Monday, May 7, 2012

Surviving the DMV... and blind drivers

I had to go to the DMV today (Department of Motor Vehicles, for those living 'cross continents and oceans and have no idea to what I refer) to renew my license. It's the 7-year mark, which means I can't do it online. They wanted a new picture, an updated signature, and also to make sure I hadn't gone blind. Scratch that, they'll still give you a license if you're blind. That explains 50% of the drivers on the road. Anyway, I HAD to go in person.

I've been putting it off. I hate the DMV. They change what paperwork you need every 3.5 hours so that no matter how prepared you think you are for a transaction, you ALWAYS have to leave and come back. Then, each transaction gets a specific number, like vanity plates are A. And people who don't have their paperwork are R. And if all you're doing is turning in old plates--it is beyond retarded that you have to take a number for this instead of handing them to the lady at the front desk who screens each person as they walk in, and hands out clipboards like it's her sole purpose in life--get letter Q or some shizz. And peeps renewing their license, they get letter B, at least today.

Having letter B does not mean you are called right after A, or in any similar timely fashion.

Because there is a number beside  B on the ticket. Mine was 50. They were on number 40 when I got there. B40. *sigh* This is going to take forever. I have a sneaking suspicion that on your first day of work as a DMV employee, you must raise your right hand and "solemnly swear" to  be solemn... and SLOW. That you must do whatever you can--whatever necessary--to make sure time drags, and customers' feet and bums go numb whilst waiting in the flimsy, cheap, hard-backed chairs that comprise the waiting room. All of which have been set up facing the counter, so we can watch the slowness as it unfolds before us. Like a soap opera in a foreign language with no subtitles-set in slow-motion.

Some customers don't seem to mind it. Like the lady three chairs down on my left. Her number (B41) was called some time after I sat down and started trolling Twitter in response to the impending boredom. She jumped up out of her chair BINGO-hall style, all smiles and giggles, saying "It's me, it's me. They called ME."

Uh, this is not the lottery lady. You didn't hit it big. 

She proceeds to bounce/skip up to the counter while throwing an "I'm so nervous!"over her shoulder to the woman I assume is her mother. Maybe she's getting her license for the first time, instead of renewed? Except she looks old enough to be MY mother... and, no... as I continue watching and listening--because what else is there to do in a place like this?--I hear that she is, in fact, simply renewing her license.

Some customers come ready for the wait. And I almost can't knock their flannel pajama bottoms paired with an oversized Tweety Bird tee that doesn't quite cover their muffin-top bellies because, hey, they're in it for the long haul. They came prepared and comfortable, just in case this thing drags over into bedtime. Gotta' admire planning.

Then there's the mom who bounces her not-quite-two and not-quite-cute little girl on her lap. You know, the toddler who is now eyeing the guy in front of me--the one with the dreds--with a decidedly "mankiller" glint in her eye. And aww, doesn't mom just think that's adorable of her little prodigy. Lady, you've got "Baby Daddy" pasted on your forehead. Or maybe your license plate. I'm not judging.

This bring us to the 1.5 hour mark, at which time B50 is finally called over the computerized intercom.

It's me! I'm so nervous!

This is the part where my customer service rep says "hello," takes my paperwork, (Blessed Mother Mary, it's all CORRECT. I do not have to go home and print a different form and come back.) and then launch into a whole "I totaled my car and now I'm gonna get me a settlement" conversation with her friend. All while shooting me smiles and nodding at random intervals to let me know "I'm really paying attention to you, the customer, I swear."

I do the eye exam. She tells me to read line 1--the biggest line. I do. Box a- X C G F or something else equally random. Box b- Q R S T, whatever. "And what's in the last box?" she asks.

"Um, it's blank?" I respond. I'm confused. All I see in this box c is white.

She frowns and types something.

"Uh, it wasn't empty?" I ask.

she shakes her head. The last box wasn't empty. I think there was a pin prick I was supposed to see. or maybe it was a trick, because she won't tell me what I was supposed to see. If I fail because of a trick question....

THIS is, by the way, where my favorite term used for threatening violence comes from: I will cut you with my license. (The butter knife came later. Long story for another post.)

Either way, I pass, because remember, they don't care if you can't see. You just have to pay the $32 and "maintain a neutral expression for the camera" and in 7-10 days, you'll receive a Virginia driver's license in the mail.

"Thank you, have a nice day."


  1. Putting the violent tendencies of cutting people with plastic cards, or in some cases, butter knives aside, I'm feeling some seriously negative undertones from this post.

    I recommend 45 minutes of yoga, and a hot bubble bath. Followed by 2.3 liters of wine from a box (you know, the kind with the silver bag inside), one pair of comfortable pajamas, two extra strength Tylenol on your bedside table (you'll need it tomorrow), two hours of loud, angry music, and if needed, three, five minute rounds of leg wrestling with an opponent of your choice to release aggression.

    Please avoid contact with small children, animals, and husbands during this time of anger.

  2. This ROCKED. Welcome to the Dark Side. Down with all that mamby-pamby bullshit that will make you feel better. EMBRACE THE EVIL! CUT SOMEONE WITH YOUR LICENSE! Call me first -- I gotta see this. <3

  3. Going to the DMV is like getting root canal work done. You're numb for a long time afterwards.

    Writer on Fire

  4. First, your post is hilarious!! Second- i think I peed myself with MR's post! That's freaking great! Third, we down here in south Louisiana have some crazy hick sayings, but I just figured out when we say "I'ma cut a b!t@h" it stand to say with a liscence hahahahahahaha!!! I just love it

  5. @Matt - Bahaha! Your comment made me laugh out loud. The longer we're friends, it seems the more violent my tendencies are. Just sayin... And the leg wrestling is on like donkey kong. I have retard-strength in my legs, so you know. Now, WHO will challenge me?? *Said in Hulk Hogan voice* (since that's the only wrestler I know. I'm a 90's kid.)
    @Jenn I will totally call you when the evil goes down. we are #partnersincrime and in #literarypursuits
    @Jay AMEN! It serves as a stark reminder that we are not, nor do we want to be, a dictatorship. I'm not sure why, but I leave there yelling "Down with Hitler, down with the man!"
    @Maghon I agree! Matt's a funny guy, and he knows me so well. #lotsofhiddenaggressionhere Oh and btw "Ima cutta bitch" is universally understood as what was known in the 90's as "here, girl, hold my jewelry."