July 13, 2020

DMV conclusion: Don't miss it: busiest day EVER., embarrassing my teens, plus singing

Busiest day on record.  No really.  

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019.  A day for the books:

5:45 am:  I attended my early workout class

6:45 am:  Arrived home, and drove Tank to the golf course.  

7:30 am:  Went for my 5 mile walk

9 or 10 am:  A woman was coming to meet me to interview me for babysitting her newborn this school year.  I usually set up specific times, but this woman had a newborn.  She was considering taking my last spot and I was trying to be accommodating - I vaguely remember the uncertain newborn schedule thing (what if Laddie needs to eat right when we get ready to go 'fill in the blank') so I allowed her to give me a window of time when she would pop over.  

At the time when we set up the interview, I had not yet entered DMV Hell and I did not think the timing would be that important.  I hoped she would come close to 9 vs 10, because . . . 

10:30 am:  Mini had an appointment at the ENT.  She was leaving for Ireland in a week, and I barely survived the ear pain she experienced when we flew to Vancouver.  Back in February, I took her to the ENT because she was having trouble hearing.  We learned she produces extra ear wax and she had to have it vacuumed out!  I had asked what we should do to prevent a repeat of excess wax buildup and was told nothing.  Now I had her scheduled to have her ear vacuumed out again hoping it would make her flight to Ireland more bearable.  All I needed was my brother Pat to be tortured by her ear pain predicament.  

Schedule snafu:  the night before Ed announced that he had a loop (caddy round) at 9:30 am.  I stood there speechless (um, this never happens).  When I found my words, I stuttered a little.  ‘How are you going to be caddying, when you told me you would take Mini to her ENT appointment at 10:30 and caddy afterwards?’  Oh.  He forgot.  He apologized.  Shit.  Now this interview thing needed to happen early in the 9 to 10 range so I could take Mini to the appointment that was like 20 minutes away.  I did not want to reschedule.  Besides, when the heck would I reschedule it for?  

8:30 am:  Home from my walk, ate breakfast, showered, ordered Curly to help me in the kitchen.  I was almost done with the cleanup and the woman texted me to say she would be there in 10 minutes.  

8:55 am:  Mini and I enjoyed a 30 second celebration that the ear doctor would work since the newborn mama would arrive close to 9.

9:10 am:  Newborn Mama came to meet me.  I really, really liked her.  I hoped that she would choose me to be her in-home daycare provider.  So far the families that I had on my schedule all had grandparents that were willing to babysit on Fridays.  This woman said her mother in law wanted to sit for her one day a week, and Fridays would work.  Could the stars really align at long last?  Could I fill my last spot AND have Fridays off.  As she left Newborn Mama told me that she would let me know by the end of the week.  She had one other sitter to meet.  I asked her about how my home fit in with her commute.  She said she thought it would work.  I crossed my fingers, and . . . 

10:08 am:  I checked the DMV website and Tank’s permit number still said, ‘sorry you cannot get your license yet.’  Mini and I hopped in the car to get to the ENT on time.  Mini thought Newborn Mama really liked me and thought the interview went well.  Mini and Curly sat and drooled over her sweet baby boy.  

10:30 am:  ENT retrieved a pound of wax from my kid’s ear.  Then they sent us to meet with the auditologist to talk about ear plugs for the flight.  For $10 I bought the ear plugs.  They have little vents in them and they are supposed to help with air pressure, etc.  Since I wasn’t going to be on the flight, I wanted her to explain specifically what Mini was to do with the earplugs.  She removed the plugs from the box, but kept them in the case which was just a straight tube.  Having never before seen the ear plugs, we did not realize that they were still in a case.  

Doc:  So this is a little bigger than the size I have picked out for you, but you insert this in your ear.  

Mini:  Like how far does that go in my ear?  Will it stick out at the end?  

Doc:  Well, you push them in until they won’t go anymore, but most of it will fit inside your ear.  

People, I was alarmed.  How could this thing that was about the size of my pinkie fit in my kid’s ear?  I finally asked another question, I think it was:  Wait a minute, are there two earplugs in this one holder (that is the size of my pinkie), or is that just one ear plug.  The Doc burst out laughing.  
This is the earplanes things.  See the blue pieces in my hand?  Well when she initially showed them to me, they were in a clear tube.  Together.  Front to back, like this.  It was hard for us to comprehend that it was two pieces.  We were horrified that Mini would be expected to fit this giant thing in her ear.  Maybe you had to be there, but really the audiologist, Mini, and I could hardly breathe from our gut splitting laughing fit.

She apologized:  ‘Oh my goodness.  To me it made sense that it was two earplugs in this one holder, but now I can see how you would not have known that and that is why you are looking at me like I am crazy.’  

