You wait your whole life for the privilege to drive. You sit, anxiously dreaming of being able to venture out on your own and tackle the open road, pure freedom. Or is it?
What about if you loose your license? Or move out of state? Or get married? You are then sent to temporary prison or purgatory, which ever you like, also known as the DMV; a soul sucking institution with terrible lighting and bad service.
Because we moved to California and I recently turned 25 I had to get a new drivers license (fun fact: all are required to get a new license 10 days after establishing residency), not exactly at the top of my ‘want to do’ list, but it has to be done none the less. And so, yesterday morning I gathered all of the papers needed, old license, marriage certificate, birth certificate, and proof of name change (compared to the DMV the Social Security Office is a cake walk) and a good book, because I figured there would be a bit of a wait. A bit!? Try FOUR HOURS! I admire any person who can sit in a room filled with florescent light for hours on end with people being rude, babies screaming, and the air as stale and frigid as the Arctic Tundra day after day. DMV workers I salute you.
So I sat, chatting with others in the never ending queu, patiently (for the most part) waiting for my number to be called. As the hours ticked past I got more and more anxious. Had I been forgotten? Had I missed my number being called!? No, they simply stopped calling my letter series for an hour and a half! After what seemed like forever and my fears of being stuck at the DMV for all eternally felt like they were coming to fruition, my number was finally called. The sweet older woman at window 9 was typing away as I walked up. Hardened from a long day of insensitive patrons I decided to start things off by cracking a few jokes to try and brighten her mood. A stoic face looked up at me seemingly unamused. It was only after she had all of my paper work in hand and saw my comically long maiden name that she warmed to the humor. “Perfect” I thought, “This is going to be easy as pie!” (it was lunch time, I was starving, food was on the brain). She ran my debit card, told me to go to window one for my photo and then through the blue door to take the test… Test!? What test!? I didn’t know that I had to be tested! I thanked her and turned to go. My heart racing as I crossed the room to window one.
I am a notoriously terrible test taker. I freeze and automatically question all of the things that I know, not to mention they always try to trip you up with questions that you will never need to actually know the answer to!
I had my photo taken (it seriously looks like a mug shot because of my internal panic and the woman catching me off guard) and then, with my paper work in hand, I entered through the blue door into an even more soulless room known as the testing center. With fear and trepidation I approached the desk, received my test, went to an open cubical, and froze. Needless to say, I did not pass.
Drew was a gem through it all, texting me supporting messages while I waited and then kindly coming to scoop me up immediately after my failure. He promised to quiz me and make sure that I would pass it with flying colors on my next go. And he did just that! We went on a coffee date and I poured over the material (who knew the DMV offers online practice tests). Drew then went over the test I failed and quizzed me with questions from the hand book late into the night. I was ready.
As I walked up to the DMV to retest I immediately felt my heart begin to pound in my chest. “Take a deep breath… You are going to kill this” (Mind set curtsy of Schmidt). I did just that. With Drews support (he believes in me more than I believe in myself, which is such a gift) and the image ofSchmidt doing parkour in my mind, I entered through the blue door, took my test, and passed! Maybe not with flying colors but still.
You are now reading the story of the latest, legally licensed, California driver. Boom!