We had it all planned out. And it was a pretty awesome little plan…
Ms. Müller was going to get a tourist visa and fly out to Denver, CO on September 2nd. She was going to spend 6 or 7 months out here with me. I had taken 2 weeks off of work, and we were gonna have like, a vacation or whatever, and do what we could to get her set up for her time in Colorado. We were going to get her a cheap old car, and try to find something to keep her busy when I had to travel.
One day a few weeks ago I spent some cubicle time chatting with Ms. Müller and daydreaming about the things we could see when she got out here. I hit up Google Images and started giving her the virtual tour of her new temporary home. Here’s what I came up with (I took NONE of these. They’re all stolen or borrowed or whatever):
And that’s just part of what I had on the agenda. We were going to introduce her to my family, who as of yet knows just about exactly as much about her as you do. I was thinking of taking her back to the family farm in Ohio for a few days. I looked at cashing in some miles for a little trip to New York City. And when we weren’t out and about? I was looking forward to that even more than whatever little adventures we decided to take. Quiet Tuesday nights making dinner and watching Breaking Bad on the couch. Ya know, normal life shit, but like, with the girl I love.
After her little stint out here, Ms. Müller would return to Germany around March of next year, and start studying at the Univeristy of Cologne. In the mean time, I’d work on getting a position in Germany. The Company to be Named Later has a lot of work out there, and more coming relatively soon. It’s already being discussed that we’ll need a full-time guy out there sooner rather than later, and I’ve already made clear to every manager that will listen that I want the job, and they’ve been receptive. I think it’s mine for the taking. There are 3 guys around here that could do it, but only 1 of them doesn’t have a wife and kids in Colorado. Me. And, I want the position. A lot. And I have extensive experience working out there (9 trips in the last 24 months). And turns out probably 80 – 90% of our work in Europe is within an hour’s drive of Cologne.
Pretty perfect right? So assuming that everything went well with her stay out here, and that I got the position I’m pretty sure I could get, we’d consider getting a place together in Cologne. She’d study, and I’d be the new lasery-measurey-thingy European Service Manager, or something flashy like that. It was a solid plan. I liked the plan. We liked the plan.
Last Tuesday I woke up and read the news: Ms. Müller’s application for a visa was denied. Now it’s recently become readily apparent that I don’t know shit about this whole process, but I guess the American government deemed that she couldn’t provide ample evidence that she would be returning to Germany after her visit to the states. I guess having a family, a part time job, and being accepted to numerous German universities was all part of an elaborate ruse on her part to fool the American government so she could defect to the land of the free.
And it gets better. After we learned that her visa was denied, we did a little more research and figured out that she could come out here for up to 90 days without a visa at all, she just needed to get a visa waiver, which is apparently quite easy to get if you’re from a country that isn’t on America’s shitlist. Germany is our homeboy, so that shouldn’t be a problem. So Ms. Müller set about applying for the waiver, and we spent a day anxiously awaiting the response.
Finally, she gets the following email:
Dear Ms. Müller.
We submit the attached approved ESTA authorization, issued by U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Recalling that the expiration date of the document is shown at the top of the document, we invite you to print a copy and hold it between your travel documents.
In any case, you can request for a duplicate at no additional cost.
Attached you find the invoice issued for the amount paid.
Thank you for choosing our services, we wish you a pleasant stay in the United States of America.
She immediately wrote me with the good news. She was coming after all. We would have to amend our plans a bit. I’d have to fly her home in December and back out in January, but all things considered it wouldn’t be too bad at all. We’d still get some real time together…
Then, after about an hour on cloud nine, she opened the “attached approved ESTA authorization.” It stated that since she had been declined a tourist visa, she was no longer eligible for the waiver program, and is barred from setting foot on American soil. Some approval… She wrote me with the bad news this time, and I was reduced to tears on the roof of the power plant du jour. That’s it. We’re fucked.
So all that shit is out the window. Our nice little plan is gone. Ms. Müller will begin attending classes this fall, and frankly, I don’t know what happens next. I have a ticket out there to see her for those two weeks I’d already requested off, which is wonderful, but it hardly seems an adequate consolation prize.
And it hurts. It hurts that I won’t get to start a life with this chick. Not yet. It hurts that we’re again limited to skype and facebook when we both happen to be awake, but not at work, at the same time. And it really hurts that our plans, our nice, neat little plans are fucking gone. For the first time in a long time I knew what I wanted to do with the next few years of my life. I had like, goals and aspirations and shit. I’ll still be trying for that position in Europe, and I still know that I want to be with Ms. Müller come hell or high water, but for now, I’m back to the status quo. Suitcases and loneliness, hotel rooms and whiskey, plane tickets and a depressingly empty apartment. And that shit hurts.