Sunday, April 26, 2009


Well, children, today is my birthday. My last year of twenty. When I turned 23, someone gave me a card that read "Goodbye, early twenties. Hello, early mid-twenties." It seemed ominous at the time, but I clearly didn't know my ass from my elbow.

In addition to heralding the approach of old age, this birthday also marks the expiration of my driver's license. So, yesterday morning I went to the DMV, proofs of residence and identification in hand. And there I sat, for THREE HOURS. I try not to be a snoot (or a liar), but the crowd at the DMV is decidedly unsavory. Unkempt men redolent of old food, women with tattooed images of loved ones, and screaming, sour-smelling babies with lazy eyes. I'm pretty sure that I caught some sort of std just from sitting on the wildly uncomfortable DMV chairs for such an extended period of time. Anyhoo, G100 was finally called and I made my way through the hoi polloi to station 15.

First, the clerk had a problem with my address.

She: "That is not a residential address"
Me: "Yes it is. I live there."
She: "Ma'am, the computer says that is a business address."
Me: "It is not. I live there."
She: "That is not what the computer says, ma'am."

We finally untangled that Gordian Knot, and I was just beginning to imagine a life beyond the walls of the DMV, when we hit another snafu. One that was entirely my fault. My passport had expired on April 1st and had thus been an invalid form of identification for 24 days.

She: "Ma'am, this passport is expired."
Me: "F********ck."
She: "Don't you have a birth certificate or a social security card?"
Me: "If I had either of those on me, then I would probably not be banging my head on your germy desk."
She: "Ma'am you need to realize that you need a valid form of identification. You need to realize what counts for valid. You need to read the list of what counts for valid."
Me: "Obviously, I didn't realize that my passport was expired or I wouldn't have brought it."
She: "You need to read that list and realize what is valid. Don't you have your social security card? You need to realize what is on that list."

So, there you have it - three hours and no license. A year older, and clearly none the wiser.


megan said...

I'm feeling a little overemotional right now due to the fact that I'm suffering from the worst hangover I've ever had, but this story made me want to drop to my knees, shake my fist at the sky, and yell "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" You know what the worst part of the DMV is? The thought that the people there are average Americans. They are the normal ones, not you. Shudder.

Happy birthday anyway. I freaked a bit when I turned 29, but now that I'm 30, I love it. I tell people my age all the time, even if they don't ask. Also, I celebrated my 29th birthday by a) making this list and b)going to the shooting range and shooting the fuck out of some paper targets. Highly recommended.

jurs said...

ohhhhhhhh, keri! does this mean you have to go back to the dmv? i've had awful experiences there, too, and now get butterflies whenever i have to deal with them. i hope the rest of your birthday weekend was better!

ellie bee said...

Oh Dear God...I am sorry you had to deal with the horrors of the general public AND the DMV on the same day! Happy Birthday, beaufiful one!

randasfans said...

I already knew this story and I *still* loved it in the retelling. Happy Birthday dear. Thanks for spending your post-DMV hours with me.

keri said...

megan - excellent suggestions, all. I do love to kill some skeet. Hope you're feeling less hung.

jurs - yes, I must return. I cringe at the idea.

ellie bee - thank you. love you.

randa - there are very few things that would have made that day better. Spending an afternoon with you was definitely one of them.