The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yikes! I'm Legal Again!

         About a month ago, a colleague was chatting and told a few of us her driver's license had expired. Since it had only expired three or four months earlier, she was fine; all she had to do was pay the normal fee and get a new one issued.

         I sat there and smugly listened.  I was not smug because I am known for keeping on top of things.  I simply thought, That isn't the case with me.  My license is f-i-i-i-ne.

         Several times in the last five or six months I've been to the bank.  (Are you thinking, 'What is going on?  Has she lost her train of thought?' Just bear with me for a moment, and you'll find there's a connection, I promise.)  Each time, I put my driver's license into the pnuematic (spelling) tube along with the withdrawal slip. Each time the transaction happened without a hitch.  Everything was cool...

         However, last week, a couple of days before the holidays I again went to the bank.  I had just been there a week earlier, but this time was different.

       "Do you have a valid driver's license?"

          What?  My head swiveled towards the screen, and I was told the license I gave them expired in June of 2010.  More than 6 months ago...

           They were nice enough to give me the money anyway, but then, of course, I had to come home and plot out the rest of my day.  My afternoon was not going to be spent making cookies and wrapping presents.  Suddenly, my day was going to be spent on "official," government business. Dangerous business (at least dangerous for the license bureau people, if I flunked the test).

          When I found the closest office, I found I first had to take the vision test.  That should have been the easy part, right?  Unfortunately, I didn't sail through it like a breeze.  An officer built like a redwood told me to put my head into the machine so I could read a specific line.  Easy-breezy.  But then he gave me another line to read.  I squinted and strained and rattled off a few letters and he replied, "They're all numbers."  Uh oh.

        "Do you wear glasses?"

         I then started talking a mile a minute. "Well, yes, I-wear-contact-lenses-but-only-in-the-right-eye-because-I-got-to-the-age-where-I-had-to-wear-bifocals-but-my-insurance-company-refused-to-pay-for-no-line-bifocals-and-I-think-I'm-too-young-to-wear-those-old-lady-glasses-so-my-eye-doctor-suggested-this-and-it-works-because-the-right-eye-is-for-distance-and-the-left-eye-is-for-closeup-work."

         I think Officer Redwood stopped listening as soon as I said, "Well, yes,"  He walked to another testing machine, and told me to "stick" my head into that one.  (Why did I feel like a cow getting prepared to get milked?)

        Thankfully, I cleared the first hurdle.  The next one?  The written test.  Da da da duuum.

      Please remember:  I last took the written version of the driving test 35 years ago.  Back then, stone tablets and chisels were used.  Now the test is taken on the computer.

      I got a 92% on it and--not meaining to brag--but the two questions I missed I erred on the side of caution.  I mean, do you know how far something has to extend out your car's rear end before it must get flagged?  (FYI---five feet.  I think plenty of damage could be created with something extending out 3 feet...Perhaps the state of Missouri has it wrong?)

     Then I was told to have a seat, and wait to be called for the driving portion of the test.  I got permission from Officer Redwood to move my car to a closer spot (so I could clear off the front seat), and returned. Fortunately, my wait was not too long, so the sweat did not have time to creep all the way from my armpits to my waist.  Almost. But not quite.

photo by Paul McRae (Delta Niners)

      My final score was an 80%, and I blame my low score on the car being too quiet.  I am sure I made some small mistakes because I never drive without the radio blaring.  If I can't listen to Earth, Wind and Fire or Janis Joplin or Gnarls Barkley, the car doesn't move forward. 

       One thing I did ace was the parallel parking.  Thirty-five years ago, I did not even attempt to parallel park.  I had called ahead of time, found out it was only worth 7 points, and figured I wouldn't need that 7 points.  Now, old lady that I am, I'm a pro; in fact, it was the easiest part of the test.

      So now I am legal again.  I have a valid license.  And perhaps my sad, scary tale will cause a few of you to sniffle a little, or shudder a bit, or...check your own license to see when it expires!


  1. 92%! Now THAT'S a test score!

    Off to check my driver's license...


  2. I DID run off to double check mine even though I knew it was valid because something similar happened to me. In my case, I smugly waited till my birthday and then smugly stuck my head in the eye machine. Some idiot had put nothing but a bunch of blurry spots in there! Where were the letters or numbers? The officer assured me they were there. I still remember the big sweat streak I left on the machine. Ewww. They told me to go get glasses and come back. I cried all the way home. Here it was my birthday, and I was old AND blind!!

  3. Hello...thanks for your comment on my magpie...

    (even with my new glasses, it is kind of hard to read your comments on this gray background and olive print)...I kissed two different contacts good bye many moons ago...I don't mind my glasses as long as I can see!

    I am also a Gemini and I have a girlfriend who lives in O'Fallon, MO. I love Gnarls Barkley too.

    I just renewed my driver's license. I study like I am back in high school when I take the test. Speaking of high school, remember Driver's Ed? I was so terrible at parallel parking, my teacher made me do it over and over until the guys in the back seat begged to be allowed to get out. Now I too am an excellent P-Parker...

    I like your blog...I will be back.

  4. I have actually tried to change this, but cannot, and am afraid to try, because then all sorts of things go whacko. If anyone (local) is willing to "talk me through it" or take my laptop and do it for me, I'd be grateful. In the meantime, before I get flooded with offers, I'll try to research it (again).

  5. Ouch, not a fun unexpected afternoon, but congrats on being legal again. :)

  6. Sioux, This happened to me too, and when I took the eye test and identified a No LEFT turn sign as a No RIGHT turn, the officer actually laughed and said, "Everyone your age says that."
    Well, gee thanks!
    Glad you're legal again.

  7. This happened to me once, too, and I was scared to death! Imagine HAVING to take a written and driving test again?? How stupid! It was about 25 years ago, so I wasn't even OLD then, but if I remember correctly, I barely passed the written test! And yep, that darn red flag at the end of something sticking out, was one of the ones I got wrong! So glad you are okey-dokey to drive again!!

  8. P.S. Bring your laptop to our board meeting, and we'll get ya all fixed up on this nasty font and background color!!

  9. This happened to me a few years back but it was only a couple of months out, so I didn't have to do any tests. They notify us by post now when they are due for renewal.

  10. Hi Sioux, These are the instructions to change the PAGE TEXT color or your MAIN BACKGROUND color.
    Click on DESIGN
    Click on ADVANCED
    Select PAGE TEXT (shows current color under TEXT COLOR, to the right of the # of the color)
    If you want to change the MAIN BACKGROUND COLOR which is currently gray, (color is to the right of your current color # code)
    After you are happy with changes,
    Your last step is to APPLY TO BLOG (on upper right, orange tab)
    Click on BACK TO BLOGGER (To the left of orange tab)
    Click on VIEW BLOG and you are back to your blog.

    Hope it helps.


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