Tuesday, March 6, 2007

At the Motor Vehicles

When I was a child, I used to accompany my mother on her various errands. One thing I remember was her keen frustration every time we had to make a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Whether it was renewing a license or transferring license plates to a new car, the lines were long, and the wait seemed endless. Actually, one of those often quoted little kid things that I said growing up was "why is Mommy mad at the motor vehicles?"

Both my brother and I instinctively knew that the DMV was not the place to start whining to my mother about the wait so I took advantage of the time to watch people. And yesterday, when I went to renew my driver's license at the mini-Registry of Motor Vehicles at the Cambridgeside Galleria mall, the wait provided me with the opportunity to do some people watching again. There was a young man "upgrading" to an "OVER 21" license, and several people waiting to return license plates. There was a person whose gender I could not figure out feeding an infant from a bottle. There were a couple of people who really needed a full service RMV and weren't happy when they found that out after waiting.

There were only two people working there after six, a woman in her mid-forties and an older man. The older man sat at the front desk and reminded me of Mr. Brady from "Days of Our Lives." While he was very all business and didn't take any crap, he was also the type of person who called all the women "dear." He was sweet to me, but then again, I had all my forms filled out correctly.

From my place right by the door, I could not only see, but hear everything going on at the front desk, and it was obvious to "Mr. Brady" (whose name I think was George) that, while I was playing at disinterested, I was paying attention. One woman, who had the option to keep her photo, said it was horrid and wanted a change. The man at the desk good-naturedly disagreed with her opinion, took the photo and then looked at the computer display. He then exclaimed, "Now THAT'S HORRID! We can do much better!" much to her surprise, and he looked over at me. I pointed back at him, and teased, "That's it! I want YOU taking my photo!"

Sadly, when my number was called, nearly an hour later, but still before closing, I went to the lady. And despite spending the whole day destroying my eyes in front of the computer, I passed the eye test. And the lady took a really good photo of me - my first ever on a driver's license!!

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