by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
I’ve always thought my eye doctor’s parking lot is the craziest to enter and exit when all of us patients with dilated eyes are trying to back up and drive safely when we can’t really see. That was until I tried going to the smaller DMV office since the big one is being remodeled.
Proof! I was out in 30 minutes. Ta Da! And NOBODY is seeing my new picture.
First I couldn’t figure out how to get into the parking lot. What appeared to be the entrance had an out only arrow. The road I was driving on immediately turned into a dead end with a loopty-loop.
Sling-shoting out the back side of the loopty-loop, I spotted the side street where I needed to take a left hand turn to enter the street then another one to get in the parking lot.
I avoid left-hand turns like the plague, but now I had two in a row. Once I made it into the parking lot I had to stop just two spaces in. Thought I’d entered a demolition derby site. In front of me two cars were trying to back out of spaces at the same time while a yellow-shirted pedestrian who seemed to have no peripheral vision whatsoever stood behind them.
While all I could do was raise my eyebrows, I could tell the backer uppers were newby drivers since they were going three miles per hour backwards. The pedestrian finally noticed the black SUV trying to back over her and moved to the left, directly behind the second car backing up at two miles per hour.
I spotted an open parking space ahead while gangs of new pedestrians walked blindly from their cars across my lane and into the area where folks were waiting for driving tests with their cars. Yellow-shirted gal was roaming in that area so I thought she was either a driver or a tester. I’d actually been looking forward to renewing my driver’s license since the DMV is an awesome place to observe people. My writer heart was so excited and all of this parking lot drama was messing up my mojo.
Finally got parked and inside the building. Didn’t kill or maim anyone. I ‘m pretty sure. Saw the take a number machine. Got number 100 and they were on 85. Score! Waiting time, but not too much, just enough to snoop. Noticed one man having a tantrum about some paperwork license plate issue and the supervisor had come up to help the clerk. You know that’s never good for the citizen when the reinforcements show up.
Then I noticed a sign for the Express Line next to him. How does one get into the Express Line? There was a receptionist after the number machine, but the sign above her said to come up in the order of your numbers if you had questions. Well, the Kaiser Pharmacy staff has trained me well, so I get a number, sit down and wait. By the time I figured out maybe I was supposed to go to the receptionist after all, they called my number.
I haven’t renewed my license since the whole prove who you are rules went into effect, so I’d brought almost every piece of ID I own. I’d raided the fire safe and had my original Social Security card, my Passport, my two DD-214s to get the veteran designation put on my license, my driver’s license and the filled out renewal form from online. I knew I was golden.
“You have a PO Box,” said the clerk.
“Yes,” I replied.
“I’ll need to see a piece of ID with your street address on it, like a utility bill.”
Only piece of ID I didn’t have with me and could not produce. Even if I went back home. “But I have a PO Box since I got hit with ID theft and my utility bill goes to the PO Box,” I replied.
“But I need to see that because you’ve moved.”
“I’ve moved?” By this time I really thought I was losing it. Maybe I had moved without my knowledge.
“You have a sticker,” she said and pointed to my old Driver’s License.
“But I’ve been at the same address since 1998.” I really was having trouble grasping what was happening.
“Oh, let’s check your past licenses.”
Let’s do that, I thought to myself. Teamwork!
“We’re good, you’ve got the same address on your past licenses.”
Big release of tension on my part. I hadn’t moved without my permission. Seems my change of address sticker on my old driver’s license made her assume I had moved but I’d only added the PO Box. She then checked my DD-214.
“Thank you for your service,” she said.
“Sure.” I never know what to reply when people say that to me. “You’re welcome” doesn’t seem quite right and “anytime” is not coming out of my mouth either; twice was enough, thanks.
Got through my eye test fine, paid my money, went to the photo chair and promptly found out I had to have my glasses off for the picture. Rats! I wanted my new purple glasses in my driver’s license photo. I also would’ve put on some eye makeup if I knew my peepers were going to be naked on my license for ten years. Without eye shadow and my glasses I bear a striking resemblance to a ferret. Yikes!
Picture taken, temporary license given and back out the door to try and navigate out of the wacky parking lot. I feel really sorry for the new driver’s in Oregon. Forget the written and driving tests, you’re never going to make it into the parking lot!
P.S. I got the veteran designation put on my driver’s license so I can get discounts at Joann’s and Fred Meyers. Goal!