Saturday, June 21, 2014


When I lived in Oakland I sometimes went to the Walnut Creek DMV to renew my driver's license though I felt guilty about it; the lines were shorter, the clerks more respectful, and the floors cleaner. So it was with some trepidation I signed in for my appointment at 2:40 pm in Santa Rosa yesterday. I noticed the lines extended way out to the hot parking lot and the population was probably 80 per cent latino. Most everyone looked tense. I felt immediate compassion. Approaching 84 in three weeks  I was tense as well. Did anyone notice? My lips were sealed softly but firmly, for since my big dental surgery Tuesday I am missing my four front teeth. (Hopefully by next Tuesday I will be able to wear my "flipper" which is a temporary partial that will do me until December when my implants will take over.) After signing in they called me within three minutes. I had just started reading the DMV handbook, although I had studied the test questions provided on line. At the first counter they took a thumb print, instructing me the machine was slow and to hold it down hard for a very long time, changed my address (hmm, I thought AAA had handled this two years ago) took my $33, and instructed me to follow the yellow line to the next counter. The clerk could not have been more articulate or courteous. When I couldn't read the letters on the third line on the eye chart which was posted high in the air, the clerk allowed me to look into a lighted box sitting on the counter. I could read that fine and pronounced the letters quickly and confidently, aware she could not see my knees shaking. I noticed a beautiful patriotic display in the distance and was informed the office manager did it. It might have gone in a fancy bank or winery. The display made the very worn and soiled carpets look even worse.
In the second line I only waited one or two minutes before I was standing in front of the camera and instructed to remove my glasses. "Oh, no," I winced to myself. "Now my slightly black and watery right eye from the dental extraction will glare at me for the next five years." Nevertheless I complied, trying to hold my sealed lips just right. Then she handed me the test and I proceeded to the counter to answer the questions. Only one perplexed me. I guess I have been driving so many years I know everything by heart. People around me looked in various states of anxiety, but all nervous."Anyway, "
I thought, "I am allowed to miss three questions." I advised myself not to analyze them or read things into the questions."
Nine minutes later I was rewarded with a perfect score. I told the clerk I had puzzled over question number seven and she agreed with me that it was worded strangely. The only other senior citizen I could see among the 300 or so people there was much younger that me. She was wringing her hands since she missed five on the exam.
 I was out of there in 22 minutes, and once back in my own car allowed myself a giant toothless grin.
Above, Thursday night's sunset from my front yard, which does not compare with Cathy Lane but is kinda nice none the less.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Congrats Bonnie!