Monday, September 13, 2010

The Circle Of Stupid.

I have been besieged by Stupidity.

My drivers license is getting ready to expire. No big deal till now. I have had it 27 years. They haven't even updated the picture in about 12 years. I used to have to go in  when it was time and say Hi! I'm still alive. I look the same. Same height, eye color, hair color. Yeah those carvings in my forehead are newer.... but if you look at the pic on my current license you see the day I came in with my 10, 4 and 2 year old children with me and had to wait an hour and a half for my turn. Yep. See that face? That's where the lines came from.
Ok, suffice it to say I was perfectly happy to look 33 forever, at least on that little card... even if I also looked  like I was on the verge of Snapping like a rubber band in the hands of a ten year old boy sitting behind a snotty girl who just told on him for letting one in class....anyway.....

I am me. Always have been. Including when my mother took me in to the license office at the age of 15 to get my learners permit.. The year I came in with my fresh new marriage license proclaiming me to now be me but "different" and even when I showed up with 3 napless hooligans because I had a change of address. I have moved 4 whole times since I started driving. All places within 10 minutes of each other and the place I was born and grew up. OMG. I married someone who was born in Maryland and lived there till he was 3. That is suspect behavior of course. Anyway.....

 One year they just gave me a renewal sticker and last time around they just sent me a license in the mail without  request or warning which to be honest I thought was KINDA STUPID,  because I truly am concerned about national security and identity theft, But not as STUPID as THIS. I get a card telling me it's time to renew and....I have to prove who I am. What? You know who I am it's...well...on my license. But NO. They want a birth certificate and marriage license and SS and mail and a blood sample proving I really am O negative...well not that last one but practically.

Ok. I have NEVER SEEN my birth certificate. I don't know what my parents did with it or if they ever even had a copy. They had a red metal box where they kept important papers that we were warned to never get in to and so of course we hit it every opportunity we got. I remember my brother N's infant foot prints were in there and a letter from the navy saying my dad had gone AWOL when he was 18 and got kicked out of the navy which he never told us and I couldn't ask because we weren't supposed to be getting into the red box. I was pretty sure he served in the navy for a long time, unless my family were sneaking onto Navy bases and living in the houses but that was before I was born and I only heard stories, so... what? Was their entire life a lie? Were we actually in witness protection and I never knew?  Eventually I did ask and he said he accidentally overslept and missed the boat but it was just a formality because they let him reenlist immediately. I also asked where my birth certificate was and my mom said, "I don't know, I guess we should get a copy sometime"...The End.

Anyway...My marriage certificate. This is a hot button. I have always been in charge of paperwork. I have a system. It looks insane but I know where everything is and it is in order. Which is why when my still relatively new husband decided to look for something in my desk....and then decided it was messy....and then decided to Clean it out.....and Threw Away Our Marriage License because it was in an envelope with some old bills used as other proof of identity and address that I used to Get My Name Changed On My License.... possibly a year or so before but still...I knew it was there... anyway.... He only luckily remained my husband...even though there was no proof...because he was cute....He never touched my papers again.....yep....anyway......I didn't see the need to replace it right away....about 23 years ago.

So..Just in case I missed something I did ask my sister, "hey do you have the red box and do you remember ever seeing my birth certificate in it?" She didn't have it. I think my brother had it last, but she said, "Yours wasn't in there. I have never seen your birth certificate."
I know, me either and I know it's not in there. I asked her if she was sure my parents really had me and didn't just grab me off the street somewhere and she said "yes"....then paused for a couple minutes...."I remember mom being pregnant." Ok.  That's a relief....I guess. Anyway....

I look up the state vital statistics office to figure out what I was going to need to prove who I am and get the forms to fill out. My parents are dead. Would they accept affidavits from my siblings? My husband could sign something saying I was the one standing next to him at the altar...but he's from can they trust him? Would I have to make footprints to see if they match hospital records? Would I have to request DNA samples from my moms sister in California? I have a dogeared social security card which I have to present to get my license but it doesn't prove my birth or marriage.

So I look it up and I think, WHAT? This info must not be updated like our highly efficient Department of Motor Vehicles. So I do something I just adore doing even more than making regular phone calls.  Calling a Government Agency. But it was surprisingly easy.  I only had to wait through 3 minutes of options before I contacted a real person.

