Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
So, every since I can remember, renewing my driver’s license has been a pain in the – well – rear.
The years would go by and one day, before your birthday, the “booklet” would arrive with your renewal notice.
The whole process is much like seeing the passage of your adult life. You open the drawer where the old DL’s are kept, and there you have it.
That very first one, teenager – all young and giggly – ready to take on the world – with a car.
Those early 20’s working, late 20’s still doing well with small child in tow,
30’s second kid in hand, maybe a little haggard looking. The 30’s saw kids in school, thank goodness, driving older parents around and so on.
So once the booklet arrived you would read portions, fill out the test and get ready for the trip to the local DL office. There would be a wait, but it was nothing new.
So this year, at the appointed time, no booklet came.
Did they not have my new address?
Was the booklet stuck in the limbo of lost mail unable to forward?
No the renewal arrived, bring this letter, proof that you are you, and get your license.
I have to say test taking isn’t one of my favorite things. I tend to over think (insert worry) the whole testing process. I know the material, but I doubt myself. . . . A lot.
Oh my gosh, did I have to take a test in front of, gasp, strangers?
Plus the office had moved, . . . where was it located, was it hard to find? . . . Was there enough parking?
So I Googled it.
Then I made the test run where you go find the place and drive around checking it out. With the count down on, and being a procrastinator, I, of course, waited till the last 5 days to get the job done.
So I arrive, plenty of parking, nice day out, hair suitably coiffed.
And the office is closed.
I should have read the website a little closer. Do I need better glasses? I hope not.
So back to the computer, not once but twice. Ok tomorrow, they will be open, and bonus points you can save time and check in online. Those magical words save time and more magically check in on line.
I can do that. Yes sir!
So all documents in hand, I dial the number, push one and voila, I am magically in line. As I leave town, my wait time is 90 minutes. It was after lunch and I was doing fine. By the time I arrived in Olathe my time was down to 20 minutes and upon arrival it was 10. Employees coming back from lunch had taken their places and more customers were being helped.
I arrived, checked in with the ladies at the desk, and assumed the wait position. A lovely little song to the tune of “This Old Man” played in my head. “This old lady, she pushed 1. she checked in on line and now she’s (almost) done…… . . . . . “
I had scanned the employees, and they all seemed suitable and probably friendly. There was a large influx of teens wanting a DL was behind me and jostling for position in line. They hadn’t checked in on line.
My number was called, and I approached an older lady. She had eaten lunch and seemed quite reasonable. We chatted; I answered the questions correctly and stepped to the right for my eye test.
Things took a turn for the worst here.
As I put my hand on the machine, I pushed it off the counter onto her desk.
I was mortified.
I grabbed in back – balancing it on the ledge and tried to read the letters and numbers. . . . I couldn’t see them.
I had forgotten to bring my cheater glasses I wear for computer and small print.
I couldn’t fail at this point. Sweat was pouring off me, and my hair was stuck to my forehead.
I got the number right on my third try and, whew, I passed.
I paid the state for the privilege of driving legally, wished the nice lady a good spring break week and went home.
My next DL isn’t due to be renewed till 2022.
Wow.
I have already put the cheater glasses in my purse for that trip.
There will be more gray hair in the photo; maybe I will even be a grandma by then.
It seems so far away.
Just one more stop in our rite of passage.