(This is the last of three parts as this was too big of a story to tell in just one measly posting. Part Two is Here)

On that fateful April Fool’s Saturday night, my bubble of ignorant bliss busted. I “suddenly” discovered I’d been driving illegally for a year and a half and looked for a deeper meaning. The less deep meaning was that I had to stop driving immediately. If you get caught driving on an expired license after a nice officer has given you a ticket, you’ll be taken to jail.

I am so conscientious and honest, I’m almost un-American. Still, I drove the ‘Tell Tale Truck’ to go for groceries a day ago and I could hear the heart of my expired license beating under the floorboards. The system doesn’t pander to nice a dingbat like me.

What does it mean when you find out you were incapable of doing something as simple as renewing your driver’s license? Or passing the doggone driver’s test even? How do you judge, forgive, or decipher yourself? So many feelings go with these questions and none of them feel very good or are easily answered.

I was ashamed of being a sub-citizen and outcast from the club of legitimate drivers. Go to the back of the line, please. Now earn our forgiveness for your anti-American behavior. Can you prove you really are who you say you are? Made me wonder about life in other countries where you’re at the whim of whoever will let you go or imprison you. I take my freedom so for granted.

All these feeling were building and stagnating as I continued, day after day, to go back to the DMV to pursue my legitimacy and right my wrong. I forgot or dismissed all my duties and chores to focus on this. The Easter Bunny nearly didn’t come and I still was no closer to rectifying this problem. I was so over myself and my drama by Friday.

The next week, I left town and took a train northward for two days. I tried to forget. When I returned, this was what I thought I might have learned. That losing your money or your house or your driver’s license doesn’t make you less of a person. Dignity is afforded to everyone. I hope to recover my faith in myself and a good world. Faith is your belief in your worthiness of someone’s support. And forgiveness is a divine gift you give yourself.

Someone suggested to me that I enjoy my time off. Maybe I needed to look at all of this another way. I should treat it as a break from burning gas and adding to the ozone problem. Asking for a ride didn’t seem so bad in this light. My kid rides a bus to school and there is public transportation. Sometimes my husband is home. Just as I was adjusting to this new  Eco friendly perspective, I caught a break.

And now… the rest of the story.

The nice supervisor at the DMV had given me a direct number to call to check for cancellations for the appointments to the driving test. If you remember, mine was scheduled for May 14. But on April 18th, I caught that break and there was a one o’clock opening. Husband and I were already headed to town. We ran our errands and showed up. He let me practice a little to re- my feet and adjust my seat.

He had to sign the sheet saying he was the responsible adult. He said he didn’t know which to take umbrage more for, responsible or adult. The sweet woman laughed and pointed out that he was the responsible one because I had let my license expire. And that was the truth told in just the right way. Zing.

The driving instructor, Brandon, informed us that while I took the test, hubby could actually go inside and renew his license. Seems you can do this up to six months before it expires. Who knew? So I had a total of eighteen months to take care of all this before all of this happened.

We’d already spoken several times inside the DMV before my test and I was happy to see him. I passed the driving test, of course. He helped by telling me he knew I needed to get closer to the curb. In my defense, flags inside cones don’t have the same depth as real cars. And he told three times to use two hands. We chatted up our 15 minutes and I know a lot about him. And I also knew that I was grateful I’d been treated nicely by Mr. Brandon and Ms. Rochelle on station 8.

And thus my story ends. Today I dropped thank you notes off to them and drove to the Target to pick out a present with my kid for his seventh birthday tomorrow. The party’s at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Wish me luck with that. I, however, have faith it’ll turn out grand. Despite my cold. Good Day.

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  1. I want you to know that I have been avoiding this three-part post because I let my license expire and was afraid of what you were going to say!

    I thought I had two years to renew — had a Florida license all these years and they finally said no more. Had a health issue last year and forgot. Who drives in the city? I thought it was two years but I checked the site and it said one.

    Cut to a week before my birthday in May and I pass a “License Express” on my way to my freelance job. Let me check the site again. I really swore it was two years. Huzzah!! It IS two. Made an appointment for two days before my birthday (23 months and 28 days…before expiration…)

    Everyone was exceedingly nice and the woman who checked me out claimed her son and mother shared my birthday. How’s that?! Twenty minutes and I was free. No test!

    Cherry on top? The license arrived a week later and the photo is flattering. Flattering!! This never happens to me.

    1. I am so very happy your story turned out so well! And that coincidental birthday thing is kinda kismety. It’s been three years now and I know everything happens for a reason even if it’s sucky at the time. Thank you for reading Jennifer!

    2. (responded when you wrote this but my phone didn’t approve my reply)
      I am so very happy your story turned out so well! And that coincidental birthday thing is kinda kismety. It’s been three years now and I know everything happens for a reason even if it’s sucky at the time. Thank you for reading Jennifer!

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