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the DMV

Last week, after receiving my “more officially stamped than necessary” copy of my name change order from the courthouse, I decided once again to brave the inner sanctum of the DMV.

With trepidation.

Keep in mind that this is a place that proudly posts a sign that states: We refuse the right to refuse service to anyone acting in an irrational manner.

This week I’m hanging out at YeahWrite. Come on by to read some great stuff!

Midwest Mom: Most Wanted But who gets to define “irrational”?

Is it a stark raving madman who insists on paying his taxes nude?

A lunatic who wants a particular vanity tag for his fourth boat?

Or is it a frazzled mother of two who has had it up to the proverbial “here” with bureaucracy?

There’s no telling.

And it probably depends on the way that DMV worker’s day has gone.

The odds are not in my favor.

Nonetheless I resolved to be on my best behavior. I didn’t need a third trip to the DMV. If I misbehaved, they would probably figure out a way to put me on the Post Office bulletin board of the ten most wanted.

Having been dashed at my attempts at a driver’s license photo on a good hair day a couple of weeks back, I decided not to be so vain and to just get it over with.

But then I had a flashback to my passport photo.  In it, I look absolutely terrified.

Bad passport photo

So, I resolve NOT to look terrified. 

But then I worry that I’ll look seductive.

A come hither look isn’t appropriate for a driver’s license photo. Unless you plan to use some kind of diversionary tactic to evade a speeding ticket….Hmmm…that idea has some merit.

Then you realize that you have to show this picture to multitudes of  cashiers, school personnel, doctor’s office staff, and the like.

The sultry look loses its appeal when you realize that everyone and their dog will see your driver’s license picture.

Which leaves one with only two other options: friendly or mugshot.

I had decided to go with friendly. You know, a warm, genuine smile.  Which when analyzing the facets of my personality, seems to be the best fit. After all, I am not a terrorist or a porn star. I am simply a frazzled mother of two, who loves a decent glass of Cabernet and a deal on high quality socks.

So, that’s my plan. Truly.

[I completely get that I am overanalyzing every single bit of this procedure — don’t judge me — overanalysis is my strong suit.]

But apparently, my DMV worker doesn’t quite know how to count to three.

Picture the scene: 

DMV Worker: Okay, I’m going to take your picture on the count of three. Ready?

Me: Yes. [Last quick check of hair, and teeth, and lack of “come hither” eyes]

DMV Worker: 1, 2,


DMV Worker: 3

Me: Huh?

And the result?

A freakin’ mugshot.

That I’m stuck with for the next three years.

Might as well have gone with the wanted poster.