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We all have those kind of traumatic little moments in life. You know. Not life threatening, just nerve wracking. Things like going to the DMV.
Yep, this was my year. My driver’s license was due to expire. I have to admit, I have reached the age that I can no longer expect to automatically receive one in the mail every five years.
What I received instead was a notice of what I would have to do to stay legal after my birthday. So, off to the auto club to pick up a booklet to read and review the rules for driving in California. This produced nerve wracker #1 — finding a parking space within walking distance of the building.
Mission accompllished, booklet attained. I was off to my favorite corner for breakfast.
Coffee in one hand, booklet in the other, I was ready to enlighten myself when the customer in the next booth said, “Oh you poor thing, I feel for you. I had to take my test three times before I passed. It was terrible.”
Well that didn’t do a whole lot for my confidence. I flipped through the booklet. There was a practice test at the end. I decided to try it before reading. I’m a good driver. I’ve been driving a long time. I follow the rules. I was sure I would ace the test.
The first few were how to pull out from a curb parking space, how to enter or cross a highway, the illegal alcohol level. No problem, piece of cake. Then uh-oh. Do kids have to be restrained with a seat belt until they are at least a) 8 years old AND are 4’9″ tall b) 8 years old OR 4’9″ tallA!X Should turn signals be given a) 200 feet b)100 feet or c) 3 to 5 seconds before turningA!X My confidence slipped a little further.
The next day I went to a luncheon with some senior friends. I shared my little story and they started with theirs. One said, “Oh don’t go to our local DMV, it is so crowded, takes forever.” “And, they are certainly not senior friendly.” “Oh no! That’s why I went to Thousand Oaks to take mine. Things went pretty well there.”
Oh wow, now my confidence was completely gone. But, what had to be, had to be. I went on-line and made an appointment for 10 days hence at the local. I read my booklet. I took and re-took the five on-line practice tests and some old ones I had in my file. I worried for 10 days.
My big day came. I found a perfect parking spot. I entered the door at 8:00 a.m. I went to window 7 and smiled. She smiled back, took my money, checked my paper work, typed on her computer and gave me the vision test. I read the last line with each and both eyes. She smiled and said, “Very good.”
I went to camera B and smiled again. The lady smiled back, took my thumb print, snapped my picture and said, “That’s nice.”
I went to the exam room. I smiled at the lady and took my test. She scored it, smiled and said, “You got 100%.”
I went across the hall. I smiled at the lady who handed me my temporary. She smiled and said, “You did very well. Your license will be good for five years.”
I smiled and exited the building at 8:25 a.m. I smiled at the guard. He smiled back.
Actually, I wasn’t smiling. I was gritting my teeth. I REALLY had to pee!