Tag Archives: passport

Passport

1 Dec

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After leaving the salon the other day, with a new haircut glow that was seemingly rivaled only by the sun. It seemed such a shame to waste, in spite of my debacle with Steven Stephenson.

Most of the time, this new anonymity suits me well. That is until I actually want to be seen. I decided I would go for a walk and explore the neighborhood a little bit more.

I found myself rather aimlessly around Capitol Hill, admiring the mixture of historic architecture and modern hipster culture. Having previously exhausted most of the local coffee haunts, I wondered if I couldn’t find a bit more excitement to suit my mysterious wiles.

The answer came to me somewhere around the corner of Pennsylvania and 12th Avenue, when I happened across the Molly Brown House. Now an International Woman of Mystery must keep many secrets, but I don’t mind telling you that once upon a time, my younger self was completely enthralled with a certain major motion picture – Titanic.

It was reminiscence that compelled me to enter the gift shop and purchase a ticket for the next tour, but in the end it was kismet. I went in seeking nostalgia but walked out inspired for the future anew. Turns out? Molly Brown was an International Woman of Mystery to the Nth Degree.

Margaret Brown, as she preferred to be called, was an early Denver resident, a philanthropist, feminist, activist and world traveler. Despite humble beginnings and not even attending school past the age of 13, Ms. Brown strived to make something of herself, learning multiple languages and educating herself in the ways of the world. She ran various charities, hosted high society events and even attempted to run for Senate in the early 1900s. Her philanthropy took her on many foreign excursions. When her marriage went on the rocks, she didn’t let it deter her. She received a cash settlement and used it to travel the world. Booked a ticket on the Titanic, survived its subsequent crash and went on to become a legend.

A new wind in my trench coat propelled me home, as I contemplated Molly Brown’s story. If she could pull out all the stops to see the world, surely Jenny G. could do the same. I already have most of the tools I need, but it’s begun to feel like a case of being all dressed up and having nowhere to go. An International Woman of Mystery without a cause.

Back home at the Mystery Pad, I felt even more restless. I fixed myself a cup of tea. I lit some incense. A candle. I poured myself a glass of wine. I laid on the floor staring up at my travel posters on the walls. I knew just what I needed to do.

I retrieved my passport paperwork from where I’d stashed it weeks ago. I finished filling it out. I put on my best red lipstick and walked to the drugstore where I sweet-talked the woman at the photo counter into taking one last passport photo for the day.

The woman staring back at me from the photo looks different to me. And it isn’t just the new bangs. There’s a twinkle in those eyes that wasn’t there before. A knowing smirk. She’s hungry. Ready for adventure. For revolution.

I filed the papers the next day and started a new savings account where I can start building a travel fund. I have no idea when I’ll be able to make the trip or where I’ll go first, but I’m quite certain it will be amazing when I get there.

Ciao,
Jenny G.

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I don’t want to be her anymore

4 Oct

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The other day I was unpacking and in my stack of paperwork that I had gathered the night I left Boston, I found my blank passport application. I picked it up two months ago when Jake and I settled on Tokyo for our honeymoon, after many tears and much debate. I had wanted something exotic and relaxing, like Tahiti, but he wanted something more interesting. I finally gave in, since I’d never been out of the country and apparently didn’t really understand what kind of experience I wanted.

I started to fill out the application. Name: Dzsenifer Gabor. I stopped as I wrote it. My whole life I’ve had to explain my name – on the first day of school, to substitute teachers, to co-workers, to hard-asses at the airport.

“It’s Jennifer,” I would sigh, and most of them would frown at me in confusion.

“My grandmother was from Hungary and Jennifer in Hungarian is Dzsenifer,” I’d rattle off robotically.

My parents named me after my grandmother and, because they are purists, legally kept it as the Hungarian spelling. Of all the stories I tell people about myself, this comes up the most often. I hate that some extra consonants are what others see as the most interesting thing about me.

As an 8-year-old, all I wanted was to be normal, like everyone else, and my name drew uncomfortable attention when I least wanted it. Later, when Jake found out that I wasn’t just Jennifer, I was Dzsenifer, he insisted on pronouncing it in Hungarian. How he knew that, I don’t know, but he kept it up the entire time we were together. After months of my insisting, he finally settled on calling me Dee; he refused to call me J., since that was the American spelling. It didn’t matter what I wanted. What mattered was that he believed he was right.

I looked back down at my application. Name: Dzsenifer Gabor.

I want to not be Dzsenifer anymore.