Paul and Lucy Spadoni periodically live in Tuscany to explore Paul’s Italian roots, practice their Italian and enjoy “la dolce vita.” Paul is the author of "An American Family in Italy: Living La Dolce Vita without Permission," an Amazon bestseller.
All work is copyrighted and may not be reprinted without written permission from the author, who can be contacted at www.paulspadoni.com
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Tripped up by a "technicality" in our search for Lucy’s citizenship
the wonders of modern communications and transport, we received all
of our documents on time for Lucy’s citizenship appointment at 11 a.m. today.
The most amazing event was receiving the apostille for her FBI
report, which was picked up in Washington DC yesterday morning and
given to Federal Express in the afternoon. Somehow it made it to our
hotel lobby this morning at 7 a.m.
Lucy at the Consulate
over each of the 26 pages of documents (or 52, if you consider that
we must provide a copy of each page) several times to make sure I had
everything in order. I re-read the directions, which gave the
requirements. I had a money order in hand ready to make out to the Italian
Consulate. I re-checked the address and route. We arrived an hour
then, because of one tiny little digit, we failed to receive Lucy’s
citizenship. One tiny little but all-important digit, a seven instead
of a six. It seems that correct digits are vital when they are used
in the year of one’s application appointment, which turned out to
be August 2, 2017, not August 2, 2016. We were exactly one year
early! The lady in charge of the citizenship by marriage was not even
at work today, and there was no possible way an exception could be
the heck? How could I have been so incredibly stupid! In looking back
at the website where the appointments are booked, I saw how I made
the mistake. Back on May 23, when I made the appointment, the first
month that showed on the calendar was June, which I assumed was the next month. It was full, and so was July, but there was one open date in August. That’s a busy time of year for my business,
and I also thought that might be too short a time to get all our
documents together, so I clicked ahead month-by-month to the
following June. I found that every other day was booked for a year ahead of June, so I clicked backwards to August and reserved the
only date open.
didn’t notice in all this clicking was that the calendar program
had taken me to June of 2017, not 2016. I
had just assumed that I was looking at this year’s calendar, but
not so. It seems that the Consulate staff is incredibly busy (they serve seven states), because
now when I look at calendar, I see that it starts with
August 2017, and every date between then and August 2018 is already
reserved. It’s not yet possible to make reservations for September
2018, so essentially there is not a single open date for the next two
at it from this perspective, I’m still fortunate to have an
appointment only one year away. If I had waited until I had every
document and then tried to get a date, I would have had to check back
regularly just get an appointment at least two years in the future.
Yes, I wasted some money on express mail delivery, and we took a
somewhat pointless trip, but hey, it’s still San Francisco. We’re
having a good time, and this is kind of an anniversary celebration
for us, since we worked right through our 42nd anniversary on July
At least we're in San Francisco . . .
probably would be less embarrassed if I hadn’t written that blog on
the train two days ago, because then fewer people would have been
aware of my incredible blunder. Oh well, everyone who knows me
already is aware that I can be absent minded, and now all my blog readers
know the same thing.
the shock of learning we were there a year early, Lucy and I walked
to the North Beach, the city’s large Italian district. We drowned
our sorrows in substantial bowls of gelato while we walked around
pretending we were in Tuscany. We’ll fly home tomorrow afternoon
and have a whole year to plan our next vacation in the City by the