Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Some days are just a waste of makeup

Except that I hadn't bothered with makeup. And maybe that was the problem.

It all started on Monday afternoon when the teenager & I stopped at the new house to pick up some of his stuff to take back over to his dad's. We get back in the car, I turn the key and.... nothing. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. We pop the hood and stare in dismay at the most corroded-looking car battery EVAH. I am telling you that my car battery looked like it had LEPROSY. And mind you, this is only a three-year-old car.

Conveniently enough, my husband pulled in about two minutes later and the guys commence with the car talk and the cleaning of batteries and the debate over the best way to jump start a car.

But then we find that my jumper cables are missing. So Husband heads out to buy new ones while the teenager & I cool our heels.

After a delay, we get the car started and I head across town to drop my son off. As we are pulling into the parking space, the car dies. My son looks at me in alarm.
"Did you just turn the car off??"
"Look, how many old cars have I driven in my life? You do NOT kill the engine if your battery's run down. That was not me."
"oh... crap!"
"No kidding."

So now I have to get a jump start from my ex-husband. Who was kind enough to actually do it and not give me too much flak.

At this point, I'm suspecting that it wasn't the battery but the alternator. Well, I don't even make it back home. I don't even make it a mile... the car chooses once again to die just as I enter an extremely busy intersection and my bladder and I have a brief struggle for supremacy as we remember that when one's engine cuts out, one also loses power to vital functions such as STEERING. I convince the bladder that if it, too, mutinies on me in the next thirty seconds, I will fail to remember that it is considered useful if not actually vital and tear it from my gut and fling it into traffic at the same time I attempt to overpower the steering through manual force and desperation.

Well, I got the car to the side of the road, with dry undies to boot. And I call my husband and then I call Geico and demand the roadside assistance I have been paying for and I have that sucker TOWED.

So. This brings us to Tuesday, when Enterprise picks me up to take me to their office to rent one of their snappy little cars so that I can actually go to work.

And we get to the office and the woman says to me "Ma'am, did you know that your driver's license is expired?"

And I blanch because I have been having some neurological issues since January and I forget things... sometimes important things.... and this is one of them.

So they offer to drive me to the DMV to renew my license and then I can call them back and I can rent a snappy little car and I can go to work.

It being rush hour in the DC area, it takes us a half hour to get to the DMV and there is - of course - a lengthy line. But I am pleased with myself because I have everything I need with me to renew the license... I have a shiny new utility bill with the new address on it, I have my proof of insurance with the new address on it, I have my secondary identification, I am ready to rock and roll.

I finally get to the front of the line to get my number to wait in line for actual service and the woman says to me "We need your birth certificate. We need PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE. We can't give you a license."

Never mind that I have had a driver's license in Virginia since 1982. If it expires, you cannot get it renewed without your birth certificate to prove that you do have legal presence and are not going to hijack a plane and fly it into the Pentagon.... (9/11 prompted this change as some of the Virginia hijackers managed to con their way into getting driver's licenses which allowed them to be able to enroll in the flight school)

Ok, I understand this requirement. But my birth certificate is lost... gone, poof. And getting a copy from NY is neither easy nor cheap. And forget about quick! It will take about two weeks, and that's the expedited way....

The clerk helpfully points out that if I GO to an office of public records, I can get a copy for 12 dollars and it will be much faster. I just looked at her. Because of course driving all the way to New York State is an option, especially with an expired license. This is the Virginia DMV, at your service.

Eventually I made it to work and back and $150 later my car is working just fine. As for the rest of it, well... don't ask, don't tell and its costing me $70 to get that stupid certificate sent to me. It better be printed on some fine handmade paper for this.

And the final touch? As I was standing outside the DMV, calling my mother for a ride, I happened to look down and see a patch of clover. In this patch of clover, I counted eight 4-leafed clovers. That's just rude.


my4kids said...

Oh my! And don't you need a valid drivers license to get your birth certificate? That is what our state requires.
You have had a bad time lately my dear....God apparently does have a sense of humor but I suppose you are just wondering what that is right now! I think I would have lost my mind by now!

frannie said...

wow! that is amazing- and not in a good way.

I found out my license was expired when I was trying to board a plane- while pregnant. I spent hours (it seemed) running around the airport until they finally let me on the plane.

That Chick Over There said...

Good Lord Woman.

Steff said...

So the three bad things are done. We can only hope nothing more is on the horizon...

Catwoman said...

Did you stomp all over those four-leaf clovers? Because I'm pretty sure they would have deserved it.

Robbin said...

Oh, my.

I had to get my birth certificate out of NY after I lost mine in Katrina - along with everything else EXCEPT my driver's license and Harry's birth certificate (I was never so grateful for LA being SLOW). It cost me $75! WHAT A PAIN!

velocibadgergirl said...

You and your bladder should've given those sassy clovers a talking to ;)