Diary of an RMV Mug Shot Model
The good news is that it’s right in Milford; the bad news is that it’s the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Now that I’m 40, I guess the state of Massachusetts needs an updated photo. Super. Nothing boosts my self-esteem more than a mug shot in front of a sky blue Sears background. Absolutely NOTHING good can come of this. But it must be done.
8:30 a.m.—I grab a sandwich and and iced coffee from Honey Dew. This may take a while.
8:35 a.m.— I pull into the RMV parking lot. It’s already starting to fill up, 10 to 15 cars. A couple of student driver cars. I’m going to eat my little breakfast and wait for the doors to open at 9 a.m. Listen to some sports radio. I’ve filled out all of the necessary license renewal paperwork online and I have my checkbook. I'm good to go, so I sit back and relax.
8:40 a.m.—People start getting out of their cars to line up outside to get in a line inside. In theory, I completely get this. We’re all sitting around in our cars and we’d hate for some guy who pulls in after us to get helped before us. But I’m against this sort of pre-waiting. I’m not sure why. I don’t like having to scarf down my food so I can go stand in the cold and hold my place, to hold another place.
8:44 a.m.—I’ve scarfed down my food. Fine. Are you happy now?
8:45 a.m.—I saunter over to the line, which has about 10 people in it. I try to seem casual. There’s nothing to look at but me walking over there. Do I have food hanging out of my mouth?
8:50ish a.m.—There are now five people behind me. I’m listening to a couple of older men at the front of the line talk about how to parallel park. One of them is smoking like he’s doing it for the last time. It reminds me of my driver’s ed teacher, Mr. Merritt. He was the best parallel parking teacher ever. I know this because he has his own dedicated Facebook page with stories from former students. He used to sit up in a fire-tower-like-thing that overlooked the driving course (it was a high school class for me) and he smoked so much that you couldn’t even see his face through the fog he’d created. He probably couldn’t see us either. Parallel parking is a skill, and I am awesome at it. Thanks, Mr. Merritt.
8:52 a.m.—The gentleman behind me tells me he’s there to pay a ticket for his son in California who was caught speeding while he was home. It’s now delinquent. His son had also previously gotten a couple of $20 "no seatbelt" tickets in California and they had turned into a $1,200 fine for the same reason. He’s obviously not pleased. Note to self: Don’t ever let the girls drive.
8:54 a.m.—It’s cold here in the shady March morning. At least it’s not snowing.
8:57 a.m.—The line has grown to at least 20 people behind me. Now I'm thinking that scarfing down that sandwich was a good idea. It could turn into a long morning; I may need the sustenance.
9:00 a.m.—The bells at St. Mary’s chime. (At least I think it’s St. Mary’s. It might be Sacred Heart.) Good; I’m seriously freezing.
9:02 a.m.—Anytime now. Hello in there????
9:03 a.m.—The doors open so we can shuffle in and wait in an actual line. I'm thinking I shouldn’t have finished off that whole large iced coffee.
9:05 a.m.—I get my deli number and take a seat. I wish there was a mirror here. I wonder if I have breakfast in my teeth. I’m glad I have a phone with games on it. I’m playing Scrabble with a friend from New York.
9:12 a.m.—Did they just call my number? “Bingo! I got Bingo!” (That was for my Troy Brown fans.) And yes, I actually said that out loud.
9:13-9:17 a.m.—It’s a blur. Paperwork, check, signature, eye test that an infant could pass and the dreaded RMV picture. I got the lady to laugh by telling her I’d been watching “America’s Next Top Model” and practicing. And that’s true too, I had been practicing. It didn’t make a difference; both pictures were all chin with crazy eyes. I kept the first one. What do I care? No one cards me any more, anyway.
9:18 a.m.— I’m out of there and no worse for the wear. It wasn’t so bad. They were organized and friendly. And I don’t have to go back for 10 more years. Unless the girls DO get their licenses; ugh.