Over the winter holidays, I was able to travel back to the US to visit my family. A much needed and welcomed break. My mother is a wonderful assistant to me (relax, I’ve called her my assistant for years and she’s used to ignoring the comment). She makes all my necessary appointments for when I’m home…you know, the important stuff, a trip to see my fabulous nail lady. Unfortunately, she also made an appointment at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) so I could renew my expired license this time.
Allow me to give you a little background about myself before I share my short story. My father often told me there weren’t many jobs for “princesses” because my demeanor and personality often fell along the lines of a pampered snoot (but I assure you, also very adorable and lovable). I would much rather shop and get my nails done than work. In fact, when I was 24, my parents forced me to get a job (my mother actually found it for me) because they weren’t going to support my “lady of leisure” lifestyle. I had quite a few rings that…”normal” people might not wear on a daily basis, but if I thought it would look okay, I would have worn multiple rings on my fingers. However, I held myself back since my job wasn’t necessarily a place for that sort of gaudy look. When I moved overseas to a particular country where it was quite okay to wear fabulous jewelry whenever wherever, I embraced it. I’m living there now, and well, I love it. In fact, I’ve just ordered my first custom rings that I’ve designed and I cannot wait to be able to pop those suckers on. As I read over those last few sentences, I realize that it does make me sound a smidge superficial and materialistic, but let me assure you that I do know there is more to life than possessions. Oh, and I admit it, I like jewelry.
Now, let’s talk about the DMV. Everything you’ve seen on American TV about the DMV is usually true….loud, depressing, not the happiest of people working there. So, needless to say, I was sort of dreading my jaunt down there.
When I arrived, the first thing I realized was that I was definitely out of place with my rings. I guess, I just sort of forgot where I was. It happens to the best of us. But I did try to slide my hands in my pockets so I didn’t stand out quite as much. I will say, I was delighted that it wasn’t too loud and everything seemed organized. My number was called quickly and I went to the designated window. The lady started listing all of the possible documents I could use, without looking up from the keyboard. Once she got to the second document, the birth certificate, I interrupted (a mistake) and replied that I thought a passport and SSN card would be acceptable. The glare spoke volumes, and so I shut my mouth. I listened and signed what I needed to. Then she pointed to the dreaded camera. The one without a filter.
She pointed to the chair and told me to look straight at the camera. FLASH. I went to get up and she said it wouldn’t work and I needed to take another one. So, I sat back down and tried again. She didn’t like that one either. After the third try, she told me, “Ma’am, you have got to stop posing.” I told her I didn’t realize I was posing, but she didn’t really care what I had to say at that point. She was about to take it for the fourth time when she gave me a hard look and told me I was doing it again. I took a mental account of how I was sitting and smiling, and yep, sure enough I was posing. I couldn’t help it though. I was in a sorority for a few years. I may not have attended my legit classes, but I did learn the valuable skill of how to pose like a sorority gal: slight head tilt with the pasted-on smile and ¾ turn towards the camera. It’s sort of just ingrained, I guess. Anyway, I tried really hard and finally got a sub-par photo…you know, the traditional driver license crap photo (and no, I will not be sharing it here). And no, she did not offer to redo it…she wasn’t entertained either by my request for the filter.
At the end of my appointment,I am not quite sure who was more thrilled for me to leave…the attendant or myself.