I need to take my children’s birth certificates and my degree certificates to an official meeting on Thursday, and I only realised that this morning. But I knew they were all in an envelope tucked into a ring binder, so after I’d dropped the kids off at school today I went home to retrieve them.
The envelope wasn’t in the ring binder.
We went through box after box after box. We rummaged through shelves, through the draws under the bed, checked behind book cases, even thought about looking in the bomb shelter at a box that only contained Christmas decorations. Documentation was nowhere to be found.
After a desperate hour of this, I concluded that they must be in my desk at the office, so I went in to work and had a look. By now so panicked, I was struggling to look in the desk and find disappointment. But never mind! I found an envelope!
… containing a hotel bill that I expensed a year ago, and a mailing receipt for a package I sent overseas two years ago. My filing is dreadful.
I had a meeting that I could hardly concentrate on, and then went home to find my wife ransacking another box, to no avail.
Then, under an empty plant pot next to our bed, there was one more, bright pink plastic box, filled mostly with DVDs and random things like a folding suit brush for travel. There was a buff envelope in there that my wife pulled out.
Again, too scared to open it, I found myself hyperventilating. Was this going to be the death of all hope?
Thank goodness, no. Finally, after three hours of hunting, we’d located an abandoned application for Singaporean Permanent Residency, along with a stash of birth certificates and degrees. And now after that headlong charge through paperwork I’ve rediscovered some tax documents I need, and we’ve thrown away a bunch of extraneous paperwork. So it’s not all bad, though I really need to lie down now.