Friday, April 13, 2012
Driver’s License Renewal – The Gatekeeper
Got my license renewed yesterday. It’s been 51-years since I passed that first fearful “parallel park” maneuver. Although technology has changed radically over the past half-century, the periodic trip to DMV remains remarkably static…it’s often been a miserable event. Miserable clerks to blame, I think.
I’ve had licenses in about a half-dozen different states and all of them are similar…guess that’s not surprising since driving is similar in those various places, too. Four wheels, a steering wheel, some signs, some lights, all about the same. Except Colorado…there they want to be sure you know that it doesn’t take as much beer to make you dizzy, so they focus on a few tricky altitude-related questions.
Years ago, in large cities, the lines and resulting wait could drag on for hours and sometimes result in finding that due to having overlooked some obscure sign in a huge room, you had been standing in the wrong line. And seeking any sympathy from the mind-numbed clerks is fruitless anywhere.
Yesterday, I accompanied my eldest to get our renewals done. Living in a small town helps avoid long lines, but nothing whatsoever improves the encounter with the ill-tempered, scowling Gatekeeper. She looked very similar to the lady pictured above and she was absolutely impervious to my sexagenarian’s wit and charm. Nothing worked…not quips, not winks, nothing. Don’t recall her name…I’m sure it wasn’t Kristin or Misty.
Got my license, though…an 8-year deal, no restrictions. If I’m still alive for the next renewal, I’ll be 75. Eldest steps up to the unsmiling Broom-Hilda, smiles at her, compliments her Grinch pen, and the hag smiles back! And she keeps smiling throughout Eldest’s gymnastics with the forms and pictures, even letting her check the picture result. For goodness sake!