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Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Enjoy the DMV

I am one lazy sonuvabeautifulwoman, for many reasons that all culminate in the fact that I've been using a license with "Under 21" engraved across the top for over a year. It never seemed like a big enough deal to me to go through the process of "getting it flipped" because A) I was in Kentucky the majority of the time so I really couldn't anyway, and B) my license picture was actually semi-decent and you don't mess with success.
It wasn't until recently that it seemed as though everyone in a position of power (i.e. those who provide me with alcohol) took issue with my vertical identification. One night, a beverage cart lady refused to sell me a Stella Artois because my ID wasn't facing the correct way, not only pissing me off but thoroughly inhibiting my ability to be classy. A slew of similar events finally convinced me to to solve the problem once and for all, and since I am briefly home in good ole NOT WEST Virginia, I figured a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles was in order.
The DMV is an awful place. No one will argue with that. Normally, I would dread a visit there, but for some reason this morning I woke up in a stellar mood, and decided that I was going to make this the best experience it could possibly be. Since it is my nature to share my expertise with the masses, I hope the next time you have some vehicular responsibilities to take care of, you will follow these guidelines and resist the urge to backhand whichever parent decided to bring their screaming toddler with them to purchase a vanity plate.

Proof I can't have an Instagram:
I'm super uncomfortable taking
pictures of myself
Step 1 - Get wildly overdressed for the occasion: Everyone at the DMV wants to kill themselves. Maybe not outright, but I'm pretty positive the glamour of suicide seems enticing to all parties as you wait in line for 45 minutes surrounded by people who cough without covering their mouths. Getting ready this morning, I avoided the Soffe's-and-a-T-shirt route and instead put on real clothes. This is a struggle for me basically any day of the week, but it is my experience that a person who looks halfway presentable gets a hell a lot further than the one who has ketchup stains on their wife beater, so I eeked out the extra effort. I'm pretty sure Paris Hilton has a quote about this, but like anything pertaining to Paris Hilton, I don't give enough of a shit to google it.

Step 2 - Make friends in line: In college, I might as well have gotten my degree in girl-on-girl social interaction, because after 4 years of obligatory friendliness at house parties, etc., I am an expert in pretending I'm not a bitch making temporary BFF's. The line at the DMV is notoriously long, regardless of the time of day, and instead of playing Tetris on my phone while avoiding eye contact, I decided to force an innocent bystander into conversation. The girl directly in front of me also got the Look Cute memo, so I instantly complimented her on her maxi dress. And also on her Longchamp. And then she complimented me on my skirt, and I could tell that we'd both played this game before. We bonded over the fact that no one likes coming to the DMV and made her boyfriend feel like a superstar for waiting with her, and she was called to be helped right before I was going to ask her if she'd like to forget this crazy world and run away to Europe with me. I think I found my soulmate.

Step 3 - Get competitive: Stupidity runs rampant at the DMV. People are always forgetting important papers or alternate forms of ID or their first name, which usually results in several losers exasperatedly removing themselves from the line and trudging back to their cars in a huff of frustration and defeat. Bitches. I live to one-up the weakling of the group, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Watch with disgusting pleasure as individuals drop like flies, ambling past you with their heads hung low, both of you knowing that their error has gotten you one step closer to getting home in time to watch Ellen.

Step 4 - Embellish your personal info: Minus a few parking tickets and an unfortunate accident in a Subway parking lot when I was 17, I am very proud to say that I have never been involved in a car issue that has required police involvement and/or any sort of courthouse visit. Therefore, since my time doesn't need to be spent creatively side-stepping these types of situations under the "Driving History" section of my forms, I get my kicks elsewhere. Those who are fortunate enough to see me on a regular Wednesday afternoon (when I am not donning 4-inch wedges) know that I am not, in fact, average-sized. I don't think my boyfriend even realized how short I truly was until about three weeks into our relationship when I finally wore TOMS to go get Jimmy John's. While everyone else would swear up and down that I'm an even five feet tall, I use this opportunity of alone time to add the extra inch and be known across the state of VA as 5'1". I also got very specific with my hair color and wrote "light brown" because I figure this will cover whatever questionable hair choices I make over the next ten years. Side note: I debated changing it up and recording my eye color as "Hazel" strictly because I was feeling saucy, but then thought better of it because I was starting to feel like I was entering myself into the Witness Protection Program instead of just renewing my license.

Step 5 - Accept DMV Dude's flirtatious advances: No one likes being at this godforsaken place less than the people working there. Between the aforementioned idiots arriving in troves and the fact that the room is seriously underdecorated, I can't imagine surviving an 8-hour shift without entirely losing my mind. Apparently, though, Rajesh (my guy and potential new lover) took the same optimism pill as I did this morning and was refreshingly chipper. We joked about how unnecessarily necessary it was to represent my legality through a 90-degree rotation of my picture, and he assured me that I should keep my hair blonde regardless of what my license says because it is "very beautiful" (a point of contention I will use against my boyfriend next time he suggests I go back to brunette. Who could disagree with the wisdom of a DMV worker? Exactly). Rajesh said that it could take up to 10 days for my new license to arrive, but something tells me that he's going to expedite the process just for me, and that he will also be keeping a copy of my photo for himself because his creep vibe was way strong.
No Fun

All in all, I'd call this DMV visit a monumental success. I considered making a grand exit complete with Miss America waves and a curtsy, but everyone else seemed peeved by my positive attitude, so I instead decided to shoot an encouraging smile at the 15-year-old kid who was about to fail his driving test for the second time and cut my losses. I can only hope that my picture didn't turn out god-awful, and that I can finally go buy my Stella in peace.

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