This morning I had my appointment downtown to get my fingerprints “captured” and photo taken as part of my application for US citizenship. I knew from the start that this was not going to be as simple as it sounds.
It was pouring with rain. Actually, that didn’t make parking as bad as I’d worried. Plenty of meters outside the place, and I had quarters in the car. Out of the twelfth-flour window the morning sky was the slate grey of early night; but that wasn’t a problem.
Neither am I germophobic. Having my fingers squidged and squished by strangers on a glass plate which hundreds of fingers have graced before is not a problem for me.
But the glass plate does not feel the same way about my fingers. It rejects them. It turns up its electronic software nose at their rings and wrinkles. It said that my little finger didn’t match ITSELF!
I apologized for my fingers. They always have trouble with the machine, I explained. Last time, I ended up applying lotion, and that seemed to help.
“Do you use lotion?” the (second) lady asked accusingly (she had come to save the day after the hand-wrestling of the first lady and my fingers had petered out).
“Yeees?” I tried.
“Humph. That doesn’t sound like you use it properly. You have to use a good moisturizer at least at night, EVERY night,” she ordered.
The machine announced, “Your capture requirements have been met.” We all sighed with relief.
“Remember,” said the lady, “use lotion! Every day!”
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, and they thought that was funny.
“Come visit any time,” she said, and I left, past the security guards and the metal detectors and out into the lovely, cold, grey rain.