Mini and I practically fell out of our chairs with relief.  I believe these earplugs are a new product for this office, and they have not quite fine tuned the explanation process.

11:35 am:  Arrived home (after laughing our butts off at the thought that Mini would stick a missile in her ear).  

11:36 am:  Raced to the computer and typed in Tank’s permit number for the 84th time since ‘the incident’ and the message finally read:  
Congrats, you are ready to get your license!

11:37 am:  I texted Tank:  ‘What hole are you on (caddy talk), because we are trying to figure out if you can get your license?’  

11:38 am:  Tank texted back:  ‘I did not get out.’  

My blood began to boil.  AGAIN.  I told him that morning when I dropped him off to keep me updated on his caddy progress.  I JUST DROVE PAST THE COURSE ON MY WAY HOME FROM THE ENT!!!  

If he had let me know that he had not gotten out,  I could have picked him up.  Now I had to drive back in the opposite direction from the DMV to pick him up and then turn around and drive past my house.  The theme here is that the entire day was an exercise in being pressed for time, so Tank just added 30 plus minutes to round 2 of our DMV adventure.  

12:00 pm:  I called out for Mini to make me a salad to go and then hauled ass back to the golf course to gather my frustration son.  

12:30 pm:  Arrived home just as Mini's BFF was getting dropped off to babysit for World's-worst with Curly.  Curly 'gets' him and was going to be available to assist as needed.  (I must add here that about a month ago BFF babysat for World's-worst at his house one Saturday when Mini was busy.  BFF ended up calling her mother in tears.  World's-worst was 14 months at this point.  It is a well-deserved name).  

12:41 pm:  I drove off with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to the DMV.  We crossed our fingers for a reasonable line.  

1:07 pm:  Dropped the two of them off at the curb and went to park.  I refused to sympathize with any heavy breathing, nervous shit Tank pulled.  He knew better than to go that route with me this time around and kept quiet on the drive.  

The line was very long.  Have I mentioned that Coach and I had our financial planner coming to the house at 3:30 pm?  Thus:  busiest day EVER.  We meet every few years, although when she sees my Dad she is good enough to act like I have it together and that we meet annually, etc.  Being a good person and a hard-working mother of 6 only impresses my Dad if said mother is also tuned into the latest stock trends, buys low and sells high, reinvests dividends, and only bothers with blue chip stock without guidance of a professional.  This is why he worships the ground my sister Marie walks on.  More evidence that I was perhaps adopted.  

2:10 pm:  Front of the line.  I presented all of Tank's documents to the guy at the computer.  He was like, "Oh, this is a copy of his social security card, not the original.  He cannot get his license today."  The room spun around and my knees got weak.  This is not my first time doing this, but I did not remember bringing the original SS cards in the past.  Ef - bombs exploded in my head.  

Tank stepped aside pretending we weren't related.  I began to weep, whine, beg.  Folks, it wasn't pretty.  Mini froze not sure if she should stand near Tank in solidarity of having a crazy mother or near me in case I started throwing punches.  That guy sent me to see the head guy.  His name was John.  I waited for John for what felt like 10 minutes, but it was probably 2.  

He looked everything over.  I shamelessly pulled the I-got-6-kids card, the I'm-so-busy card, the I-was-here-yesterday-no-one-mentioned-the-no-copies-allowed card.  He wanted to know where the original SS card was.  "In the vault - I made a copy so I wouldn't lose the original."  

Subliminal message:  I am responsible, unlike my teenagers who seem to be plotting to disown me right now.  He nodded, "Tell them John said it was OK."   If he had made me bow and kiss his ring, I would have done it.  Totally.  

Tank refused to make eye contact with me.  I was an embarrassment.  At holiday parties, the DMV staff probably plays footage of me taken on hidden cameras as I am about to erupt at Tank on day 1 of this nightmare and then they follow it up with my begging John on day 2 of this nightmare.  I'm also OK with their assumed abuse of the footage of me.  Just get my kid his license.  Don't leave me without a driver when both Lad and Tank leave for college.  (now you get my urgency?)

Sorry for the length, but this is a timeline - I am going to press on to provide you the full impact.  I know you would be disappointed if I didn't, right?  Bear with me.

Relief washed over me and we sat in chairs waiting for our numbers to be called.  Tank had one number, Mini another.  We discussed our strategy if they were both called up to different computers at the same time.  

2:45 pm - best guess.  Tank was called first.  While I was getting him squared away at one computer, Mini's number was called.  A large African American man looked over her paperwork.  I darted over there, introduced myself as the lunatic mother he could look forward to watching at future holiday parties via precious video tapes and pointed at Tank, "Um, I will be over there finishing up with him if you need me."  

