A Present!

What, you mean your dad has never given you a toilet flapper?
The great thing about having a dad who can fix just about anything is that when you casually announce that you need a new flapper for your toilet, which happens to be hundreds of miles away, chances are he has an extra one in his garage. That man has an odd surplus of random supplies: paper towels, cleaners, paint supplies, ladders, light bulbs. You name it and he probably has it.
Heck, I’m not complaining; this saves me a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s when we get back to Virginia.

The fact that I’m the serendipitous recipient of a brand new toilet flapper definitely compensates for the fact that I had to go to the DMV today. I’m sure you’re able to feel my pain. A trip to the DMV is a humiliating, soul sucking experience. And, as it appears, an expensive one, as well.

The driver’s license I use today is the same one I was issued back in 1994. I was 16, had a puffy face and unfortunately high bangs. My license, though kept up to date with a perfectly legal renewal sticker firmly affixed on the back, still has a stamp that says “under 21.” Um, yeah. Despite my best efforts to remain youthful, I’m really quite certain that I couldn’t pass for under 21 anymore. Not even with my arsenal of Night of Olay, Neutragena eye cream and positively ageless sunscreen. Needless to say, it’s time for a new driver’s license.

Although, while waiting forever for the DMV ladies to call my number and listening to some old dude complain about everything from the wait, to illegal aliens to the work ethic of the women behind the counter (ugh!), some young guy turned around and said “hey, did I go to school with you?” I said, “I don’t know, I went to Citrus High School…I graduated in 1995.” To which he replied “Oh, never mind, I’m about 10 years behind you.” Sigh.

Even though we don’t live in Florida any longer, because Craig is active duty military, we have the distinct pleasure of keeping Florida as our home of record. We do it mostly because this is where both or our parents live. As an added bonus, Florida doesn’t have state income tax. Which, for all intents and purposes, is what really what drives us to remain Florida residents. It’s also why I’ve had my initial license for so long; it just so happens that every time it’s up for renewal, we’re no where near Florida.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I’ve also never bothered to change my name after Craig and I got married. It’s been nearly 14 years. 14 years! But really, who remembers to bring their marriage license with them when they go to visit their family? I’m happy if I remember to pack dental floss, let alone a certified copy of such an important document.

Fortunately, I decided well before leaving on our trip that I should try and update my license. With Caroline at camp and my parents busy with work, I really don’t have an excuse. Besides, I’m a sadist and enjoy sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a dull waiting room that doesn’t allow food or drink. Being the rebel that I am, I did have a concealed iced coffee in my purse. I also deliberately disobeyed the rules and ate a Clif bar. Hey, if they’re going to make you wait nearly 2 hours to have your number called, something has to give. Hunger wins everytime.

So, after dropping my mom at work and Caroline at camp this morning, I gathered an arm load of documents and went to the DMV. However, my armload of documents proved to be rather useless. And why, you must ask? Well, because original birth certificates mean diddly squat. They want “certified copies with a raised seal.” Evidently, original birth certificates are souvenirs. A souvenir to mark the blessed day of your birth, but completely useless when trying to prove you’re an American citizen.

New license: FAIL.
I left the DMV defeated. And highly unamused. Here I thought they’d laugh (or possibly yell) at me for not changing my name after 14 years, but it turned out to be much worse.

But, good news! You can order a certified copy of your birth certificate online. According to the State of Maine, all I had to do was click a link, input my info and a copy would arrive at my door as soon as possible. All for the low, low price of $48. Well, the certificate was $15, but the service you go through charges $12.95 and I tacked on the expedited shipping feature to insure it’s speedy arrival.

And even better news…when the birth certificate arrives, I get to go back to the DMV for round 2.

I can’t wait!


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