Last month I moved from one town to another within the same county. Like a good citizen, State Farm is there – huh? Wait – no. That’s not right. Neighbor. Neighbor. Anyway, I drove to the Department of Motor Vehicles to change my driver’s license address on a perfectly good should-have-been-opened day, but the DMV was closed.
I know what you’re thinking (especially if you know me) – but it wasn’t a Sunday or a Monday or even a holiday. I actually went on a day when it SHOULD HAVE BEEN opened. OK, I reasoned. Though patience has never been one of my virtues, I would wait a month. Surely it would reopen by then.
This past Thursday was cold, wet, and rainy when my youngest daughter, her youngest daughter, and I drove to the State of Illinois driver’s license facility to get my license changed. The time before this, my second attempt, a mobile unit sat next door to the facility – to handle the overflow, I assumed (this is a college town, after all) – and people were lined up all the way into the parking lot. Patience, as I have mentioned, is not a skill I ever learned, so I left – again. Last Thursday was my third attempt.
Next to the facility and in front of the trailer this time, sat a makeshift tent – a TENT– a canopy tent. I looked inside for food. Maybe we came just in time for some DMV festivity or celebration (you know how much fun those DMV employees are)!
The tent took up a large portion of the already crowded parking lot and about 7 people were shivering inside it. I could only imagine that if I left this time and tried to come back, what I would find the next time I returned would be sleeping bags lined up in front of the tents. Winter is coming, after all, and while I really need my new license, I refuse to commit to a sleepover at the DMV.
We walked in the front door and were immediately stopped by an imposing woman who obviously took her job very seriously. “Why are you here?” she demanded to know.
Because my mother gave birth to me. “I need an address change.”
The bouncer-lady then asked, “Do you have two forms of ID?” She meticulously examined my “proof” of existence and asked a coworker to find out if these particular forms of identification were acceptable (they weren’t utility bills, but they were actual postage-stamped pieces of mail and they showed my name and my new address). I wasn’t upset with her. I understood that she was being cautious. In her defense, you just never know how many people are recruiting 63-year-old terrorists these days.
After the man returned with my IDs, I was commanded to, “Stand in the tent.” Apparently, only a certain number of people can fit inside the building because any number over that number means more citizens will die of carbon dioxide poisoning. Everyone inside the building looked very comfortable despite the fact that they were being exposed to poison. Scientists at the DMV probably figured out that humans can handle only about 3 hours of getting sick and having headaches, I guess. Surprisingly, we were allowed to use the bathroom, but we hurried, because our oxygen use might have compromised the others.
On our way back to the front door, I looked at my daughter and 3-year-old granddaughter. I looked at the menacing sky and the whiplash wind and asked the hall monitor, “For how long will we have to stand in the tent?”
“Could be an hour or two.”
Patience test: failed again. We left.
After watching the news Friday night (something I rarely do anymore, because I find it so depressing), I discovered that people were sitting on the sidewalk outside the tent for THREE HOURS that day because they couldn’t fit in the tent.
More news – the Champaign, Illinois, DMV facility closed permanently Saturday, and the birthday present I ordered on eBay for one of my granddaughters, which is already very late, would have to ship to my old address, because eBay wouldn’t change my address, because my bank still thinks I live at my old address and both addresses on eBay have to match, but I can’t tell the bank I moved, because I can’t prove that I moved, because all I have is my old license. Only the post office knows I moved.… This is exhausting (why am I suddenly thinking about Taylor Swift)!
Yesterday was another cold, wet, and windy day, just perfect for my fourth attempt to get my license changed at a different facility in a different town. I took my shower, got dressed, posted a Facebook comment for all my military family members and friends, especially my son, and once again waited for my youngest daughter to arrive. The synapses in my brain don’t often make connections well (an observation that should be particularly obvious to anybody who knows me well or who has read even a couple of my posts). Somehow it escaped my attention that Veterans Day means that all government offices, including drivers license facilities, and banks are closed.
I give up. God doesn’t want me to have my license.