The Mission: Renew my driver’s license
The Plan: Drop my daughter off at school at 7:10 A.M., race to the Driver’s License Office on the other side of town, arrive there before it opens at 8 A.M., spend hours in line, spend the rest of the day blogging about my horrible experience.
Equipment: Proof of Lawful Presence (Birth Certificate), Proof of Identity (Old Driver’s License), Social Security Card, Pre-requisite Giant Pimple in the Middle of My Forehead that Appeared Just in Time for My New Picture That Will Be on My Card for the Next 12 Years
The Plan was immediately derailed on my way to dropping Dimples off at school. A block away from the school, we saw a stray dog. Black. The night before, while I was walking my own dog, a woman had driven up beside me and asked if I had seen, “a stray black dog. It belongs to my mother-in-law.”
So, I dropped Dimples off, and drove back to the dog. Knowing that I had just ruined the 3rd part of my plan – to arrive at the Driver’s License Office before 8 A.M.
After calling the two numbers on the sweet dog’s tags, and receiving no answer, I realized the address was right across the street. I drove her over, and rang the doorbell.
“I think I have your dog,” I said, to a woman who was clearly not a mother-in-law or the woman I had talked to the night before.
“Oh, yes, we just realized she was missing.”
Despite the fact that I had not helped the people I thought I was helping, I consoled myself that I was helping the dog.
Until the woman took the dog from my front seat and unceremoniously threw her in the back yard.
I sighed, sent a silent apology to the dog for cutting short her freedom, checked the clock, and realized that I might still be able to get back on The Plan.
Well aware of the irony of getting a speeding ticket while I was on my way to renew my license, I pushed the envelope ever so slightly, and made it to the DL office about 7:40 A.M. There were already about 15 people in line ahead of me outside the building.
They let us inside early, rattling off a bunch of rules at the front of the line that I couldn’t hear, and already making me uneasy that I had not brought the necessary Equipment. When I got to the big display near the front door that offered a list as long as my arm of all of the ways I could show Proof of Residence, I began to panic. I did not bring Proof of Residence. It did not say on the website that I needed Proof of Residence. I could prove that I am Lawfully Present, but that is not the same thing. OMG! Am I going to stand in line for hours, only to be turned away because I cannot prove that I reside?
I began to hyperventilate.
I watched two people being told that they did not have the necessary paperwork, and started to plot my defense. I pulled up the site on my iPad so that I could show them that it clearly does not state that I need Proof of Residence. I prepared to Make a Scene at the Driver’s License Office.
And then, I heard a few squeaks and squeals. Some of them came from people in line farther down.
Some of them came from a mouse.
A mouse, weaving in and out of the line, with the clear intention of making his way to the front.
My Scene suddenly seemed less interesting.
We watched as the mouse skittered to one of the stations, where a DL employee made a small screech, and quickly disappeared.
I was tempted to get close to the mouse to get a good picture, but I, of course, did not want to lose my place in line. Even though I was clearly going to get the “Go Back Home and Get Your Paperwork” lecture once I made it to the front.
So, I satisfied myself with unsatisfying pictures of people’s feet, and a few blurry pictures of the mouse finally being captured in a large bowl.
He was taken outside, and released, according to the very humane DL department employees.
That’s what you get when you can’t show Proof of Residence, I thought.