It's DMV time.
Friday is usually my Nordstrom Day. NOW I get to go hang out with the loonies and good public servants of Wake County. BOO. (Did I mention it's Friday? The last Friday of the month, to be precise? It COULDN'T POSSIBLY be busy there today, right?) I'll just drop the kids at school and be the first one there. I'll be in and out faster than you can spell DMV. Or FML.
Easy. I make the coffee wake the kids make the breakfasts make the lunches dress the kids feed the dogs feed the cat load the car and...
SHIT! THERE'S GOING TO BE PHOTOGRAPHY!
I go back in the house park the kids in front of the TV take a shower wash my hair get dressed in something timeless-not-trendy (because I'll have to live with this pic for eight years!) and not blue (seeing that my clothes would get lost against the blue NC driver license backdrop thereby depicting me as a dismembered head) put on makeup (ON A WEEKDAY! UNHEARD OF!) and curl my hair (which I think makes me look cute.)
I practice a couple variations of my Picture Smile for the kids.
1. The Sweet/Shy Smile, wherein my mouth is closed and I couldn't possibly have run that red light, Officer?
2. The Really Toothy Smile, wherein I make the Arresting Officer feel embarrassed for me and thereby let me go with a warning.
3. The Ridiculously Happy Smile, wherein you can see in explicit detail my tonsils in all their glory because I'm purchasing alcohol (!) courtesy of said driver's license picture.
I don't even have a picture of THAT smile. It's scary. Here's the closest approximation I could find:
I think the lady that takes the pictures at the DMV should be required to say something hilarious right before taking your pic. OR have one of those cute little capucin monkeys running around the place--they are very funny. Either way, millions of Americans would have better driver's license photos. I think this would solve many problems.
Clearly I'm putting entirely too much thought into this photo.
I practice my smile until the kids are sure I have a tic.
We're too late for carpool now, so I get to walk the kids into school in all my curly magnificence and encounter The Women Who Live In The Lobby. The Peanut Gallery. The Usual Suspects. The Gossip Girls (Tammy Linda Julie Nancy YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) who promptly ask me where are my tap shoes and if the sun will indeed come out tomorrow?
It's a hard-knock life/for us/ It's a hard-knock life/for US! (No, they inform me, IT'S A KNOCKED-UP LIFE. FOR US.)
And I'm off to the DMV with THIS hair:
Not good. Did I mention I have the world's largest forehead? The only one smiling in my driver's license picture will be the lady taking it. BOO.
So I get to the DMV (which is in a REALLY interesting neighborhood) and get in the line you get in to find out what line you're supposed to get in.
DMV officer: "How can I help you?"
Me: "I need to renew my driver's license."
DMV officer: "ID please?"
Me: "Well, I kind of lost it over the weekend..."
DMV officer stares at me. I understand that I am One of Those. People. DAMN IT.
Me: "Um, I have a Visa here, and uh, here's my Kroger card, oh yeah, here's a picture of me:"
It has my name on the back (Mommy). I think the resemblance speaks for itself.
Did you know that DMV officers have NO sense of humor?
I leave with a list of acceptable forms of identification which I may bring back with me. Social Security Card, Passport, Marriage License, Birth Certificate, yada, yada, yada. No problem. I have all of these. In my safe, because that's where Responsible People keep important documents.
At home, I can't find my safe. It is a very safe safe, because NO ONE knows where it is.
(I'll leave out the part where I turn my house ass over teakettle looking for my very safe safe. Rest assured that I finally found it in a Very Safe Place.)
Back to the DMV. (That sounds like a sequel to a horror flick.) IT IS. Without any of the suspense, drama, or hot actors. Just horror.
And WAITING. The lines here are longer than at Disney World but WITH NO RIDES AT THE END!
A SNACK! I NEED A SNACK! WHY did I not eat lunch before I came back here? I have absorbed ENTIRELY my Cake and Coke breakfast and my blood sugar has hit the floor. Soon I will be too. Hitting the floor. Will they call me up sooner if I am laying on the floor?
The floor is dirty.
