Citizen Slim


Slim Paley photo

Drum roll, if you please…


A bit of a personal post today, but this was a big week for me, I needn’t tell you.

Well, actually, I do need to tell you as you’ll hardly be reading about it in the press-

I finally became a U.S. Citizen!

I drove all the way to downton (oops-someone has a certain TV show on the brain) downtown LA and passed my test with flying colours just before the Christmas holidays. They give you a CD with the 100 questions that might be asked in the test, which I listened to all the way there. Ask me any question about American Indians and old presidents.

 Then I managed to steer clear of racketeering, drug dealing, gambling (unless you count EBAY) terrorist plotting and prostitution long enough to make it to the swearing-in ceremony held this week in Ponoma, CA.

Er, maybe that’s Pomona, CA.  (Oh Hellooo-It wasn’t on the test)




My friend was so sweet-she made me this adorable red, white & blue camellia just for my Big Day.

I almost wore Angelina Jolie’s red & white number from the Golden Globes-phew, dodged another bullet there…

Honestly, is she even from this planet? so beautiful

Alas, no blue. (tattoos don’t count)


Slim Paley photo

It  was just me, and 3,497 other folks all lined up at a fairground.



Yes, believe it or not, this is right outside the door you go in for the ceremony



Slim Paley photo

 An Ellis Island of cell phones.




The President tapped it out with all of us



and I must admit, I got slightly verklempt(sp?) when they played the video of Lee Greenwood singing his “God Bless the U.S.A” song (especially the “and I’d gladly stand up” chorus)



Driving home in the afterglow of achievement,  3 things occurred to me;

For the first time since my sons were born, the whole family will travel together with matching passports.

We will ALL  be eligible to vote in the next election, 2 of us for the first time! (God, hope I don’t get any hanging chads or questions about Ponomona)

and lastly,

I can now qualify to be a contestant on “Survivor!”  Watch out Creepy Russell!



And just in case you were wondering…

The plastic flags they hand out ARE Made In The U.S.A.






  1. Well done to you! Loved reading about this process and see your photos. My kids are US citizens but not me or my husband.
    Again, congratulations!

    You gleaned all you needed to know from a C.D. during a three pint plus drive? NO trial test? NO book learnin’? NO cramming at the midnight hour? I’m impressed. I also like that the United States authorities are considerate by crossing out our date of birth on our newly issued passports. Do other counties do that? I wish the DMV did that on our driver licenses (:

  3. Yeah for Slim! I remember attending the same ceremony when I was 9 . The part I remember which I thought I would have to repeat(!) was to “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen….” That would have been a mouthful!
    I remember being sad thinking that I could no longer pretend to be Queen Elizabeth by balancing a crown ( i.e. a book) on my head…..such is the mind of child.
    You go girl!

  4. Aw. Congrats!

    Just out of curiosity – how long did you have to wait between application and swearing in? Last I heard, the wait is currently about 6 years . . .

    • I don’t know how long it took Slim from the date of application to the happy conclusion -but it took me (her Dad) from Feb 1st to May 18th – just over 3 months. I think Slim’s wait was about the same. Perhaps you heard 6 years because landed immigrants have to be resident in the U.S. for 5 years before they are eligible to be considered for naturalization – thus 5 years plus another few months after applying could be ’rounded off’ to 6 years!

  5. You are a wonderfully talented addition to our country! Congrats. My husband is a naturalized citizen from Europe.

  6. How exciting and thank you for sharing the process. America just got a bit classier! I think your little flag may be made in good ole Carp at the flag factory.

  7. Awww, that’s really sweet. Although, former Santa Barbarian, I am a US citizen and becoming a FRENCH citizen to match my SON, I pray that very intelligent, classy VOUS will be a US citizen on the order of Thomas Jefferson who wrote the US Constitution based on Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ which harkened to Pico della Mirandolla’s ‘Oration on the Dignity of Man’ that sparked the Italian Renaissance….and was a recapitulation on Plato’s ‘Republic.’

    My point is that four Golden Ages were strung along the same spiritual blueprint.

    I’ve always been a Californian. Our state named by Spanish Explorers after a mythical Golden Isle of females that turned everything to gold…and with Eureka! as our motto, and the Goddess of Wisdom Athena on our state shield. It’s an amazing place in time for sure. And you add to it–citizen or not. Mais bien sur–congratulations!!

  8. This is fantastic–a thousand congratulations. Didn’t you post about your father becoming a US citizen a couple of years ago? And voting is a wonderful feeling. Thanks for sharing. Mary

  9. Slim,
    You are a wonderful addition to our country!!!
    Thank you for joining what I consider, “One World!”
    Love to your home,

  10. How exciting! What a wonderful experience – I wish they shared more moments like on the news, with thousands of people becoming U.S. citizens, it doesn’t get more patriotic and americana than that. (And welcome to Pomona – I went to elementary school there. Lovely, isn’t it? cough…)

  11. I was stunned to see how many of you were lining up to become citizens! I recently became an Australian citizen (I was born in Britain) and the ceremony in the Melbourne Town Hall was for maybe 50 people. It was very personal and we said our oaths in small groups and were given an Australian native tree to plant. Each of our names was read out and we all had our photo taken with the Mayor, who shook our hands and congratulated us. After the ceremony we all drank tea and coffee and ate sandwiches and cakes provided by the Mayor.We were allowed to bring as many supporters along as we wished, and they were all given afternoon tea with us. It was nice to have a lovely little party with the other new citizens and their families and friends!

  12. I have been waiting for this day! To hear that you are now our American Sister! Congratulations and Blessings! YAY!

    AND to discover…we, you and I, have something in common…You were ‘born’ as an American citizen in Pomona and I was born, as in really born, in Pomona!

    (In Pomona’s defense… in those days, it was a beautiful, verdant valley, filled with fruit orchards in all directions and hills teeming with cattle… and I never lived there!)

    I am so happy for you!

  13. Yay Slim! ‘Welcome’!! 🙂 Ditto to the commenter who said the U.S. just became a little classier! We need a little counterbalance to the Kardashians, and the Jersey crew…. While you’re at it, could you whip all those political guys into shape? (both parties, thanks.) Too bad naturalized citizens can’t run for president…you would have my vote! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your special day!

  14. Welcome…I am sure it was an interesting process. Thank you for sharing a small part of it. I was shocked at the number of people there. I thought it was a one on one process! You have a very thoughtful friend to make you the wonderful patriotic pin…it was made with love. Congratulations!

  15. America the beautiful…this now rings forever true!
    You are such a shining star…Congratulations Slim!

  16. It’s easy enough to carp about America’s current woes, but that sea of people waiting to be sworn in as citizens is a clear reminder that U.S. citizenship continues to be a dream come true for thousands of people each year. Pretty moving. It’s a little difficult as a Canadian to wholeheartedly embrace the renunciation and abjuration of your allegiance to us but I know we’ll remain firmly and forever in your heart. Congratulations, Slim.

  17. Congratulations, Slim – I, too feel that the whole country, and especially the west coast, is a little classier now that you are truly one of us. God Bless America!

  18. Slim, this is very moving news. And no small thing. How wonderful that you felt strongly enough about our country to embrace it in this way. And yes, Lee Greenwood makes me teary-eyed, too. As does “The Star Bangled Banner.” What can I say.

  19. congratulations… am so honored that you felt it was important to become a US citizen…welcome to America and thanks for sharing this very personal achievement

  20. Hooray! A heartfelt congratulations Slim! That is amazing news and it was so kind of you to share the process with us. Even with all of the shenanigans going on politically and culturally, I am still so proud to be an American. I can only imagine the celebration that you must have had after the ceremony. Cheers!

  21. Welcome to the club and congratulations!! Happy to say I’ve been a proud “member” for 2 years! After agonizing about the 100 questions, I was asked to spell the word “teacher”, phew, I passed!!

  22. It was very moving to read your blog this morning. We are honored that you are Officially One of US!! Best Wishes!

  23. Congratulations, Slim. It is wonderful to add you to the roster of proud Americans.
    All the best…Victoria

  24. I am often filled with gratitude that I’m a US citizen, but for me it was just luck or divine providence because I was born here. But you, my dear, chose to come here and become a US citizen and for that, we all raise our little imaginary American flags, wave them in the air and say, “Hoorah, welcome and well done!”.
    May you continue to be blessed in all you do,

  25. Slim, congratulations to you for becoming one of our newest citizens, and thank you for sharing your story!

    A few years ago my British husband became a citizen, in a much more subdued ceremony and venue, and no one could have prepared me for the pride and emotion I felt that day. It was a very moving moment to watch over 300 people who’d decided they wanted to become Americans swearing an oath to our country.

    During the 8 years of his citizenship process I re-learned my U.S. history and civics, and my love for America deepened in ways I cannot explain. Natural-born citizens can never fully appreciate what we have until you follow someone on this path to citizenship.

    Congratulations again, Slim! Thank you for deciding that America is worth your commitment and effort. It’s an honor to share this happy moment with you.

  26. I am DEEPLY touched by your post. DEEPLY. It does my heart good when I know so many natural citizens take the privilege of being here their entire lives so lightly.
    You MADE my morning and as with those who posted before me, we celebrate along with you!

  27. congratulations dear slim. i thought you became a citizen last year? how could i possibly have gotten something wrong?

    well your passport photo looks like it belongs in a magazine, you are so beautiful! and smart! and funny!

  28. Hi Slim,

    Congratulations! I feel your pride! I became an American citizen seven years ago. (Brit). Soon after that, my eighteen year old son and I voted for the first time. We went to the booths together and celebrated together after voting. A memory I hold dear. We are fortunate to live here.

  29. brings a tear!
    though i must admit… i absolutely love canada and ireland and england.
    maybe someday … not in our lifetime tho … people will become naturalized citizens of
    planet earth! and the little grey people will be lining up to swear allegiance! lol
    congrats slim,
    tammy j

  30. All the others have expressed it all…..
    Congratulations and I’m glad you’re now part of the melting pot!

  31. It is wonderful to be an American citizen and we are so lucky to live in the beautiful country.

  32. Dear Slim

    This is a very big deal!! So much history, struggle, emotion, pride, and effort over many generations that thousands of men and women have achieved and overcome to become eligible for that passport. Well done. I am a bit Verklimpt (sp?) for you myself.
    Your corsage was beautiful. What a cool friend.

  33. Congratulations! It must feel great and you can finally participate in the voting! I’m with Canuck though and will always think of you as a B.C., Canadian girl.

  34. Congratulations Slim, you did it. I also loved the corsage your friend made. What a thoughtful gesture.
    You may have to buy a small hermes wallet to house all your passports.

  35. yay for you sweet slim! that song makes me verklempt also…what a class act you have added to our country. big hugs to you!!

  36. This is a huge deal Slim…congratulations….I LOVE how much pride you took in the whole process too.
    America is lucky to have you….xoxoxox

  37. To-day is a special day! Congratulations – so glad you followed my example! As you know, I still have the little plastic flag proudly waiving right beside my computer so it is a constant reminder of my new (3rd!) nationality! Perhaps you will do the same. And to those Canadian readers of your blog, they should be assured that swearing allegiance to your new country will not mean any loss of the great memories, everlasting friendships etc of that other great country you grew up in. Love Dad

    PS I was also pleased to see the flag wasn’t made in China!

  38. Congratulations Slim.
    I agree with Grandad, and know you will always hold Canada and all of your Canadian friends close to your heart.
    Enjoy all of the new and exciting things that you will be experiencing as a new USA citizen.


  39. ::Congrats Slim::

    Now you can celebrate for an entire week in July!
    Let’s see…Two long weekends in May, two Thanksgivings, etc. – it’s twice the fun.

    Canada and US both recognize dual citizenship, so relax, peeps. Slim belongs to all of us.


  40. Congrats! Just curious: how did you get such a great photo on your id? Did you ask to have them retake it until it was just right? But seriously, I’m very happy for you! Welcome.

  41. Once again, very touched and more than a tad verklempt(but now in American accent) by all your sweet comments.

    Thank you!!

  42. Congratulations! You are exactly the kind of new citizen the U.S. needs! Class and a sense of style and humor are always welcome.

  43. *** What a BIGGGG DAY for you!!! You should be SOOOO PROUD OF YOURSELF!!! Enjoy a wonderful celebration… you’ve certainly earned it!!!

