Well, this is by far the longest hiatus that I have taken from my blog since it’s inception oh so many years ago, but today seemed like the right day as I am celebrating an event 18-years in the waiting and making.
Today, I became an American citizen…
…and it’s about bloody time.
Of course, the first thing that happened to me soon after was that I left my wallet in a cab. Yeah….four hours later…I managed to get it back. I guess I should be lucky some other passenger did not pick it up.
I officially corrected the spelling of my middle name and changed my last name. And the ensuing insanity of now having to change everything else in my life around the name change should prove to be hi-la-rious.
The new site design needs a few tweaks and fixes, but I figured it appropos for the new beginning and frontier.
The swearing in ceremony was a laborious bore that tested every ounce of my patience. The poorly organized security checks were not a good sign as I was shuttled around the outside of the building with some confused foreigners to go through a different security check…which was as crowded.
Then I began the long process of waiting while line by line we were taken up to the front of the jury assembly room and “checked in.” Then some more waiting. Then a delay as the judge was busy sentencing some miscreant nearby. Then after three hours of waiting, checking and delaying, the judge enters.
Irony reared its ugly head when we were told to repeat the oath…of course…it was being spoken by someone with a HEAVY accent who could barely be understood. I think maybe a quarter of the people in the room actually repeated the oath word for word. People to my left and right mumbled and looked confused. I just shook my head and repeated what key words I could hear.
The judge then gives a long speech signifying nothing in its over-sentimentality (maybe waiting 18 years has made me jaded….I was a lot more excited to get my green card…not that I am not thankful). Then we spoke the pledge (this time understood). Soon after the judge departed and they called out names – a la high school graduation – and we went up to collect our certificates and get the hell out. I have never heard such butchery of names in my life, and I just thought: SURELY someone knew this would happen.
I was a little bothered by just how many people in the room did not speak English, but more on that in a later post.
So there it is. I don’t feel any different, although I am excited about the prospect of getting to vacation outside of the country. I get to vote (woo?). And should I ever want to get a government job I am sure I will die of waiting before even being interviewed.
Days like this in federal buildings with marshals as old as Methuselah , security guards who bark orders as if we were in an internment camp, and long periods of waiting make me better understand why the war “over there” has lasted as long as it has.
The wheels of justice may grind slow, but that’s because no one has figured out how to properly organize and plan the bloody thing.
So, America, here I am….