I’ve got things to talk about. Tristan’s birthday, moving across the country.. well, diagonally across, acclimating to Texas again, lots of things. But I won’t talk about any of that today.
See, what had happened was… my KC driver’s license expired right before we moved. “No probs,” thought I, because I think in these adorbs word configurations now, this is what I have done to myself. “No probs, I’ll just blow this off and get my Texas license as soon as I get there.” Except no, because if you don’t have a valid license somewhere you have to start all over. As in applying, vision test, written test, and may God have mercy on my soul, the road test.
“So what,” maybe you’re thinking. “You’re a grown woman, and you’ve been driving for decades.” And that is true, although my grown-ness was once loudly challenged in a gas station, because of my height and what I have to assume is an incredibly youthful appearance. (“You GROWN?” he asked me, from across the store. “I mean, you ain’t like a child or nothing?”) I digress. I am, more or less, grown.
Back in the day, I failed the road test twice, because of parallel parking. I would like to veer wildly off course here, since I can and say WHY IN THIS DAY AND AGE DO I HAVE TO PARALLEL PARK. I AM GROWN AND I WILL DRIVE A HALF MILE AND PAY FOR PARKING BECAUSE I DON’T EVER, EVER HAVE TO PARALLEL PARK. Parallel parking, ironing clothes, check-writing, and phone calls: all prehistoric and personally offensive to me.
So I went and I took the test and even cheerily posted a pre-test selfie.
I guess I was flying too close to the sun. It started off well, with the DMV officer laughing at a couple of my jokes. First thing off the bat was parallel parking. I took a new approach, which was going so.very.slow. that I was unlikely to bump anything. (burned before) I’m pretty sure I flunked that portion but I knew it would only be a couple of points so I got a little cocky, because I know how to drive. Moments later, I was returning to the DPS in shame, having exceeded the speed limit by 5 miles. Automatic fail. The internet was unanimous, they all felt very sorry for me but also could not stop laughing. I was laughing too, for a while. Then panic set in.
“What if,” I asked myself in the wee hours of the night, staring into my ceiling fan, “what if I fail again, because I don’t do a blinker enough yards from a turn? What if I don’t check my mirrors enough? What if this time I DO bump the curb and oh Jesus whom I love, why do I have to parallel park again?”
I woke up hours early, as is my custom when I need extra time for worrying. When I arrived at the DPS, I tried to put on a brave face, like I had not been praying out loud for please PLEASE Jesus make me pass one moment before. Again, the jokes went over well. I parallel parked like a professional 90 year old with vision in one eye and a bleeding ulcer. Then I drove under the speed limit around the city of Conroe. The thing is, they won’t tell you if you mess up or pass or fail. They just keep a poker face and tell you to park by the curb at the DPS before they break the news. At the final stoplight, I was pretty sure I had maybe failed again, so I tried a little test joke. “So,” I said casually, “I guess you can’t tell people their scores till they get back, so, you know, a failed student won’t just take off on a raging joyride with you in the car, heh heh heh.” She laughed, albeit a little nervously. She then directed me to park by the curb in sight of the armed troopers, and told me I passed. After that she exited pretty quickly to get my paperwork.
I stood on the curb by a man with a multitude of neck tattoos. In my mind, I referred to him as a felon, but then I decided that was a rash judgment and just called him a thug. I made some small talk about getting a license. “I haven’t had one in 4 years,” he spit out, directing his words towards the armed state troopers. “I don’t see the POINT, but I am getting sick and tired of them ARRESTING ME ALL THE TIME.” I gave the guy a little room to breathe. Finally she came out and gave me my paperwork, and I said goodbye, to the felon and to my own life of crime. Feels good to turn over a new leaf. Plus, now I can look my 8 year old Judgy McJudgerson, in the eye.