I will absolutely blame this on our move to the suburbs. I spent 3.5 hours at the glorious Bridgeport DMV this morning to be told that because I once held a CT license (15 years ago), I needed to provide a marriage certificate. “Do you have your marriage license on you?” the less-than-helpful employee asked without a trace of sarcasm. Apparently the passport, social security card, land survey, first class mail, and vet bill weren’t enough data for them. I get that it’s protocol and there’s identity theft and there are zillions of forms, but a modicum of sympathy would have been nice. You know what else would have been nice? A mention of this little detail on the website… something similar to “if previously held CT license, be prepared to provide relevant data accordingly.”
I don’t remember past trips to the DMV, and that’s probably because I was childless and therefore fancy free with my time. That’s how I started my morning. Downright giddy to have an entire morning without children and only my kindle to keep me company. Glorious me-time. Never mind that I was standing in line outside with muttering people all around, I was chipper. Somehow I’d managed to brew coffee, so I had a warm cup of joe and a good read. Did I mention no kids were in sight?!
After showing the woman at the counter my requisite paperwork, she sent me around the corner to take my picture. Rolling in good karma, I helped the elderly gentleman in front of me maneuver the self-photo machine. I had an hour+ until my sitter had to leave and was thinking I might even have a chance to swing through Bridgeport’s Goodwill for a hunting expedition. C404 had JUST been called and I was C407. Apparently the 400 numbers don’t move so fast at the Bridgeport DMV, and after a few frenetic text messages to the sitter, I bought myself more time. Here’s what I learned: The woman behind me had just been rear-ended on the Merritt and the cop had given her a ticket because of expired emissions; a friend of hers had picked her up, but had been stuck in all the traffic caused by her accident. He had a conference call that he was taking out in his car with the a/c on. Another woman behind me lived in Massachusetts and hoped to get home by 3:00 because she had two wakes to go to (!). And the women in front of me had filled out her forms in red ink, so she needed to redo all of them with blue or black ink [“it says so on the form”].
$50 later (my babysitter’s a teenager so she doesn’t charge as much) I had nothing to show for my morning other than a mild sunburn on my back from the line standing, and 6% progress on my kindle. And a barely averted hissy fit of my own when the woman at the desk, with not a trace of empathy in sight, told me ‘just to go home and come back later.’
I think of the classic story, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and remind myself that everyone has rotten days, even in the suburbs.