Friday, August 10, 2012

Department of Motor Vehicles, or We Are All In This Together, a Case Study, by Allison

Ok, so for whatever reason I had to go to get my driver's license renewed. This is stressful as well as annoying because:

1. I semi-can tolerate the picture on my current license, which is MIRACLE,
considering the cameras there are a majillion years old,
and also photo taken by someone who probably (I would do this for sure)
entertains themselves by taking worst pictures ever

2. It takes a long time at the Department of Motor Vehicles

3. I do not want to

4. I have gone three different times only to find they are full up on people for the day,
thank you, go away.

5. I do not want to

Part of the reason is this:
I do not like doing boring stuff involving sitting on gross chairs for unknown amounts of time with unknown comrades in need of DMV assistance.
I mean, beloved Kindle, which is magic, is with me,
and I totally like to sit and read,
but the people watching (more on this later) is too fantastic at the DMV and I get distracted,
and I do not like being distracted.

But actual main reason is this:
I am so ridiculously vain that I do not want to get a picture on my new license that is a bad picture.
I am not alone in this, right?
I mean, you have to drag that thing out to prove whatever when you get speeding ticket because A Tribe Called Quest's Scenario is on and it makes me drive fast,
or when you get carded (By the way, anyone who is carding me currently, well played. Card the lady with three kids, in her gym clothes, at the Target
(Subnote: Yay for selling wine at Target. Well played, Target).

 It is obvious (and I hope not for aesthetic reasons but oh well) I am probably over 21 since my oldest daughter is 11 and 5 foot 5 inches tall,
but as long as you are carding me in a "No, I'm just not sure you are over 21" way,
instead of a "My manager will fire me unless I card everybody,
even if they are extremely elderly with shirt saying I Am 85 Years Old, must card if you are buying wine at Target,
also, go to wine store instead, they have better wine."

And on the random night in which you are doing something you used to do when you actually needed to be carded,
like seeing a band or whatnot,
and all you have is a back pocket of your jeans to fit your license and cash and lipstick
(Ahh, those were the days . . .) the bouncer or whatever will ask for your ID,
Note to all of bouncer people everywhere:
Card the woman.
Don't act all condescending about it,
be cool, but card her.
Let her have the tiny hope that someone on this universe,
in this dark hole of a music venue (Note: this is just me, it can be wherever you are where someone is asking for ID) ,
thinks you are not decades (OOOOH! Wait, I just realized I am not acutal decades with an s, just decade, with s approaching, HURRAY!)
past needing to be carded.

Also note:
Waiters, Bouncers, People who are required to see ID:
do not fake all "Oh, wow, you look 18" in order to get bigger tip.
That is overkill and is insulting.
 Play it cool, bigger tip for you, work on that.
This concludes Lesson On How To Properly Card Obviously Non-Minors In Subtle Manner Which Probably Will Earn You Goodwill And Maybe Tip.

So back to vanity over horror if license picture is bad.
Tangent over.
I am not saying do that thing Janice Dickenson, self proclaimed World's First Supermodel did with her license,
in which she brought in hair and makeup team and wind machine
(Note: that is awesome and I would do so if I thought I could get away with it,
but trust me, at my DMV, that is not going to go over well)

But there is a need, at least on my part, not to be right from gym,
or after long day, or in any tactile way visibly not on my A game.
I am not trotting around with ugly picture for 10 years,
and get this?
They won't show you the picture after they take it, so it is like lottery or the Reaping in the Hunger Games (minus the horror and fear used to control and terror and children suffering) whatever you get, you get.

And they frown upon going through whole deal again to get better picture.
Trust me, lady with the camera is going to make you look worse if you ask for that.
Do NOT ask for that.
So, at least have decent hair and lipstick on and not weird-necked shirt that will not photograph well.

After jumping through all of these very taxing hurdles, (Note: kidding, kind of) the getting to the DMV is a whole thing, in that it is in weird place in part of town I do not understand.

And the haughty lady on my GPS is very rude about that.

