“It can’t be Christmas every day”- I cannot count the times I repeated that one little sentence to myself, yesterday, as I tried to make sense of a very irritating day. The day started as a pleasant one, as I indulged in familiar routines and safely delivered all the kids to school. Thirty minutes later, however, the music changed when I headed to the DMV to renew my driver’s license.
I suppose I need to back up a little – after my wallet was stolen from my house, almost a year ago, I looked around to see if anything else was missing, but didn’t think to check documents. During a routine check to ensure that everything was current, just a month or so ago, I realized that they were not there. I turned my house upside down with no luck, so I began to call the respective agencies to find out what I needed to do. I was told to file a police report for lost or stolen items and then file for replacement of the documents. Knowing that my driver’s license was due for renewal in September, I called DMV as soon as I found out that my documents were missing, and I asked if that would create a problem. “Of course not, Ma’am,” they said, “as long as you have your valid license with you, that’s all you need.”
Yesterday I walked into DMV, got my number, waited for about thirty minutes and then I was finally called. The lady at the counter asked me if I was born in the US and I said no; to that, she asked me to show her my residence card, which I couldn’t of course produce. I showed her instead the official document that came with the card and the police report, and she informed me that she couldn’t renew my license because I didn’t have the necessary paperwork. I explained to her what happened, and told her that sometimes it takes up to six months to receive a replacement, and she suggested I should call the USCIS to see how they could help. I did that as soon as I got home. I actually placed three calls – all three of them were answered by agents who barely spoke English and struggled to understand what I was trying to explain. I asked if there was anything they could send me or the DMV and they said they couldn’t because they are not familiar with the requirements of each state. I finally requested an appointment with an officer, which was granted for next week. What took the cake is that one of the documents needed during the meeting is a valid driver’s license.
Last night, I finally sat back and mentally went over all the events of the day. As overwhelming as they had seemed at the moment, my day could have certainly been worse. Someone in my family could have been hurt, or something else irreversible could have happened. All that had truly manifested instead was a choking tangle of bureaucracy, annoying in the least but definitely not life scarring. When things happen, it is easy to become completely sucked into the momentary drama and cloud our perspective. If someone had asked me how my day was at about one in the afternoon, I would have probably given them an evil look, but as I look at it now, after some of the steam has blown out, nothing important has really changed in my life.
So, I decided to just let go of the frustration. I had done all I possibly could. The downside of this is that I will have to ask my husband to drive me around more, until this mess is resolved. And the silver lining, you might ask? I finally have an excuse to take a break from being a taxi mom.