Thursday, September 04, 2008

The DMV lives up to its reputation

I got a notice in the mail that I needed to renew my driver's license. Just another opportunity to stand and line and hand over $50, and I get grumpy thinking about it but then a faint, low voice echoes in my head, "Driving is a privilege, not a right!" Whoever said that did not have to drive around in my dirty minivan with my three kids.


So I got to the DMV early yesterday morning with Sofia and Isobel in tow and it seems quiet enough at the registration desk, but then I round the corner for the licensing and OH! There it is! The long line of sullen faces reaching back to the far wall, the herd corralled within the line dividers so they can't escape, their hands all clutching their little renewal notices. They all look at me, their eyes pleading, it's not too late for while you still can! But I'm here. I could come back tomorrow but I'm here now so I'll just get it over with.

The first 20 minutes go smoothly. The girls have snacks, then some water. Then Isobel gets restless. She keeps grabbing at the skirt of the woman in front of us. It looks silky, so I guess she likes the way it feels. Then she tries to go under it. The woman tries and laughs it off, but I apologize and hoist 'Bel unto my shoulders. Then she messes up my hair, which didn't look so hot to begin with, but now it's totally craptacular. Now Sofia is getting restless. "I'm so bored," she moans. "Me too, hon. Nobody likes to wait in line. Let's just try and make the best of it." I try doing finger plays with the girls, like "thumbkin" and "open, shut them" and they are only mildly amused. The line shuffles along, slightly. Now we're 40 minutes in. Still about 8 people in front of me. Isobel begins to lose her cool, so I throw her in the air repeatedly, but then after about 10 tosses my arms begin to fatigue and I have to put her down. She wants nothing to do with the stroller. Then "Desperado" starts playing over the speaker. Now, you're probably wondering what I've got against that song. I used to really like it a lot, but years ago when I worked for a dinner theater I was in a play in which my character had to sing it 5 nights a week for 4 months. Sometimes we had matinees and I would sing it twice a day. So now I just really hate it. That's all.

So if that's not bad enough now Isobel is really starting to lose it and nothing I do is helping and then in walks some man with a little boy of about 2 years old in tow and he starts yelling, "REPENT all ye sinners! REPENT!" Now, I've nothing against repentance- it's good for the soul, for sure, but this guy is nutty and I am scared because I am certain any minute he is going to pull out a gun and start shooting everyone. I'm already planning my exit route with the kids and I'm glad I'm wearing my sneakers in case I have to haul ass out of here and I think, "no, I can't die at the DMV...anywhere but here, please!"And then,'s my turn.

So I take my eye test, pay my fifty bucks, get my hideous picture taken and leave with my life intact.

Thanks DMV for such a stellar birthday gift. Really, you shouldn't have!