    Warmest & best wishes,
    Linda in AZ *

  44. Congratulations. I have been following your blog for several months and thought you
    were as American as apple pie. So what was your impetus to become a US citizen?
    Did you have to give up your previous allegiance or do you hold dual citizenship–
    and if so what is the other?

  45. Congratulations from us here in Australia! Loved the comment about spelling “teacher”. So funny. Imagine if you got it wrong? And you WERE a teacher?
    By the way, there’s a fab website for Downton Ab fans called… wait for it… F–k Yeah Lady Mary. (My Catholic grandmother would be frowning at me right now!) It calls itself a site for “fans of the flawlessly flawed Lady Mary Crawley”. You can find it at You’d love it – fashion, horses, glam equestrian things, style at its Downton best, really… Congrats again, and best wishes for a red, white and blue 2012. Janelle McCulloch | LIbrary of Design

    • I’m checking it out! God I love that show!! Just finished watching tonight’s episode- not sure if you’re on the UK program schedule in Australia, or behind like we are here.
      Do you have “Birdsong” there by any chance??

      • Thanks for the ‘Birdsong’ tip Slim. It hasn’t reached Australia yet (nor has Downton’s Season Two), but we should get it soon; we get most of Britain’s shows. It does sound fab! I’m just waiting to see what happens to Anna and Mr Bates but I fear it’s not all gin and roses… BTW I thought it was illegal to have a passport photo THAT GORGEOUS! We have to look miserable and dour in ours. I think it’s because that’s how we look at LAX when we get off a 13-hour flight from Sydney!! Janelle

  46. HOLY SMOKES! …velkominn, foon ying,dobro,lali,tonga soa,nayak,zhoyo,witam,welzo to the melting pot!…..did you get any groupons? :)…my daughter sang that song in a talent show when she was in the third grade..gulp….i am proud to be an American!..i hope they were speaking English..”i’m just saying”… is good, especially this year!!!!!!

  47. Congratulations “Slim”. I’m always so impressed… and moved… by those who choose to become real part of our country. Thank you for sharing the news.

  48. Congratulations! I think in celebration we should come up with a red, white and blue martini to toast this momentous occasion!

  49. Congratulations to you from another fellow Canadian turned American! America is lucky to have a new citizen like you!

  50. Wow, congrats, Slim! Great photo on your passport. Can’t believe how many people were there–hope you didn’t have to wait for hours.

    I think your friend’s camellia would have been the perfect touch for the Angelina dress. 🙂

  51. Hilarious! … the All-American billboard showing you which foods to eat to become a true obese American… and the plastic flag which is stamped with Made in USA… i was dying. You’re a real trouper tossing your hat in at THIS stage of the game. Love you!

  52. Congratulations Slim.

    I agree with Grandad, and although I know your parents better than you I know deep down you will hold Canada and all of your Canadian friends close.

    Enjoy being a new USA citizen. I’m sure there will be exciting new things to explore and forge ahead with your new country.


  53. Congratulations and welcome Slim! You should be getting a barrage of campaign calls from Mitt, Newt, Rick & Ron asking for an endorsement! Just kidding. The USA & the blog world is blessed to have your talent and often witty commentary on our team now. Great post! Sending a congratulatory hug. xoxo

  54. Congrat’s !! Over 5o years ago a picture was taken of myself and my dads mom, as she became a US citizen. I wish I could remember it, but no I can’t. And around the same time as you a young man that works at my store. Whom I’ve know for about 6 years also became a US citizen. I felt so proud of him. I was his boss for 3 years and he’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had. There were a few tears of joy for him. It’s wonderful to have great people like your join the US family. Again Congrats!!!

  55. Congratulations Slim! Well done. We need more citizens like you in our great Country to inspire us and show us so many beautiful things and to make us laugh! I look forward to reading your blog, however, it was hard to keep up in December. Welcome, welcome, glad to have you as a fellow citizen!!

  56. Congratulations Slim. What a special thing to share with your family. Even though current times are trying I must admit to adoring my mother country. Still get a knot in my throat when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. Welcome officially, Ex-pat! Shiree’

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