"What", I asked,  (besides my credit card, money order or check made payable to The State of Stupidity Bureau of Holding Stats Hostage, to pay for copies of my proof of existing info that I need in order to get a new license. ) "do I need to bring to Prove My Identity", (after I drive all the way downtown and take a number.) How can I show you that I am truly who I have claimed to be for nearly 45 years?

No problem said the calm and actually cheerful voice on the other end of the line.

All you need to bring is .....


Yep. There you go....Full Circle.

Not that it was terribly expensive but the way I figure it, my parents owe me 9 dollars and my husband owes me 5. $14.00 could go a long way toward a contribution to a jar of OLAY. And here's some creepy.  I knew the law had changed but I didn't give it much thought till my renewal came up which is where I wasn't thinking. I was renewing. If my license had been lost or stolen.....I would have been screwed. I would no longer have an identity. I would be invalid. There is No Solution to this glitch yet. The Bureau of Bureacracy didn't think it through that far. I suggest everyone double check their red boxes and old envelopes.

When I get my new license pic I will appear to have Snapped like a punk on the way to a brawl in West Side Story .....and a little like hieroglyphics.

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  1. hmmm... yeah, so it's almost like you don't exist. Could come in handy. just go with one of the alter egos ;-)

    just renewed mine too and updated the photo. i'm "enhanced"
    now so it cost a HUGE amount of money and i had to have a ton of identification. like an electric bill and stuff to prove where i live. total pain. but now i can go to canada. guess that'll come in handy if i need to lose my identity and start over with one of MY alter egos.

  2. If you need to come to Canada, let me know. I can hide you in my linen closet for a few days. Yeah. The government. I dunno.

    (I still think they kidnapped you. You're probably really the heir to the throne of a glamorous faraway land.)

  3. You know, you got me to thinking - the whole chip in the brain thing ain't all that terrible of an idea, wouldn't you agree? I've had a hard time finding important documents too lately. If they could just "scan" me it would make my life a whole lot easier!

  4. That must be very strange in a way not having all those pieces of paper identifying who you are. Having moved home and country so often we have paperwork that fills an entire drawer in our filing cabinet identifying who we are. Renewing a DL here is a pain, I lost mine earlier this year and had to wait it out at a renewal center, what a waste of a day that was.

  5. I wonder if the drivers license is proof enough everywhere? I live in Utah ( I'm from Maryland by the way- I know I'm suspect) I've been married and divorced three times and someone told me I need my birth certificate and each marriage license and divorce decree. What government agency doesn't know we burn our marriage licenses as soon as we get the divorce decree. Why do I have to prove I was married if I can prove I was divorced? I'm getting a headache thinking about it.

  6. From Anonymous Brother N

    I have the red box. You are not in it.

    However. If you had needed an anecdotal story from a relative who was 9 at the time of your birth, I could offered the following story.

    I remember being hauled off to "Downtown" by Dad. We were going to pick up Mom at the hospital.

    "Is she sick Dad?",I asked.
    "No. She had a baby." he said.

    As the journey continued, I was very impressed by a large trio of lions statue in the middle of a particular part of a "downtown" square.

    We picked you up at the hospital and brought you home.

    Being the former "littleist", I was more impressed by the Large Trio of Lions..

    Love You,

  7. Well I'm glad your sister remembers your mom being pregnant! That's funny! I don't think they snatched you up off the street...maybe you were left in a basket on their doorstep...that would make a great blog post...go ahead, you can use that as a prompt, I won't ask for any credit!

  8. Too funny. I really hate red tape.

    I remember the time I spilled laundry detergent all over my birth certificate -- right before I needed it to get a passport. I think I included it anyway...It just smelled spring fresh.

  9. Oh...dear. And you wonder why the guys who stole my purse were so easily able to use my credit cards!

  10. Now that's deep! Our little family secret....they put female on my son bc & I didn't get it changed until he was about 6! We all have dark secrets LOL

  11. Elissa: Ok, are you ready? We can change our names to Mutt and Jeff and go hide in Bibliomama'a linen closet.

    Bibliomama: Since your linen closet is in a glamorous faraway land, Mutt and Jeff are going to decide your our long lost sister and come to stay with you: )Do we all have to share the throne?

    Pamela: If they scan me at this point I'll come up as 75% off!

