I don't understand why we can't smile. It's not like I arrive at Heathrow looking a hardened criminal. Tired, yes. Criminal, no. I am excited to be somewhere and therefore am smiling. Plus I am human, so I try to be nice to other humans; okay, I try to be nice the the passport man so he/she lets me into the country. I am smiling! My teeth are always brushed, my hair neat, and glossed lips smiling. I think I am going to have a much harder time getting past the officials now - they are going to think I have cocaine in my carry-on.
It's not just the ugly mugshot that makes my passport depressing. It's empty. Sure, you can say "but think of all the places you can fill it with". It takes at least five years for it to get cool! I keep my old passports so I lined them all up to see my past adventures (and to see how I have aged from nineteen to, umm, now). They are filled with working visa's in Japan, right of abode's to England, stamps to Thailand, Hong Kong, Spain, France, Ireland, Mexico. The new one is E-M-P-T-Y. Just when I was collecting a galore of exotic places the stupid government makes me get a new one.
Depressing point #3? When I renew something I always look at the renewal date and think, "where will I be when I am however old?". My license makes me 31. My new passport makes me 33. I am renewing my identification items in my thirties!!!!!!!!!! THIRTIES!!!!! GAH!? When did that happen? I used to think 28 was old. I also used to think I would be married with a wildly successful career at 28. Look how that turned out.