Today I drag a friend along, so I do not get myself into trouble.
She is normal so knows where the DMV is and cannot process why this is so complicated for me, but she is good natured and used to me by now. 
And we get to the DMV, and I am fairly sure Dana Carvey as The Church Lady from SNL back in the day was the front desk person.

She gives me random paper and a number, with instructions to go sit on grody seats and wait.
So my patient friend and I do just that,
and as I am wont to do, I start with my sociological study of the situation,
this DMV afternoon crowd.

It makes no sense, as the number I am given is like A 245, and they sometimes call an A in that general number situation,
but sometimes it is like C 100 or B 7 trillion and I cannot understand the deal.

Plus, there is this other whole hallway of people apparently there for some other reason,
standing in hallway, shoulder to shoulder,
and I cannot for the life of me figure out why they are out there and no one is giving them numbers. Is weird.
And in our room of gloom,
there are some interesting (To me, as perpetual people watcher) characters.

1. Surly, putting of desperate vibe of wanting to seem uninterested,
one leg stretched out long as he lounges in nasty chair,
teen dude who Cannot Be Bothered This Is Lame And I Am Cool.
He is working hard on that.

2. Earnest couples holding hands as if this is Newlywed Game or they are finding out about a pregnancy test and not at the DMV,
I don't think either of those things happen at the DMV,
and they are clutching their hands together in such forcefully intense manner I am dying to know what all is going on with them.

3. Mad Ladies.
Various ages, backgrounds, tastes in fashion,
but they are Mad.
And either discussing amongst themselves Why They Are Mad or are talking LOUDLY on cell phones Why They Are Mad.

4. Asleep people, no idea what that is about.

5. Dudes wearing trucker hats circa when Ashton Kutcher was fashion icon unironically,
while trying to work the room for some possible lady action,
when seriously, if you are trolling the DMV,
there is something wrong with you

6.Me and my friend talking about a book we are reading,
when I am not conducting case study of this fascinating scenario.

At some point, my random number gets called,
and I go off into a cubicle land and find the happiest, cheeriest, blondest, spiky-haired-est, sassiest, nicest DMV lady ever.
She was nice.
She was quick.
She was cool.
I told her so, and she said no one had ever told her that, which is a shame.

People Of The World: Hear This. If Your DMV Lady Is Awesome, Tell Her.
Many of them will not be awesome.
Nurture the awesome.

Sadly, had to leave my new best friend sassy DMV lady who is cool and head off to picture taking lady, and let me say this:
She is out to get you.
Whatever your bad side is, she will find it.
Make you look down at smiley face (I refused to do this, I saw where camera was pointing and am not falling for that trick,
otherwise known as how to make double chins out of anyone and give them half opened eyes)
while she has mist of oil settle on your hair,
 and puts the camera on the HORRIBLE setting,
and then lies she will take the picture on count of 3,
but does it at 2.

That is poor form, DMV lady.
Is cheap camera image on plastic, we are all going to look bad anyway without makeup artist and wind machine, don't make it worse.

But she wants to make it worse, I can feel it.
And she won't let me see the  picture after she takes it,
in fact, she is DELIGHTED not to show me the picture.

It is there, why can't I see it?
Because she does not want me to,
because she hates me,
because of why I do not know.

I tried to be pleasant and agreeable in hopes of non horrifying picture,
but I do not have high hopes.
Mailing it to me in 10 days, which is brilliant strategy on DMV's part:
 Narcissist Ladies Named Allison or Others Like Her Will Want Photo Retake,
and Will Do This All Day Until They Like The Picture,
So Tell Them No Every Time.

Am in fear of photo, but renewal is done,
hurray,my friend and I can go buy tea,
and we pass the mysterious hallway of people doing something totally different I do not understand.

And realize that the pure annoying bla of having to go through all that is totally set up by wily DMV people so pests like me won't show up every week,
like after having hair done or having awesome new sweater,
wanting to update photo on their license.
Brilliant strategy:
Make It Suck So The Crazies Will Go Away.

But if license is horrifying, I am going to go back anyway,
and am now trying to google wind machines.