Express Driver’s License

After such a delightful birthday, I chanced to think of my driver’s license, in the dim recesses of my mind I could hear a faint voice of my husband, “It is time to renew your driver’s license. Renew, renew, renew — the faint voice echoed and my panic grew.

Monday morning, not too early, that was mistake number 3 (the first was forgetting and the second was going on a Monday), I arrived at the Bureau. Wonder why they call the place a Driver’s License Bureau? The parking places were at a premium, but God was good, as a car backed out just in front of me and I glided in for a landing. “Thank you, God!” I say that a lot anymore. God watches over me.

As I entered the large room, no changes since 2002, except more chips/candy/snacks and pop machines. Now I know why, people could starve to death standing in line. As I surveyed the large room, I didn’t see any drawers enscounced in a corner with tarnished brass handles anywhere. So why is it called a Bureau? I think Driver’s License Dresser…well, maybe not.

I saw several lines and sighed. There, a sign, EXPRESS DRIVER’S LICENSE. I walked to the line and checked with the tall young man with the curly black hair just ahead of me. Yes, he assured me, this is the Driver’s License line.

My current book in hand, I read, aware of when the line moved, I moved, but not too close to the young man. When I looked up, an older brief in stature lady, well-coifed and pleasantly dressed, peer into the snack machine. Uh-huh. She needs a snack, and I could see why. We had been there for 30 minutes. There were still 8 people ahead of us. My assumption was incorrect, which happens often! She did the peer-bit to check her coifed hair. Yes, the curls were still there and hadn’t fallen off, although the high heels made me wonder if she might fall off of them.

Finally the line inched forward. The young man ahead of me left with his license. I laid my book on the counter and the clerk wanted to know what I was reading, and wrote down the author, and told me about another author I should try. After an exchange of money and information, she motioned to the chair for a picture. I looked at the apparatus that passed for a camera. Someone posted a drawing showing two eyes watching each other in close proximity. The smiley face grin, sported a tongue hanging out of the left side. I grinned back. Remembering my awful picture from the past 4 years I was determined to have a better one this time. When the light came on, I grinned trying not to grimace. My face tends to convey whatever I am thinking.

When it was finished, I noticed a man watching me smile at the wall, as if, ‘what are you smiling about, this is JUST a driver’s license picture.’ Men! I thought. I noticed one older man, I am sure he is younger than me, glare at the camera. When he received his license he glanced at it. I know he said to himself, “I knew it — bad picture again.”

Finally the clerk handed me the driver’s license and I can legally drive again. The shocker came upon reading the expiration date, 2010. What is that?

When we were in the 1940’s and I laboriously wrote the date plus 1941 on my school paper, I never thought it would inch up so fast. Of course, every year it takes until February to remember the new year while writing checks. And I will be 81 in 2010. Yup, I will.

Somehow 81 seems unbelievable. Only old people get to be 81 and I’m not old! Not yet!

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