The TV at the DMV features a channel called MVN: Motor Vehicle Network. Lots of Public Service Announcements featuring children maimed, killed, or orphaned by texting, drinking, mascara-applying, masturbating drivers. As if I didn't ALREADY want to string myself up!
NOW I know the reason that weapons are prohibited at the DMV--not for the safety of the employees but to keep people from offing themselves out of sheer boredom and despondency. I check the ceiling for a joist from which to hang myself. I remember that I left my rope at home from when I used it this morning to tie up a certain hissing, kicking, spitting four year old. DAMN IT! I could stab myself with the pen I'm holding, but I'm pretty sure that this is the least efficient way a person can kill herself, and I'm nothing if not efficient.
Now I see that the DMV officers are GIVING the people the answers to the driver's test. This cements my position that most people in this state are not qualified to drive. The proctors give one clue, then another, then finally just tell them the answer. Is THAT how it's supposed to work? Certainly they don't give EVERYONE WHO WALKS IN HERE a license.
OH HAI OLD BLIND MAN WITH PARKINSON'S AND A CANE! The officer at the desk does not turn him away. Maybe they should show horror movies on Motor Vehicle Network. THAT WOULD BE LESS SCARY.
FACT: the DMV people would make terrible teachers.
DMV officer: "What's 2 plus 2, Betsy?"(Betsy stares indifferently.)
DMV officer: "It rhymes with door, Betsy...."
(Besty's eyes glaze over.)
DMV officer: "It comes after 3...and before 5...."
(Betsy falls to the floor, frothing at the mouth.)
DMV officer: "Good job, Betsy, it IS four! Go on to 1st grade now!"
(Betsy is dead. She is featured on the next DMV Public Service Announcement: The Perils of Forgetting to Bring Something to Read While Waiting to Renew Your License.)
I become aware that I am the only Person of European Descent in the room. This fact does not bother me, as I am down with the people. The Pizzles of the DMVizzle. AND I speak a little Spanish, AND when I dance like I think I'm Shakira, so I'm covered on both fronts.
Perhaps THEY should be worried about ME. If History is on my side--AND I THINK IT IS--I am sure I can easily conquer and colonize the lot of them and call myself their Queen.
The TV here is FASCINATING. NOW I know that my children should wear seatbelts. Good thing, because I generally let them surf the roof the entire way to school. Bridger, especially, is good at that. Sometimes Waverly falls off but she's usually a good sport about it as I keep Band-Aids in the car and rarely exceed 45 mph when she's up there. Because speeding is dangerous.
That's what I'll tell the DMV officer when it's my turn to take the test! I will bombard her with stories of my careful and polite driving. I will assure her that I give The Wave when other drivers let me in.
I will NOT tell her about my parking disability. Or the frequency with which I hit curbs, parked cars,and my garage wall.
The lady taking her road sign test is crying. Seriously. This is serious, sad business.
A traffic report scrolls across the bottom of DMV-TV. I find this ironic, as the 28 people in this room are the LEAST LIKELY 28 PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA to get caught in traffic anytime in the near future. I fear that none of us will ever drive again. We will all be here until we are dead or too old to drive.
Did you know that, according to DMV-TV, "Party in the USA" is the #1 download in the U.S. right now? I can feel it. The Party. Right here. It will break out an any second and I will become Shakira and dance with my people. There will be music and dancing and it will be like a Rogers and Hammerstein musical except more ethnic and without the fancy costumes.
Can I get this channel at home? Calling Time Warner Cable as soon as I bust out of this joint.
I think if I ever make it out of here I will liberate my subjects. If I don't I'll surely have a War for Independence or at the very least a Civil Rights Movement to deal with and I simply don't have time for that as I have three riotous heathens at home that I have to deal with ALREADY.
OH! OH! I'VE BEEN CALLED! I gather my Social Security card, birth certificate, shot record, college diploma, military records, X-rays, a resume, and a brief but funny autobiography. (I've come prepared. Efficient, remember?) I fly through the vision test and and only miss one road sign.
This is not a problem as the officer gives me a broad hint by saying "CHOO! CHOO!"
I GET MY PICTURE TAKEN!
I grant my people independence.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN