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 Maryland...you know...how 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 .....
YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE!
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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