Day 211. An Update

I thought you’d be happy, and perhaps relieved, to know I finally made it to the License Bureau.  I will have my new driver’s license well before it expires on my licensebirthday.

Before I tell you how it went, I must apologize for the lousy quality of the photo.  Given my recent post on how much I dislike crowds, I wanted to show you how many people there were when I arrived (there was an equally crowded waiting area on the other side of the room, by the way).  In a moment of what I thought was sheer brilliance, I decided to wait until the very end of the day to go.  I assumed, incorrectly, as it turned out, there would be less people there.

The truth is, it’s always full of people.  No matter what time you go.

As systems go, theirs isn’t bad, I must admit.  I didn’t have to wait long, really.  Just about fifteen minutes.  Which, in the grand scheme of things, is fairly good, don’t you think?

Oh yes, the photo.  Like I said, I wanted to prove I’d been, and let you see what greeted me, when I arrived.  All the people, I mean.  But as I raised my iPhone up to take the photo, I realized I probably shouldn’t be doing it.  Taking the picture.  It’s a government office, after all, and we all know how paranoid they are.

What if they’d thought I was a terrorist, there to case the joint, in preparation for an attack at another time.  I could have been hauled out of there in handcuffs.  So I had to be very quick.  And circumspect.  Not obvious.  Which means I had no time to adjust the lighting, or even focus properly.  Anyway, I think you can tell I wasn’t alone.

Okay, now for the process.  I’d be sent a card, advising me my license would soon expire.  I was also told I needed a new photo.  A nightmare I also recently posted about.  The final instruction was to remember to bring the card with me.  And my current license, of course.  And some way to pay the $75 fee.  Cash, debit, credit card.

When I arrived I handed the card to a receptionist.  She handed me a receipt with a number printed on it.  Then I sat down in my choice of waiting areas and did exactly that.  I waited until I saw my number flash on one of the many digital screens placed all over the room.  When my number ‘came up’, it was accompanied by another number — the desk I should go to.

From then on, it took mere minutes.  I was asked for my old license.  I was asked for the money.  I was told to stand in front of a screen standing about six or eight feet away from the desk.  I was told not to smile.  Flash.  That was it.

You’re not allowed to smile, of course, which is one reason why we all look so awful in these photographs.  I also took the advice of one of my followers, who said the key is to think nice thoughts, so your eyes have a nice expression.  I thought of every man I’ve ever loved.  The cutest babies I’ve ever seen.  My adorable cats.  Margaritas.  Rum punch.  Walking on the beach early in the morning, before anyone else’s footsteps ruin its perfection.  Watching sunsets.  Floating in the water.  Sailing.  Did I mention margaritas?  George Clooney.  Sean Connery in his youth.  And mine.  I tried not to clench my teeth.

Yeah, I thought nice thoughts.  Did it work?  I don’t know yet.  Won’t for a few weeks.  All I know is, the woman behind the desk said “Good” after she looked at the photo; and then she said I could leave.  Not that we should be jumping to conclusions.  It doesn’t mean I look like a Miss America contestant.  Not that I would even if Annie Liebovitz took the pictures.  Nor does it mean I’ll be posting the finished product on my blog.  So don’t hold your breath.

While I was putting my wallet back into my bag, I asked her just how hardened a criminal I looked this time.  She giggled.  Not quite sure what to make of her reaction.  Does she simply have a good sense of humour?  Or is she a malicious bitch who knows something I don’t?

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26 thoughts on “Day 211. An Update

  1. You’re too hard on yourself! But it’s funny how similar your experience is to my last one which wasn’t too bad either, better than expected, and overall quite efficient. CONGRATS for making it through and looking forward to seeing your hardened criminal-ass picture! Why aren’t you allowed to smile, is that a rule?

    • Yes. We can’t smile for passport photos either. It makes no sense. That’s why we all look so viscious.

  2. Hahaha love it!! I too had a similar experience – renewing my passport – which definitely wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated!!! so whew – that’s done !!

    • It is ALWAYS nice to think nice thoughts! Just have to make sure people don’t think you’re out of your mind when you’re all alone and you start smiling or laughing. I’ve done that, you know.

  3. You know your picture is bad when the DMV person says, “Ahh honey, we have to take this over and try to smile.” We are allowed to smile here in Pennsylvania. I guess the result was better but let’s say I wouldn’t enter it in any contest.

  4. Oh my, $75 to renew a license!? They wouldn’t have to tell me not to smile for the photo, because I’d find it impossible if our renewal fees were that high! I think the last fee I paid was $10…

    Of course, it now costs $101 every year to register a car in Illinois, so they find a way to screw us over one way or another…

  5. Speaking of painful, not long returned from handing over 303euro to insure my car for 1 year, I was not smiling sure they have us by the short “n” curlies at every hands turn.

  6. Wait, they told you to not smile? They have never told me that, I always grin like a jack*** in mine. I loved your paragraph about taking the photo in a room of people that might not like it. I snuck around in Nashville taking pictures for my blog and I felt kinda dirty, but I decided that it felt good for a change.

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