Department of Motor Vehicles: A Funny Place to Find Yourself

As a known procrastinator, it is not surprising that I waited until almost my birthday to renew my driver’s license.  So in an effort not to get stuck in a bad spot (like a expired license) or upset my spouse, I decided to go visit our local MVA early (to beat the lunch crowd) and hopefully zip in an zip out.  No such luck.  However the time did give me a chance to look around at my fellow “brethren” and to think .

I observed that there were as many older folks as there were younger.  There were so many Octogenarians and ( I don’t even know the word for) 90+ year olds waiting to renew their licenses.  Many of them could not walk well.  Some could not hear their names being called by the MVA staff  while others were accompanied by their adult children.  

At the same time, there was the younger crowd (okay, they were mostly girls) talking on their cell phones or texting while waiting in line with their parents who probably sat several seats behind them.  <Renee ROLLS HER EYES realizing that this will soon be her.> 

Anyway, I could not figure out who I would feel safer driving behind:  The aged man who could neither hear (apparently he could see well enough to get a license) nor walk well or the distracted 16 year old paying attention to her ipod, phone, texting and yelling at her buddies in the car next to her.

Jury says: Aged Man.  At least he knows that he is a bit of a risk on the road and will perhaps take some (?) precautions? 

I spoke with my grandfather about this issue several years ago when he turned 90.  I asked him when he was going to give it up and let others drive him where he needs to go.  His answer was surprisingly honest and revealing.  He told me that, to him, giving up his license was admitting that he was old and no longer capable of taking care of his life.  His license = freedom.  I totally get that.  After all, I quit a job at a summer camp in N.C. when I was twenty because I did not have a set of wheels and felt trapped.  Since then, I have never been without a car–NEVER!  I can’t stand the feeling of being anywhere without an escape plan.  I can’t imagine being told, “Sorry, we know that you need to go to the store but you aren’t allowed to drive anymore so you are going to have to wait until it is convenient for someone else to take you!”  Not gonna happen willingly!

Which leads me to my next topic du-jour: The Porsche.

I love our 1997 Porsche Boxster.  I have always wanted a little zippy car.  Okay, we bought it for my husband but I figured, with a little practice, I can teach myself how to drive it.  It has been an embarrassing nightmare made worse by the fact that I live in an affluent area where everyone seems to have at least one really nice car, knows each other, has no patience for new drivers (particularly those in sports cars) and that the car is bright yellow!  I know, I know, “Poor little thing, can’t drive her stupid overpriced car” <said in a mocking, whiny voice> but it is really bothering me.  I am not a person who takes “NO” easily for an answer.  Even worse, I am pretty good at coming up with a good work around; but not this time. 

So tonight, my MIL is picking up dd from school and I will have a chance to go home and take the car out while I do my various errands in town.  It is not supposed to rain and the weather is finally lovely here.  So, if you happen to see a yellow Porsche Boxster stalled out at a stop sign and a little woman yelling incoherently at the steering wheel, please give her a little slack.  She knows that she can’t drive the thing.  She knows that she looks like a complete ass.  And yes, she knows that she needs to release slowly on the clutch while slowly depressing on the gas.  Easier said than done for the girl who was kicked off of the field hockey team for complete and total lack of coordination!

And, yes, I got my driver’s license today too.