The guy asked Mini a few more questions.  He was loud.  She slouched, pushed her hair behind her ears at least a dozen times, and explained her reason for showing up in under 2 weeks after getting her original permit.  That's when the singing began.  If you pay close attention, you might pick up on a clue about Mini's actual, non-blogger name.  I think you deserve that perk if you have read this far along.  

♫ ♪ ♩ ♬ "Good golly Miss M_ _ _ _!"  ♫ ♪ ♩ ♬  

I regret not dropping the passports, electrical bills, my drivers license, etc to grab my phone and take a video of this moment.  Other employees started to join in with the catchy tune, and this guy did not just sing it for a minute.  He kept it up.  

Then he verbally berated her in a playful manner:  "Miss M_ _ _ _, why you gone and lose your permit in less than 2 weeks?  Um um, Girl!  What you gonna do when you get a license?"  Mini stood there sheepishly chuckling.  She took it all in and glanced at me a few times, nodded a bunch of times to him, and reassured him she would do a better job.  

I have already posted this photo, but
 chronologically this is where it fits.
Afterward she and I stood to the side still giggling about her luck in getting that singing guy as we watched Tank walk out to the car to take the driving test.  Mini was all, "What are you going to do if he doesn't pass the test?" and I was all, "Shut your mouth.  That is not happening."  

He pretended that he failed when he returned in record time.  Then he understood by my facial expression that I was in NO mood for games and joking, aside from the signing which was just plain delightful and entertaining.

3:07 pm:  We hopped back in the car where I drove like a maniac to get home and straighten the kitchen before the financial adviser showed up.  

3:30 pm:  I dabbed the sweat from my brow and invited Ms. Financial to sit at the kitchen table.  

3:57 pm:  I received a text from Mary Ann, the neighbor from Hell wondering if we had accidentally gotten a package from Nordstroms.  'Pls check'.  (in case you are new or you forgot, we have the same house number but live on different streets across from each other.  Seriously, I cannot make this stuff up).  
This is the same photo cropped. 
Her thought
 process?  "Ernie has not
responded and it has been
 over 30 seconds.  I better
march over there
and get to the bottom
of this before one of
her wild offspring eat my
Nordstroms package
or something."

3:59 pm:  Since I was ya know, busy, and I didn't respond to her text in lightning speed because I was TRYING to fake my interest in our financial meeting.  Ms. Patience marched over to my front door and rang the bell and quizzed my kids about her missing package while Coach and I remained at our kitchen table.  Please note:  this time, we did not receive her dang package.

All. in. a. day.  

Note:  the newborn Mama lady that met me early in the day (hard to recall back that far) opted not to hire me because I was too far for her commute - I feared this when she told me where she lived but hoped that my charm would win her over.  That news totally bit, because I ended up offering the spot to that lunatic who hired me and then decided to do something different the DAY before starting - leaving me with an opening all fricking school year.  But hey, who gives a shit about money when you have 2 kids in college and 2 more on the cusp.  Bitch.  

Edited to add:  And this is why I embrace the stay-at-home order.  Life can get a little out of control if you don't slow down sometimes and flip your neighbor off from your kitchen table.  

*OK, I have done it.  I have spent much of my weekend detailing the long ass story that sent us on an emotional roller coaster a few weeks back.  Unless I lose my nerve, I am going to post it over the next 3 days.  It is not a short story.  It is not light and fluffy.  You've been warned.*


Kari said...

You worked out THEN you went for a five-mile walk before the busy day??? I don't know how you do it. I am tired just reading this post LOL.

Well, at least Mary Ann has good taste. First Victoria's Secret, now Nordstrom. Maybe it's a front for an undercover drug business.
OMG ERNIE. What if she is purposely having stuff delivered to your address so she can have you set up???

We really need to write that screenplay.

Busy Bee Suz said...

If there is a day where I'm in a time crunch, the first thing that gets ditched is my workout; hence my waistline. YOU are a rockstar! You deserve a medal. I'm sure Miss Mini was horrified at the public singing...but maybe that will give her a reason to NOT lose her license again? Maybe?
So, two down. And 5 years off your life, it's totally worth it, right?

Maryann. Does she not have ANYTHING to do?

I'm fully prepared for your next real life chapter of emotions/stress. XO

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, working out helps me relieve stress. During the pandemic I have worked out more than ever before, but still the same size though, mostly. Mary Ann 'using me' to run her drug deals, hilarious. I just got another text from her over the weekend looking for one of her packages. A minute later she texted back to say it was in her mailbox. I have stuff delivered ALL OF THE TIME, but I rarely race to grab it from the porch. She needs to chill the hell out.

