My StarMegaDo is going to end tomorrow because somewhere along the way from Chicago to Montreal, I lost my passport. I recall having it at security in Chicago, but as soon as I joined the (really long) line at customs in Montreal, panic began to set in. My passport wasn't in any of the normal places that I would keep it (actually the normal place for it is in my wife's purse, but since I was solo...) and no matter how many times I re-checked the small zippered pocket on my bag, the passport didn't reappear. I thought back to the last time I saw it, which was with my boarding passes at security in Chicago. Then I remembered the last time I saw my boarding passes when I put them in the lunch bag that had been left for us on our seat of the plane. I remember taking my boarding passes out. I remember giving the bag to the flight attendant to throw away. I don't remember taking my passport out. Even for people as slow at linear thinking as me, I think I know what happened to my passport.
One thing I do feel bad about is that I probably looked like a complete jerk to my fellow MegaDoers. The customs line snaked, so we past each other many times over the hour and a bit that we were in line, and many jokes and conversations were happening, but I wasn't participating, and in case any of them happen to read this, I'm sorry for being a wet blanket and here's what was going through my mind:
The Seven Stages of StarMegaDo3 Grief:
1) Shock and Denial - "I know my passport's here somewhere. Where would I be if I were a passport? I'd be at the front of this damned line, that's where I'd be."
2) Pain and Guilt - "No! This can't be the end of the trip for me! How will Hyatt know what to do if I'm not there to tell them tomorrow!"
3) Anger and Bargaining - "Why did they give us that stupid lunch bag anyways? Don't they know I was sitting in coach? There's not supposed to be free food in coach!"
4) Depression, Reflection, Loneliness - "I'm going to miss all the swag that's still to be given out! And what if I win the raffle and I'm not there? Sigh..I'm so alone...I mean..besides these other 5,000 people who've all chosen this exact moment to immigrate to Canada via the Montreal airport."
5) The Upward Turn - "OK, this could be worse. I've lost my passport, but I think I still have my student ID card from 1986. I'm pretty sure that's all I need to get back into Canada."
6) Reconstruction and Working Through - "I don't need a passport to fly within Canada. I can book a ticket and fly back home to the west coast from Montreal tomorrow. If I fly Air Canada, I'll even earn more miles!"
7) Acceptance and Hope - "I'm going to be famous. There's no way the organizers can remember everybody on these trips, but I've gotten a chance to talk to each of them today, and they're always going to remember me as 'That idiot who threw his passport away in the middle of the MegaDo."
Thanks to Randy, Tommy, Ed, and everybody who worked so hard to put on this amazing trip. I'll be back next year for sure, with a new passport (and Global Entry....Lord knows I'm getting Global Entry before we do this again.)