Monday, January 5, 2009

Can I have a ride?

I lived in the Wild West for almost 3 years and I never got a driver's license from there... yeah, I know, I know.

But, my Civilization license expired on my birthday, so I have been driving on an illegal license for several months. In my defense, I didn't know it expired on my birthday in 2008; I legitimately thought I it expired in 2009.

Now, all that being said, one of the first things I wanted to do when I got home was get my ass to the BMV so I could renew it. But I had to wait until I received mail at my new address.

I get my mail, my Social Security card, and my old license and bebop down to the BMV. I had a book and a coffee- I laid in supplies for the long wait. I walk in the door and lo and behold I am the only person in there, other than 6 employees. And when is the last time you've seen happy BMV workers? They were happy- or at least no longer bored because I was a living, breathing person other than themselves.

I happen to get a clerk I'll call Dolly because she wanted to be Dolly Parton. At least I think she did by the hair. Her big hair. That same Dolly color- well, parts of it were the Dolly color. The fake super curly clip piece was the Dolly color and could've been purchased as a gen-u-ine Dolly Parton hairdo from Dollywood Gift Shoppe. Her original color was a sort of blond with smoke yellow highlights... But she seemed NICE!

She wasn't super bright either... but she was NICE! So I take a seat, give her my mail with my new address, my SS card, my old license (with the super CUTE picture of me!), and she smiles at me. I smile at her. She taps in the computer and then she frowns at me. I frown.

Dolly: "You have points on you're license."
Me: "Oh."
Dolly: "There are 6."
Me: "Oh."
Dolly: "You have to take the test."
Me: "What? Oh shit, are you kidding?" Uh, yes, I said Oh shit at the BMV. Loudly.
Dolly: *giggles* "Hunny" she said this and patted my hand- "Hunny, it's not so hard. I work here and almost failed, though."

I have test anxiety. I about stroked out right there in the middle of the BMV. What if I failed? I hadn't studied! I'm a teacher; I would never allow a person to take a test who didn't study! And I think I blurted that out because the next thing I know, Dolly is printing a test for me and telling me if I fail, I can come back and take it as many times as I want until I pass- it's free. Was that supposed to make me feel better? It didn't.

I take my test to the testing nook, under the watchful eye of Dolly, after being told I am NOT ALLOWED TO USE MY CELL PHONE while taking a test- what, did they think I would phone a friend? I read the directions- I could miss 6 written questions and 2 signs, and still pass. Six?!? If I missed 3 signs or more, I automatically failed. If I missed 7 written or more, I automatically failed. Well, that's reassuring, isn't it? I was not feeling BMV love, or Dolly love. But she sat behind her desk, smiling encouragingly, and doing a twiddle finger wave at me.

Like a good test taker, I read through all the questions first, I knew I had no time limit so I could take my time, I was breathing deeply and I found the answer key attached to the back of the test. Oh great. The answer key. now- I had the Good Angel in Manolos and the Bad Angel in Payless Pumps yakking in each ear... Manolos won and I gave Dolly the answers back- but it would've been really easy for me to NOT have done that!

So, I take the test and sweat. I'm thankful she didn't tell me I had to go to defensive driving school or take the driving part of my test. At question 8 I thought defensive driving school might not be so bad. At question 13 I thought I might be able to bribe a person who would be giving me the driving test. At question 22 I was ready to cry. At question 28 I was wondering if Daddy-O would loan me his bicycle. At question 32, I was plotting the murder of Sheriff Deputy Sam in the Wild West who gave me all the damn tickets that caused the points, and at question 37 I decided driving was overrated, walking would be good for me, and that the people who wrote this test knew nothing about test writing at all- obviously they were not educators and they probably thought No Child Left behind was good legislation. And the signs- a plain, empty circle? I was really thankful for multiple choice.

During the 37 minutes it took me to take the test, in came 26 people and the computers went down. I had no idea what would happen since the computers were down. but lucky me, they came back on just as I went back to Dolly. I took that as a good sign that I would pass!

She graded my test and I missed 1 sign. A picture of a truck with a slash through it doesn't mean "trucks are bad"; it means unloading or something like that... I missed 2 on the written part. How many feet are you supposed to stay behind a car at night and keep your dims on- feet? FEET? I had no idea- I guessed poorly. The other one I missed was another feet/ yards question. I was just thrilled that I passed! Dolly told me I was brilliant! Well, you know... what can I say? Whew!!! I passed... Then she made me take another test- the eye test. I was practically hyperventilating at this point... I thought after all this, I wouldn't be able to see! But alas, I can drive, as long as I do it with glasses or contacts, which I've had as a restriction since I was 16 years old.

Next, I had to get my license picture. This was interesting because with the whole identify theft of people sweeping the nation, we are now basically having mug shots taken. I realize I have committed some criminal acts in the past *Please Trooper, don't take me in!* but I've never yet been arrested and after seeing my new picture, I never want to be! And my old picture was soooo cute! Anyway, I had to take my glasses off, and pull my hair off my forehead. I wasn't allowed to smile largely and no showing of teeth and I couldn't cock my head to the right like I'm prone to do in all my pictures. Yup- I'm sporting a Civilization license that resembles a mug shot. I knew I was too cute for prison...

It was an ordeal. I was overwhelmed. Something I thought would be easy turned into a situation that came out well! I sport a 6 year license, I'm a donor, I look like a criminal and I'm ready to drive- all for a mere $26.

Did I mention my Mocha Latte got cold during all of this? No wonder people hate the BMV!

Stay off the roads,


Hecate said...

The reason there was hardly anyone there is due to the new format they have going. The state got tired of people bitching about the long lines so they finally did something about it. On a busy day, I think my wait was 15 mins. That's from the time I checked in to the time I walked out the door!

Trooper said...

Dont worry Mags, I'm sure we have ALL been outside the lines once or twice!! (or thousands)

The W.O.W. factor said...

You had me laughing and spitting coffee everywhere! I thought for sure, though, that you were going to say after all that... were heading back out to the Wild West! Criminals can go undetected in those parts you know about...for, well...lifetimes! *wink

Maggie said...

Hecate- man oh man, was I ever impressed with the speed, for sure!

Whats the new format?

trooper- thanks! I thought you might be ready to drive down here and slap handcuffs on me and force me to talk of my crimes! LOL ;)

WOW- criminals do stay hidden out there for a looooong time... I lasted 2+ years! LOL *wink wink*

D-nice said...

500 ft lease one for MT drivers ed. THis was actually told to me today by a co-work with no knowledge of you testing.

Farrago said...

Wait... they stipulated that you can drive only if you wear glasses or contacts while having sex? That's dangerous, as you may not always wish to see the guy up that close....

Maggie said...

Dnice- now that's a weird coincidence...

Farrago- they told me i can shut my eyes...