Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Please Look At The Dot

I should be out raking up leaves, but I am hoping they will eventually blow onto my neighbor's lawn and that will be OK (for me).

Last week, I accompanied hubby to get his once every four years driver's license renewal.  The lines are usually long and one could possibly spend hours sitting in the hard chairs getting hemorrhoids while waiting for their number to come up.  I walked in and was pleasantly surprised at the size of the crowd.  Rather than what I expected, I saw only about 50 or so souls who were totally engrossed in their smart phones. Nobody spoke to each other, because communication is now done by text, not talk.   Everything went along quickly and we were out of there in record time. 

A few years ago, when I first started this blog, I wrote about my experience at the Driving License Center.  It did not involve taking any test, it was just to have my picture taken.   Here is a rerun of that post.


Is this photo OK ma'am?
Every four years you have to renew your driver's license.   This is never a pleasant experience because as much as you hated your last picture, this one will be even worse.  Aging does not usually improve a person's appearance unless, of course, you are under 30. That expression  "you are not getting older, you are getting better" does not include the chin area.  Anyhow, around your birthday you get that letter to report for your latest mug shot which you will be identified by for the next  few years . You try to get there early before the bags under your eyes set in.  However, everybody else has the same plan, so you end up standing up against a wall for an hour or two because seating is limited, and then that look of fatigue takes over your face.  Finally you get called and you are told to sit in this very low chair, look straight ahead at the circle, and snap, the deed is done.  Five minutes later you receive your new, not improved, license to drive.

This was my year to do the deed. I prepared by getting a hair cut, but that didn't turn out well.  I kept up with my moisturizing and used some facial tanning lotion to hide my maturity spots.  I brushed my teeth with super-whitening toothpaste and practiced smiling in front of the mirror.  None of this helped.  My new license picture showed what I looked like, rather than how I saw myself,  but I figure that in four years, I will be more objective and think it was quite flattering.  There are some blessings to failing eyesight.

On another note, while I stood waiting at the DMV to be called for my photo,  I made some observations.  I noticed that most of the younger people were busy on their smart phones texting,  They were probably typing in, "I am getting my driver's license, so it's time to part-tee"  to their 300 friends on Facebook.  Other people waiting included  a man with one leg, a man in a wheelchair, a man on oxygen, quite a few older folks with walkers or canes and people complaining.  My conclusion was that there are probably many cars out there on the bad roads of Pennsylvania being driven by texting teenagers, senior citizens with handicaps and those ticked off and suffering from road rage with their hand outstretched and their finger pointed upward, all following me.

Be careful out there, better yet, take a train.

42 comments:

  1. This whole ageing thing is confounding. Who is that person in the mirror? At least she can still drive a car without texting.

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    1. Yes, and we have no need to answer the phone either. We have now reached the age of "everything can wait". They will always call back if it is important.

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  2. Arlene, I just saw your header. You got a chippie in a tree. Magnificent!

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    1. I so seldom see chipmunks around here, and seeing him in my half dead Crepe Myrtle was such a delight.

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  3. Cute post about DMV and those dreaded photos. I am sure we are all more gorgeous than those photos!

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  4. I hate having to use my drivers licence as ID......I just want to crawl under a rock.

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  5. Erma Bombeck once said something along the lines of, "When you start to look like the picture on your passport, it's time to take a vacation." The same could be said of those awful driver's licence photos. (We couldn't POSSIBLY look that bad, could we?)

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    1. I accept that I do look that old, because I don't care (that post was from 2011) and now what I look like, I finally embrace. I earned those wrinkles from the years that I lived; I embrace the deep laugh lines for the good times that I have had, and even all the anxiety that is written all over my face is who I am. It is all good.

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  6. My worst DMV photo was taken 6 weeks after I gave birth to my son, had a haemorrhage and a breast abscess, packed up my house and drove from Galveston, Texas to Canada with the baby and his two year old sister. It was not pretty. 4 yrs later I went in to get that darn picture finally changed. Oh you haven't changed much, said the perky little miss, we can keep the same picture.

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  7. I have to get mine next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Mine is due in 2015 also. I just want to be able to see the dot they tell me to look at.

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  8. Arleen, I know DMV pics are disappointing but there's a technical reason that can't be corrected. Their cameras have active lens filters that extract any evidence of personality and character from the subject. Not our fault.

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  9. If they put my personality into the picture, I might look like Ronald McDonald.

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  10. By coincidence, I've just noticed that my licence will have to be renewed in 2016. I think it's just a matter of filling a form and sending a huge cheque. As for the photo, I couldn't care less what I look like.

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    1. I admit, Cro, that women are just a tad more vain than men.

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  11. I only need to renew my Connecticut license and picture every 7 years! Got some time left before time's up!

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    1. Seven years, I like that so much better. It gives you more time to save up for a face lift.

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  12. Someday all those young people will lose their phones when a powerful EMT (electro magnetic pulse) takes away power. Then they will have to look into the faces of those around them, and talk.

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    1. It would be a hard adjustment for many as they grew up in a world of phones and Internet. It would be like the dark ages, Susan.

