She minces no words.

Dont Mince Words

Renew by mail

Posted on December 22, 2006 by Marna

As enticing as the DMV offer was, I knew I couldn’t renew my driver’s license by mail. My picture was a cross between a Nick Nolte mug shot and a Cyndi Lauper album cover. When I moved to California, I wasn’t aware they put weight on your driver’s license, so I didn’t lie. It was time to go in for a personal visit to correct all these errors.

I selected the week before Christmas thinking everyone would be shopping and it would be low volume pain-time at the DMV. I got there and discovered there’s no off season at that place.

Coiffed and slathered with makeup, I was ready for combat. I stood in line to get my number and waited 15 minutes for my number to be called. Window 10 Jesse looked at me funny when he pulled my record.

“You are eligible to renew by mail. Why are you here?” he asked.

“I need a new picture and my weight has changed. I need a license I can live with for a few years,” I explained.

While he did his data entry, I memorized the eye charts above his head. I had an eye exam the week before and was told my distance was fine. But was that an F or a P? Thankfully, I passed the test, so I can continue to drive visually unaided.

I paid $26 and proceeded to window B for my new picture. Lipstick on. Hair fluffed. Clothes straightened. I smiled big.

“Oh wow,” Window B boy exclaimed. “I’m not supposed to show customers their pictures, but take a look at you. This is the best one today.”

I had a Joker grin, shiny cheeks, and a slight double chin. Window B boy asked me if I wanted a do over. I decided no – I’m always going to look like a clown at the DMV portrait studio. I was more proud of possessing a license with my goal weight printed on it. I’ll get there one day, but if the cops ever pull me over, I’m not worried. They’ll recognize the cheeks.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 377 Posts, 132 Comments

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