I'm not on the plane to Seoul.
Long story short: like a moron, I accidentally packed my passport into a box of goods (including my hanbok) to be shipped to South Korea. My buddy Mike and I went to two post offices in an attempt to catch the damn parcel, but to no avail: as Mike noted, the US Postal Service was far more efficient than usual, shipping off my parcel with unwonted promptitude.
I had promised my boss at the Golden Goose that I'd be back in the office by Thursday, but that's no longer in the cards. Instead, I'll be catching a flight this coming Friday after visiting the US passport agency this Thursday to obtain a new passport via a same-day expedited service.
The service will cost me over $300, a steep price to pay for unmindfulness. I've been kicking myself all day long over my blunder. "At least you'll never make this mistake again," Mike joked. My little brother David had lost his passport in similarly goofy circumstances back in the 90s; this feels like karma reaching its icy fingers out to touch another family member.
I have to show proof of citizenship when I visit the agency; this means either an old passport or my birth certificate, which is in Korea. I had reconciled myself to the idea that I'd be digging through miles of my public-storage junk to find an old passport when David texted with a better solution: get an official birth certificate printed out at any local DMV. That sounded like a good thought; I'll be hunting for a birth certificate tomorrow (Tuesday).
I also have three forms I need to fill out: one to report my card lost or stolen, one to rush-apply for a new passport, and one to request a records search to confirm my identity. I'm not actually sure that I need to go through that last procedure, which costs $150.
Mike drove me to National Airport, where I was able to obtain a change of flight schedule for free, thanks to the loss of my passport (normally, there's a penalty for changing one's schedule). So that, at least, is done. On a day in which everything had gone wrong, this one thing had finally gone right.
I've written my Golden Goose boss about my situation. I'm sure he's rolling his eyes and grumbling, "Par for the course." Not sure how I'll be making up two lost work days, but I sense some industrious Saturdays in my future.
Righto. Wish me luck as I try to obtain a new passport.