My Driver's License expires this weekend, so today I was responsible and coupled in a visit to the DMV with a Dr.'s Appointment, so that I can continue to drive zipcars, get through airport security, and go to 21+ establishments.
The last time I got a new license, I was a year away from turning 21, so this is the first time that my license appropriately reflects my status as a grown up and is horizontal rather than vertical.
The picture is a lot better too. Unlike passport photos, in which you are not allowed to smile, and always look terrible, you have a chance at taking a decent license picture.
The last time I went to get a new license however, I could have cared less. It was August, so the summer weather had just hit that point where it stops being fun, and becomes instead that unbearable, sweltering humidity, mixed with thunderstorms and rain showers that rather than cooling the day down, just make everything wet. As a result, my hair was slicked up, makeup would have run right off my face so I wasn't wearing any, basically I looked like a real prize.
On top of that, I had just had my heart really broken for the first time, and leaving the self indulgent routine of eating ice-cream in bed while listening to Aimmee Mann, to instead venture outdoors with all the happy people wasn't high on my list of Things I'd Like to Do.
But, I dragged myself out of my apartment, and hopped a bus to downtown Pittsburgh to go to the DMV anyways. The DMV in downtown, is next to impossible to find. In fact, I wouldn't have found it (I was still using a flip phone then), except that I ran into a co-worker who was able to give me directions. By the time I found the building and was standing in line in the un-airconditioned, crowded, DMV, I was in less than a good mood.
They finally called my name to have my picture taken, I sat down in front of the camera, and looked at the sticker, the guy told me to look at.
I didn't smile, didn't care what I looked like, I just wanted this whole stupid license ordeal to be over with so I could go back to my dramatic self-pity party.
He snapped the camera. The picture showed up on the screen. I looked at it and shrugged. The DMV guy looked at it. He paused.
"Maybe, we try that again," he said, "You can smile you know..."
When the guy taking pictures at the DMV tells you to re-take the picture, you know it must be truly awful. So I smiled a pathetic-fake smile, and that's how I ended up with a license that made me cringe every time I had to bring it out.
It was kind of satisfying today, watching the woman punch holes into that old license, while handing me my shiny new one.