yes Betsy! In fact I had to have a new passport expedited another time before another trip when I realized mine would expire within 6 months which apparently is a no-no.
      That time we did have to delay our departure for a few days while we waited for the new one!

  2. Marian says:

    Yikes, Dana, sorry that had to happen with a passport. It’s odd how you can end up putting something in the “right” place for safekeeping and then forget and go back to the “wrong” place where you first had it. I’ve done that with all sorts of documents when I’ve completely forgotten I moved them and then found them where they should have been all along.

  3. John Shutkin says:

    Not to worry, Dana. You were so young that doesn’t qualify for a senior moment, right? In fact, what happened to you is simply a variant of Murphy’s Law that we have all experienced. It goes something like: “You will only find something that you are looking for after your need for finding it has passed.”

  4. Jeff Gerken says:

    I often put things in a “special place” so that I won’t forget where I put them, and then, of course, forget.

  5. Suzy says:

    Dana, after reading this I had to go and check that my passport was where it was supposed to be! How awful that you had to go through all that to get an expedited passport and then your old one turned up. I think John’s right about the variant of Murphy’s law.

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    We all do those wise moves of important objects, only to drive our selves nuts wondering “where did I put that?” It’s happened to me a lot since we moved. Sometimes it works to ask myself where I would put it now, but not always. M<y friend put all of her late mother's jewelry in a suitcase in her attic for safekeeping. Then, she donated some suitcases and feared she had lost all of her mother's jewelry. But like you, she had made a wise move before donating the suitcases and eventually found it.

  7. I think it’s a good sign that you had no other reason to open your desk drawer. Congratulations!

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