    Aging Mommy: I can't think of a more wasteful day which is why I put it off till almost the last minute. I was relieved to find out I really exist though!

    Carol: I love people from Maryland! I know, it is a headache. We have to prove the divorces in my state too so thankfully I still think my husbands cute; )

    Anonymous Brother N: Ok, see, you never told me you were there..or I forgot if you did but whatever.. What, did they think if you got to ride along it would make up for it? : )I don't blame you a bit. The Lions are way more interesting.
    Are you sure there aren't any old stocks and bonds worth a bazillion dollars in that thing?
    Go check again!
    Luvs U 2!!

    Sandra: I don't know, If I was in a basket and my brother found me first he obviously would have fed me to the lions; )

  12. Ok. I had to start over because my husband just kicked me off the "good" computer..something about "business" and I'm "just blogging", yes I was while he TOOK A NAP!...Anyway....

    Accidental Expert: Spring fresh, I love it! Mine probably smells like moth balls; )I'm glad to "see" you!

    Peryl:They rarely check my license when I use mine, so there you go!

    Nicole: That's so funny! I'm glad you fixed it, I can just imagine trying to explain that when he's older!

  13. Oh! That is more possible and scarier than people think.

    When we went to get our marriage license, they couldn't find me. I almost fainted.

    Turns out, my mother decided to change my name 10 days after I was born, and never filed the adendum and had my original name of Lucia on there. Even though she called e alexandra my whole life.

    Just a technicality. Alexandra not my real legal name.

    MAN. What a way to find out, that you don't exist on paper, as you know yoruself.

    I feel your pain. My husband looked at me, like "who the heck are you???" It was pretty scary for awhile...hey! that sounds like a post.

  14. I can't believe that your DMV doesn't force you in to redo your license on the regular. PA sucks. But I guess it's better than being unaccounted for.
    My husband has files for everything. He has 2 of those tall 4-drawer numbers and keeps crap forever and ever. I swear he even has term papers in there from high school. It's weird, but at least if I need my BC or SScard, he knows where it's at.

  15. Kay, I know, I seriously deserve a beat down for my own AWOL...I've been in witness protection??? ANYWHO, here I am, needing to catch up with my favourite ladies! And I have to say, your rigamaroll seems far more trouble than ours! Every year on our birthday we get a notice as to what is required for our license, & our plate stickers, it's all a very organized, quick, & easy system. And when I recently did passports & needed "long form" birth certificates for the kids, & my own recently lost one after 40 yrs of the same little card in my wallet (well, first my Mom's then mine!), all I had to do was go online, fill in our birth info, & they came to my door 5 days later I admit however, to never having filed the papers from the minister to actually ever GET our marriage certificate. Oh well! And in Canada, the only thing we ever seem to need our social for is our taxes...our health cards our our other primary ID. But I am so very glad that somewhere in all of that bureaucracy you managed to find yourself!

  16. Ya, I know the world is all about being safer. but this drivers lic. shit is so dumb.

    Its funny you wrote about this. I am going to renew my lic. tomorrow. Not cause it has expired but...........
    wait for it
    My birthday is in Jan and every time I renew I am all pasty white and wearing a winter coat.

    So I am renewing it now when I have a tan and my hair looks great.
    Cause every women knows it is most important to have a good photo on your drivers license.

    : )

  17. Empress: That would completely freak me out! At least when they checked I was there!

    Christine(ratfacedgirl) I am anal about keeping paperwork since my kids were born, probably just because I didn't have my stuff. I really didn't think I would ever have to prove my marriage again.

    Mayor; Sweetheart, I know you've been protecting that time with your young ones before they grow up on you! I'm Happy to see you: ) And here if the minister doesn't file it in time I think they make you start over!!

    Soccermom: That just cracked me up because I started wearing glasses since my last photo. I have the paperwork but haven't renewed yet. I just came back from the eye doctor and getting contacts. I also am set to get my highlights. THEN, I will replace the license!

  18. We have a system similar to yours-everything goes in a file cabinet and we hope for the best. LOL!

  19. I love the comment from Anonymous Brother N...we should all just bring our relatives in to the DMV, right? Then it could be like a little family reunion, and they could sell drinks and food, and...okay off in my little "the world would be better off without the DMV" place. Glad you exist!


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