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  13. Arleen, I so enjoyed reading your blog post. I can identify exactly with what you're saying. I had to renew my driving licence at the end of last year - you do here when you get to 70, then you have to apply again 3 years later in case you've gone a bit senile in the mean time. I know what you mean about photographs - mine? don't Ask

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    1. They have talked about having people over a certain age take a driving test every few years to show that they are still capable of driving safely. I do understand it, but I think I would be so nervous about it that I would fail. I definitely would not pas the parallel parking part. I might have to just get a kid's scooter to get around.

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  14. I laughed and cried when I read this, Arlene! I loved all of the prep work you did before you renewed your last driver's license! The good news is either my vision is fading, or our photos are getting smaller. Maybe we can have a Save Face Bloghop where everyone posts their driver's license photo, and the person with the worst photo wins a free makeover! At least it's for a worthy cause!

    Julie

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    1. The smaller the better, Julie. Maybe, soon they will just identify us by our eyeball. Unfortunately, at this point, my eyelids droop over and the eyeball is being seen through a smaller and shrinking lid.. They might have to identify me by my sparse eyelashes, enhanced with Maybeline extension mascara.

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  15. I am glad you repeated this post. I laughed out loud.
    Congratulations on having kept your looks too.

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    1. I am glad you liked it Friko. My looks have never been worth keeping.

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  16. I saw your comment at another blog and thought I would pop over! What a funny, right on the spot post!! I did not know I needed a new picture a few years ago when I went to renew and gosh...I was so not prepared. I asked several times if I could keep the previous picture in which I was many pounds lighter. Nope. Worse, the last time I went, I was told I had to take the written test again. What? Well, "You can study and come back again." After waiting 45 minutes in line? I winged it and aced it. Total desperation. The picture deal no longer phases me. :)

    I'd love you to stop by, dear.

    Jane

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    1. Good for you for acing the test. I definitely would have to take the book home and study. I would be afraid of not passing and my husband finding out. I would never live that down.

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  17. Dear Arleen, thanks for reposting because I missed this laugh-out-loud story the first time round. You've really pinpointed the experience, not only of sitting and waiting but also of that dreaded photograph. Normally my photo looks like a police-line-up mug shot! But you look so attractive in your blog photo that I bet your driver's license is one of the better ones. Peace.

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  18. Passport pictures, driving license pictures, police mug shots have something in common. I think it might be the lighting - it is not dark enough.

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  19. Whenever I get a photo taken like that I always wonder if I really do look like that - I hope not. Loved the post.

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  20. First off, looooove the chipmunk! Something about chipmunks and squirrels pushes my melt-with-delight button. Next, cool that you and your husband didn't spend much time at the DMV this year.

    Pictures. Blergh. It's amazing to me that the ones I took in years past, ones that I despised, have become the mark of the good-old-days the minute I get the new one, which is always so much WORSE! It used to be that I bemoaned how my smile wasn't pretty enough. Then how chubby I appeared. Now I feel it's not such a bad smile considering it's on an old, fat, wrinkly face. Oh, aging! Make it stop!!!

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  21. You made me laugh. My license picture really doesn't look like me any more. I have a retiree ID for work and when I went to renew it last year I went the day after I got my hair colored. I wore makeup and a nice sweater. I thought I had a fighting chance for a nice picture. Not so much. Some much older person must have jumped in front of the camera...

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  22. Ahhhh....the joy of aging gracefully...I've yet to find it! But then again, I'd rather grow old naturally than become one of those people who succumb to the knife, lifts, tucks, filler and botox!

    I shall grow old naturally and as gracefully as I can and try not to run about screaming about the unfairness of it all! :)

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  23. Passport pictures are the worst ... I think our lot want to demoralise you by their rules- like you cant even give a little smile! :)

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  24. I'm sure your drivers licence picture will looks just fine. (Bears know about these things.)

    That's a great picture of a Chipmunk at the top. Reminds me of the time I had a really bad back. My vet said, "Take two chipmunks and call me in the morning." I was never able to catch any Chipmunks, so the recommendation was a waste of my time.

    Blessings and Bear hugs, m'lady!

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  25. Laughing so hard----
    I've said this before--- nobody tells a story as good as you do! I love reading your blog!! My drivers license photo is the absolute worst!!

    Thank you for your visit- your wonderful words- and the support you always send my way.
    Love, love
    Vicki

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  26. Hysterical recounting. I've had my renewal notice next to my bed since August as I have to go to DMV before Nov. 1st renewal. I've been avoiding it. Can't stand the "entertaining" crowds or having my photo taken.
    It's every 4 years here in Jersey. Last time I went it was nearing closing time so the very young man behind the counter asked if I'd mind helping him save time by using my picture from 4 years earlier. He's lucky I couldn't climb over the counter to kiss him!
    Doubt I'll be so lucky this time.

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  27. Still another reason to take the bus!

    I hear you. It's amazing, the changes in my face since hitting 50. I'm not a fan, but on the other hand, I'm no where near as insecure/manic as I used to be. :-)

    Pearl

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  28. Loved reading this post of yours'...simply superb....lot many hidden emotions and facts:) your new follower...Epsita
    From 'The Positive Window.'
    @epsita.blogspot.com
    I am bookmarking this piece of wisdom:) Followed you on GFC:)

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