Thursday, May 03, 2007

You know, it’s funny- I think we were on the same boat back in 1694.

~lyrics from Shame on You, by the Indigo Girls

After twice utilizing the heavenly option of renewing my driver’s license online, the Department of Motor Vehicles was demanding the pleasure of my non-virtual company. Looking at my old picture, I grudgingly agreed that I looked somewhat different (read: older) than when I’d had the last picture taken, and okay, it was probably time for a new one. Plus, I’d never really liked the old picture too much. Just as I was getting ready for the big moment, a guy behind the camera dropped a stack of manuals and scared the crap out of me.

Result: wide eyes, mouth slightly open, looking all-around below-average.

The DMV I chose is really big and has a mostly efficient system for getting people through as quickly as possible. You can even check online for the estimated wait time before you go.

So I arrive at a slow time, take a number, and have no sooner settled myself in a plastic chair than I am called to the counter. Awesome! No need to panic over the fact that I left my book in the car. I am going to be out of here in no time.

I pay the fee and am told to move to “another area” (vague gesturing) where I will have my picture taken.

So I move to the “other area”, where I find that I am in for a 35 minute wait.

See, here’s the thing: there were lots and lots of people to take your money at the main counter, but only ONE person taking pictures. I think the woman fancied herself to be Annie Leibovitz or something, so carefully did she position each of her subjects. Which, okay. The last thing I wanted was to look like I Am Sam again.

Bookless, I settle in for the boring wait.

Up near the photo counter I hear loud complaints. Oh, god. A woman wants to know WHY THIS IS TAKING SO LONG. CAN’T WE SPEED THINGS UP, HERE?

Apparently not. Defeated but still grumbling, the woman returns to the waiting area.

I do not look at her.

Despite the wide availability of seating options, she plops down right. next. to. me.

Of course she does.

What is it about me that attracts the moaners, the bitchers, the complainers? Why does any crazy person within a 5 mile radius want to talk to me? What could explain this unnatural magnetism?

Don’t make eye contact. Look busy.

I quickly rummage through my purse and pull out my cell phone. Immediately I spot a sign that says: Touch that cell phone and we will CUT YOU.

I put it back.

“CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?”

Oh, god. I take a deep breath and focus intently on the contents of my purse.

Don’t bother me! Can’t you see that I’m extremely preoccupied with trying to find this very important...thing?

The woman taps me on the arm. “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?”

“Urrrr?" I mumble. I decide this is a good time to learn how to remove the battery from my cell phone.

“I MEAN, JUST LOOK AT ALL OF THEM.”

Her hand flies in front of my face and my eyes follow the trajectory, coming to rest on a group of people standing near the camera booth. Normal people, waiting to get their licenses.

I turn back to look at her and holy god, the woman is wearing the thickest glasses I’ve ever seen in my life. Her eyes are like two green lentils, blinking out at me.

“What?” I'm just a bit startled by the tiny, far-away eyes.

“LOOK AT ALL OF THEM. THEY CAN’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH AND THEY WANT TO DRIVE CARS IN THIS COUNTRY!”

Still staring at the lentil eyes.

“IT’S DISGUSTING!” she announces. “AND DANGEROUS.”

“Well,” I finally say, “I guess it’s up to the DMV to decide who can get a license.”

“THEY SHOULDN’T BE GIVING OUT LICENSES TO FOREIGNERS!”

I am tempted to get up and move, humiliated by the mere possibility that I could appear to be with her.

“Just because they’re speaking Spanish doesn’t mean they’re foreigners ,” I say.

“IT’S JUST RIDICULOUS!” she continues, as if I haven’t spoken. “ALL THESE FOREIGNERS MAKING THE ROADS DANGEROUS.”

“What are you here for?” I ask.

“I’M GETTING MY LICENSE RENEWED.”

Blink, blink.

At least they can see the road, I think.

Labels:

12 Comments:

Blogger kj said...

ha! point well stated.

that's all i have to say.

oh yes, also: have a fine day.

:)

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Ok, this post made me laugh out loud numerous times. This is not unusual when I am reading your posts, but this one was great.
I wonder if you should have set this woman up with the crazy-eyed pig on the cover or your Ireland catalogue. They could commiserate about their wacko eyes together. Or you could have told her, "You remind me of a pig I once saw..."
That would have gotten you an area all to yourself in the DMV.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Oops. I meant ON your Ireland catalog.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

kj- you have a fine day, too. :)

betsy- you have made THE MATCH OF THE CENTURY. It's so obvious, I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! (slaps forehead)

7:59 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

But the pig was nicer. I love pigs.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Caffeinated Librarian said...

It's your librarian-ness...it seeps out of your pores and you're powerless to stop it. It's the same reason folks stop me in the street all the time to ask me for directions...which is a shame really, since I have no sense of direction.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I bet the pig isn't racist. Now I'm thinking about a pig driving a car. Weird. ;)

11:27 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

I'm sooooo glad I decided to check in here tonight!! That was hilarious and sounded like many of my trips to the evil DMV!!!

Why is it that when they take your drivers license photo it always seems to be set to a reverse-photo-timer, so that the pic is you getting READY for the pic!! I should do a blog where I ask everyone to post their driver's license photos..... except ME!!

You crack me up!!!!! And I love it! (still laughing...)

2:34 AM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

it IS your librarian-ness, or at least, it happens to me too. I have however developed the ability to be shockingly rude, so often they get up and leave in a huff.

the last time it happened, it was a woman at the grocery store talking about irresponsible people who have thousands of children.

i told her i had three, was pregnant with another (i am not) and it's wonderful that smart, nice, good people have chosen to procreate and populate the world with nice, smart, good children. then i wheeled off to a different lane.

i finally decided, what do i care, i will NEVER see these crazy people again, and it's satisying in some sick way : )

7:35 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

babel- I love the response!!

Liz, you should've asked if she had a cell phone and then when she pulled it out, point it out to one of the people behind the desk. I'm sure that would really make her day!! lol

12:50 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Ugh, I feel your pain. I hate when someone obviously deranged gets in line with me at the store and wants to talk.

You were in the DMV, even worse.

It was a funny story though!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

Great post. I swear its like we swear signs that say "Librarian! Ask me anything!" I get asked questions in the store all the time.

9:06 PM  

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