Suz - Mini honestly appreciated the humor in being serenaded by the DMV guy. It was quite entertaining. If I hadn't been on edge and almost shit myself when the guy initially told us we could not get Tank's license because I brought a COPY of his social security card, maybe I would have been able to capture it on video. 5 years off my life - no doubt! Mary Ann lives to boss people around and tell them what part of the residential street they can park on, followed by 'have a blessed day'. I kid you not, she is a real piece of work. I considered seeing if you and Kari wanted to just do a zoom call and I could 'splain the situation that has torn me up for last few weeks, but I am putting it out there. ;)

Anonymous said...

Haha i would totally go to the DMV where I knew there was a chance of some singing. Every DMV I’ve ever been to is more like the sloths at the DMV in the movie Zootopia. And more conversing going on behind the counter than across it. Ugh, hopefully you don’t (or didn’t since this was a year ago) have any more DMV visits in your near future!
Also cracking up and MaryAnn purposely sending you her illegal packages 😂😂

Bibliomama said...

I fully support your choices to do whatever was necessary to NOT have to go back to the DMV - embarrassing the children is just a bonus. I didn't understand Tank's "I did not get out" statement - you thought he was at the golf course but he wasn't?

Ernie said...

AM - I think singing workers at the DMV should be a new requirement. Wouldn't that be fun, to have comedic type workers who try to come up with a song relevant to your reason for being there? "Get out of the front seat baby, get in the back seat . . . " "Drive Sally, drive". I wonder if they have a suggestion box. I just took Mini for her license on Tuesday. I had original documents. All smooth sailing. The line was around the building when we arrived at 6:45 am, but it moved super fast. I suggest they institute these new methods of taking people's paperwork out front in advance even after the pandemic.

Ali - I hope I remember by the next time I bring the next kid (Reggie) that original documents are necessary. The perks of having older siblings - mom figures shit out, unless said mom also is very forgetful. Sorry for slipping into 'caddy speak'. When the kids go to caddy, they often sit in the caddy shack and wait until they get called to 'go out' or until they 'get a loop'. When Tank didn't get out/wasn't needed because there were no golfers, he should have texted me 'still not out' so that I knew his status. They aren't supposed to text while caddying (but they often do, well - Lad does, sigh) so when I don't hear from him for hours I assume he is looping, caddying, on the course. I could have stopped on my way home to grab him after the ear wax doc visit because I drove right past the golf course. Lunkhead of the universe.

Charlie said...

Wow that is some day! I’m glad others have expressed amazement at your workout plus a 5 mile walk all before your day really started. I thought maybe I was really lazy. Because just one of those would have done me! You really are the perfect person to have 6 kids with all that stamina! As I’ve said before I just love your posts because they’re so real. No bullshit ‘look at my perfect life’ writing. For what it’s worth I do think you seem to have a pretty great life, but you don’t dress it up and that’s what makes it interesting.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Wow, that is a crazy busy day! Yeesh. I know what you mean about the stay at home order, in some ways, it's kind of nice to lean out of the busyness of life!

Beth Cotell said...

Oh my goodness! I can't even with this day! There is no way I could have scheduled so many things so close together - especially something like the DMV where you have no clue how long you will be there! My nerves couldn't take it! And I'm glad Tank got his license! And your neighbor would drive me insane.

Ally Bean said...

It'd take me a year to calm down from such a busy day. I'm very much an introvert who rates high on the sloth scale. Yet you came through the day with your sanity, more or less, intact. Kudos to you and to your story telling skillz.

Ernie said...

A few of you guys commented when I was not looking . . .

Charlie - I do like my workouts. The crazy thing is I was working out more during the pandemic - up to 3 hours a day: walk, weights, bike. And I weighted myself today - did not budge. Ugh. My family life is far from perfect. The place is always up for grabs, but holy heck if I had been followed by a camera on this ONE day . . . well, that would have been quite a show. Like the amazing race or something.

Nicole - Yes, I did not miss the busy days during pandemic and the driving to Irish dancing is the thing that I hate going back to the most.

Beth - When I read your post about scheduling at the DMV I was like, WOW, WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE? The DMV guy singing to Mini was the highlight. My neighbor would drive anyone crazy - and since we know many of the same people, I am here to tell you that she DOES drive most people nuts.

Ally - I look back at my college days when I occasionally had down time and I would do NOTHING. Like, what was that? I had no idea I had it in me to maintain a high level of constantly being on the go. It is often not very pretty though, and my kids have heard all the 4 letter words along the way.