Thursday, March 25, 2010

Le jour de gloire est arrivé

Update: strike everything that followsI have no fingerprints. That’s right, no fingerprints. The FBI says so, which means no dual citizenship for me until further notice. On the other hand (which has no prints either), this could ultimately be a good thing. After all, do I really want to be beholden to TWO governmentsregardless of where I liveforever? Not so much. Maybe I’ll just stick with residency, which has almost all the perks of citizenship, and then take to a life of international crime cuz hey—no fingerprints (*cackle*).

Big news: I have decided to request French nationality (!!!). It promises to be a lengthy and complex process, which will take roughly 18 months and involve all manner of new and ever-so-slightly daunting paperwork, but I feel that the time has come. I have lived in this fine country for over 8 years now, have fought very hard to continue to do so, and it is time to take my relationship with France to the next level. As I recently discovered (otherwise I probably would have done this sooner), dual citizenship is allowed by both the United States and France, and as my heart belongs to both countries, it is only natural that I have two passports, is it not? Then at last I will be able to vote in French national elections and can quit bellyaching about taxation without representation (as you may recall, we Americans have long-standing issues with such things).

However, regardless of my extensive experience in wading through bureaucratic mires, jumping through administrative hoops and slashing through red tape, I admit to being just a TAD nervous about this request for citizenship. I mean, the government could very well say non—although I don’t see why it would—plus it is definitely going to require a lot of paper-lassoing, including a hand-written request for a background check by the FBI and various birth certificates decorated with scary-sounding additional stamps and seals (which I will then have to have translated at horrendous pricesnote to self: become a certified legal translator and retire early). But my mind is made up: I’m going for it. My love for France began at the tender age of 14 with that first high school French class, when I took the play name of Brigitte (much to my mother’s dismay) and learned to conjugate my first -er verbs. Now, 16 years—16 years!—later, I find it poetic and perfectly fitting to become a bona fide French citizen, and in so doing create a very far-reaching branch of the Holt family tree that no one saw coming. I love that.

Stay tuned. The day that, God willing, I receive dual citizenship, there will definitely be a champagne-filled celebration to remember.

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