Over 2 months ago, the Department of Transportation notified me that my driver's license was going to expire in about 2 months and they were giving me plenty of time to get my shit together, go to the DMV, and renew it.  And I meant to go - I really did. But somehow, something or other always came up, and there was always another week waiting when I could get it done.

Given that I grew up in NYC, I have some definite views on going to the DMV, like: AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS.  Seriously.  You do not go to the DMV in Manhattan because it is akin to Hell on Earth.  There are long lines, you wait for hours, and the service is nothing short of rude. Or so I've been told because you see: I have never been to the DMV in Manhattan. When I turned 16 and got my learner's permit, my dad took me to the DMV in Yonkers. Itw as easier to go to Yonkers than stay in the city.  When I took my road test and got my license a year later, I did it in Upstate NY.    

That said - Smalltown USA is DEFINITELY not Manhattan and in fact, when I moved here 4+ years ago (OMG that's a long time), I don't remember having too many issues at our local DMV when I needed to switch to an in-state license. Then again, I probably hadn't started work yet and I probably went right when they opened so of course I breezed in and out. 

When I realized that my 2 months had turned to 2 weeks and that most of those 2 weeks were going to be spent at work or on the road, I carved out yesterday afternoon to come back to town early and hit the DMV and the Register of Deeds before a 5pm meeting. 

I was not expecting the local Smalltown USA DMV to be crowded at 2pm on a random July Wednesday and yet...Holy Hell.  I walked in and there was a line to get into the actual office. Six people stood in front of me, lined up against a wall, in an UN-AIRCONDITIONED hallway (the heat index was close to 100 yesterday). I got in line and immediately started Tweeting about my own personal Hell and then I waited.  Even 5 minutes was close to unbearable and as I watched people exit the DMV office, I waited for an employee to appear and to usher some of us in.  Didn't happen.

And this is why Twitter is genius:

My friend Nan grew up in Smalltown USA.  We met through Twitter. I have no idea how she found me but she did. And then we discovered a few months later she grew up where I now live and one of these days when she comes home to visit we're actually going to have drinks IRL...till then...

Nan saw my Tweets and IMMEDIATELY replied and told me to get the hell out of our crappy local DMV and head to the one about 2 towns over where it was empty and they had a/c.  I debated.  I had already invested some time (< 10 minutes) and I thought: well if I leave now, then they'll start letting people in and meanwhile I still have to go to the Register of Deeds and the other DMV is like 20 minutes away and I have to be back by 5 and I don't really know where it is...

But I was considering it and so I paused from my Twitterant to Google the address of the other DMV. And then my phone froze. My brand new Blackberry Bold choked up while trying to download the DOT homepage and while I know all about popping out the battery to reset, my new Blackberry has been encased in a hard, plastic pink shell to keep it intact when should I drop it and I couldn't get the motherfucker off. So there I am in the now even more crowded hallway (because like, 10 more people showed up), trying to wrestle the candy-coated shell off my Bold, SWEATING and I was like FUCK IT,  So I left, got in my car, cranked the a/c and left.  Around that time my Blackberry fortunately unfroze because for the record? I still can't get the fucker out of its case.

Anyways, long story long? I went to the other DMV and I walked in and it was empty - and cool.  The woman at the registration counter gave me my ticket and said to have a seat until they called my number, and before I could sit down and a) Tweet about Nan's genius and b) study the card with the road signs because OMFG - there was a test y'all - my number was called to go sit with an examiner who appeared out of nowhere. And of course I had lugged every single piece of paper I own (social security card, passport, cable bill, gas bill) because I needed to change my address and figured they would require proof but the examiner just asked me a bunch of questions and didn't ask for proof and then I took my test and passed (phew) and then I made the examiner wait while I applied lip gloss and fixed my hair before the photo but then he made me push my bangs out of my face (which I had just artfully arranged) and so I am pretty sure I look like crap in the photo.

Anyways I was in and out in less than 10 minutes and it was the most blissful DMV experience of my life and I give all of the credit to Nan and the genius of Twitter.

Also? So the DMV is one-way in and one-way out. Guess who was so distracted that she almost drove out on the one-way in? I was terrified that an examiner was watching from the window and was going to come running out and snatch my license straight from hand.

1 Comment

If I can help only one person in the entire world, and by helping them they avoid the SHIT that is Smalltown DMV, well then, I've totally won at life. :) I feel so special to be a big part of this post!

September 9th. Dentist appt in C-ville at 3PM. Taco & Tequila, 7PM, numb face or not. BE. THERE.

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