Middle-earth-land never fails to ….um….entertain. Seriously. I say this in a bless-your-sweet-heart-kind-of-way. I say this as I wrestle with a great deal of angst and incredulity that my house has still not sold after over seven months on the market. And I say this as I seriously try not to get my knickers in a twist over the fact that a Biker Chick friend who lives in Maryland and is moving to Florida has a contract on her house, less than a week after it was listed! Yes… Location IS everything folks.
So, I’ve been praying mighty hard that I would NOT have to renew my driver’s license in middle-earth-land Alabama, even though the current photo looks quite hideous with an I’d -like- to- open- a-vein- right-about-now expression on my face. You might vaguely recall (from a post four years ago) that I did not have a smooth experience at the DMV. Really, who does…anywhere…am I right? My renewal is coming up in August. Remember too that I’d packed a bunch of boxes last October in gleeful anticipation of our move (after all, I’ve had many years of experience at this sort of thing and with our homes selling quickly, timely preparation was essential for a smooth relocation).
I was positively sure I’d be out of middle-earth-land well before a trip to the Alabama DMV was necessary. Alas, as it happens, we had to recently get a new car, which means, of course, a trip to the DMV to register it. After a near perfect nine years of service my “Goldie” had a melt-down (literally) in the wrong part of Washington D.C. Fortunately (for me) it was Rocket-man who was stuck waiting for a tow truck whilst politely ignoring the raps on the driver-side window from panhandlers. “What’s that noise,” I had asked while on the phone with him that unfortunate day. “Oh..well…people are asking for money,” he calmly replied. He was on his way to a business meeting in Baltimore. Knowing that he got caught in an often dangerous part of town I was beside myself with worry. “Lock the doors!” I cried. “It’s broad daylight…I’ll be fine,” was his irritated reply.
So my mission yesterday was to brave the DMV. I had put it off for over a week now and I needed to get it off my plate of things-to-do. I decided to select a satellite office in the local shopping mall. The one I had gone to four years ago has since closed. I’ll refresh your memory on that one: It was located inside a supermarket, right next to the meat department. Seriously. Rocket-man thought it to be a very clever idea: Get your driver’s license and U.S.D.A. rib eye steaks all at the same place. I knew I’d have to arrive early in order to beat the long lines. In fact, this time I’d probably have to camp out the night before. I say this because Alabama has recently decided to close or significantly reduce services in 34 DMV locations throughout the state due to an $11 million dollar budget cut. This has caused an uproar in this already crazy political year as Alabama requires valid voter IDs at the polls. Now the Obama administration has launched an investigation amid cries of disenfranchising black voters.
But I digress (I know. I realize I am being selfish here, not caring a wit about potentially disenfranchised voters. I just care about getting my DMV business done in a timely manner!)
It’s 9.a.m. when I pull into the shopping mall. I had armed myself with a grande non-fat latte from Starbucks before heading into the DMV office. Once I approach the office I see that there is indeed a line out the door. I can feel every muscle in my body begin to tense over this. For a split second I think about bagging the whole thing but quickly talked myself out of it. Procrastination is not going to get me anywhere, period.
Remarkably, the queue inched along at a decent enough pace and less than twenty minutes later I was standing in front of a DMV official. I was positively thrilled.
“I need to register my vehicle,” I said to the man behind the counter. He had a boyish look about him but looked to be about thirty, with strawberry blonde hair, freckles, and quite the tire around his middle.
“Well I can help you with that,” came his slightly high-pitched southern drawl. I handed him my papers which he took with an wholehearted “thank-ewe.”
He completely stopped what he was doing, turned in his chair and started talking to his co-worker about the “sweetest little calf born just last night out at the farm.”
I kid not.
“Oh you should have seen the little thing,” he gushed. “He was sooooooo darned cute!” And so now conversation ensued along with questions from one co-worker and oohs and aahs from another and even someone in line chiming-in on his farm life too. Apparently no one was in a hurry to get their business done. I’m the odd duck in this town.
On the tip of my tongue was excuse me, am I invisible? Do you not see that I am standing here before you …that I’ve just handed you my documents and I’d like to register my car….before the day is over?
I begin to softly tap my left foot. I start to feel a twitch in my right eye from tension (or could it be dehydration?). I noted that there are video cameras on the premises. Really folks, I did not plan on causing a scene….that is just not my style. Still, it appears that this guy has taken his mid-morning break right before my very eyes and I am NOT happy.
Breathe….just breathe calmly and evenly. Yes….that’s it.
This back and forth repartee about the sweet little calf went on and on. I’m sure it was only a minute, or two…tops…but for me it may as well have been an hour.
“And oh my….when the little one tried to stand up he was so wobbly at first…..” continues the cow-BOY.
I was less than a breath away from losing my head in classic Purple Minion fashion. In my defense, I didn’t have a problem with Purple Minion-itis until a couple of years ago when I spent months taking care of my mother (God rest her soul).
But then, as if by divine intervention–as in God seems to know my limit–there is a shift in my universe. I can’t really explain it. All I know is that in less than a blink of an eye the cow-BOY finally returns his attention to me. He processes my registration without another word and two minutes later I walked out of the DMV office having completed the task of registering my car. I’m pleased as punch that I did not throw in the towel….and I managed to keep my cool on a hot day. I thank God in a silent prayer that things went smoothly.
But, with all due respect God: PRETTY PLEASE….I beg of you. Don’t make me go back in August for my drivers license. Let’s get this house sold. I’m on the cusp, once again, of Purple Minion-itis. I’ll do whatever you ask of me….
And yes….in the spirit of staying truer to my religious roots, that means I’ll give up the whole eye-of-newt thing.