Snail, mail at the DMV
Tuesday December 07th 2010, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

The postal service here has major problems, has for years.

And so it happened that I noticed that hey, it’s time to renew on my car but why didn’t the bill come? I called my mechanic, got the car smog-inspected today, then drove up to the DMV to walk it through in person, glad I’d remembered it was that time of year.

Where I got told the post office had returned my registration as undeliverable.

Like when they told my credit card company that I was addressee unknown despite our having lived in the same house over 20 years. (Yeah, that got me online fast.)

Or the times… Never mind. Pride and suppressed outrage are not a pretty combination.  Here we go again.

So I went looking for ways out of those emotions.  First, though, go do what needs to be done.

I pulled out my ball of yarn and empty needles to get started. I’d been expecting to plunk down on the floor, because I can’t do standing for long, but it turns out the DMV provides chairs now and gives you a number as you walk in the door; so much better now.  I caught the occasional eye looking at my growing stitches and smiled back across the rows of seats.

There was a young father with a small child and a one-year-old in his arms who was delightful, then tired, and then, finally, had just plain had enough of holding still in a strange place full of strange people.

A smiling snail to go over his finger would make a cute mascot for the place; there you go.

People behind them whom they didn’t even see lit up just like they did, glad for a dad and his boys: unexpected gifts of noticing are magical all around and their kindness made my day.

My turn at last.  The clerk, who had had to put up with endless fidgety people who wanted to be anywhere else and the endless mechanical voice summoning “J zero one nine, please come to window 8. J zero one nine” many times an hour eight hours a day day in day out, drowning out conversation, gave me a tired smile in the late afternoon and asked me briefly what I was knitting.  She was patient with my struggling hearing. I thanked her and for her help getting everything fixed.

Got my sticker. What a relief.  Coming home down the freeway, I wished the smog check had gotten finished earlier in the day and that the wait had been shorter in that line; I hit major rush hour, Christmas lights all lighting up red ahead in unison.

Forget it. I exited quite early, even though it meant doing 25 mph roads all the way across town. At least I’d be moving instead of just sitting there–I had done enough of that.

And so I found myself behind a car that had CAUTION CAUTION plastered across the back, a driving school sign on top. I was behind it for quite awhile. It must take nerves of steel to get in a car with an utter novice; at least, when I was teaching my kids to drive, they had already had two sessions with an instructor first.

I watched the driver overcorrect a bit trying to get safely past cars parked along the well-traveled road.

Finally, it widened to two lanes each way and I pulled up alongside at the long light. I thought about it. I waited for the green. I finally thought, oh, why not? Down went my window, and at the sound both the driver and her instructor turned. (His was open.)

I smiled and called over to her, “You’re doing great!”

She blushed and laughed, delighted and totally embarrassed, just as I knew she would be–I’ve been a teen and I’ve raised four of them–and the gruff-looking instructor actually smiled too. Well cool.

The light turned. She gave it a slow, cautious go.  On our way. And now that she wasn’t in front of me, I worked hard to stay at 25 and be a good example, because I knew she was watching me and I had darn well better! I was suddenly as self-conscious as a teenager with a strange adult in the car about trying to drive just right.

If only she knew so she could laugh at that too.

10 Comments so far
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Sounds like your day was every bit as full of unexpected delights as mine was 🙂

Comment by Lynn 12.08.10 @ 4:57 am

That girl will remember your comment. When, as a teen, I went for my driver’s license I was told by a family member that they never pass you the first time just because you’re a young kid. I passed and was so excited. It’s one of those days you always remember.

Comment by Joansie 12.08.10 @ 6:06 am

and the postal service wonders why they are losing customers! My postmaster didn’t know that outgoing packages with a “Track and Confirm” notice are supposed to be scanned at the drop-off location. How else can you track and confirm if you don’t scan it at the outgoing point? DUH!

Comment by Jody 12.08.10 @ 6:41 am

you are so awesome at practicing random acts of kindness!!

(and yeah, the post office is a mess here too)

Comment by Bev 12.08.10 @ 8:07 am

DMV says they are not required to send out renewal notices; they do it as a courtesy — when they remember. Drivers are supposed to remember.

Oh, it can be so difficult to be kind when annoyed or angry! You must do a lot of practicing.

Comment by Don Meyer 12.08.10 @ 9:48 am

Loving the irony of the littleknit snail…

Comment by Ruth 12.08.10 @ 12:04 pm

My son just renewed his license, he has had this current address for a while and it was listed on his , they had a address listing one that was over 10 tears old. He wondered why he hadn’t gotten a renewal notice , it was sent to the wrong address. It’s a good thing he paid attention to that, It is quite the fine otherwise.
Going to see the Chiropractor today, I have had this current headache for a week now.Hope you are well

Comment by kris 12.08.10 @ 2:39 pm

I jsut mailed Christmas cards today. the thieves at Canada Post want $1 to mail an envelope to the US.

Comment by Carol 12.08.10 @ 5:50 pm

I often take the 25 mph roads just to save myself the frustration. Smart move – and nice impulse in re: the student driver.

Comment by twinsetellen 12.08.10 @ 7:08 pm

Glad even the DMV can’t sap your sense of humor!

Comment by Channon 12.09.10 @ 8:16 am

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