Blogul familiei Darais

In timp ce am intrat in parcarea DMV, am avut o senzatie nerabdatoare ca ceva nu este corect. Am aruncat o privire spre scaunul de langa mine pentru a trece peste documentele mele inca o data. Licenta de casatorie, verificati. Nou card de securitate sociala, verificati. Pasaport, certificat de nastere, certificat de casatorie la templu, permis de conducere vechi si orice alt document oficial pe care l-am crezut ca ar putea diminua transformarile imprevizibile ale birocratiei din Chicago – verificati, verificati, verificati, verificati si verificati. Ce lipsea?

Atunci m-a lovit. Pentru a obtine permisul de conducere nou, am nevoie de o noua imagine! Am aruncat o privire in oglinda retrovizoare si m-am regasit in groaza. Nu mi-am spalat parul in zile si camasa de culoare galbena pe care am purtat-o ​​la culcare cu o seara inainte nu a facut nimic pentru tenul meu afectat de sarcina. Iesisem din casa in pantalonii mei pj (un obicei in care nu ma mai retrasesem inca din zilele de facultate), deoarece la inceputul aceleiasi saptamani ma purtasem literalmente prin blugi.

Am fost agitat. Cu cateva luni inainte, cand mi-am dat seama ca voi avea nevoie de un nou permis de conducere pentru a se potrivi cu noul meu nume casatorit, am anticipat cu nerabdare ocazia de a face o poza de a face. Imi amintesc ca m-am hotarat sa nu-mi fac nicio durere in a ma coaja pentru eveniment; Nu ma pregatisem deloc pentru ultima mea imagine si a trebuit sa traiesc cu consecintele ofensatoare din punct de vedere estetic. Aceasta trebuia sa fie ziua mea sa stralucesc!

And yet, and yet. I did not want to drive all the way home. After all, it had already taken me months to getting around to the chore. I also driven out of my way to go to my favorite DMV located in the heart of the South Side. It is a gem of a place filled with bureaucrats who speak in perpetually placating tones, free parking spaces, and great people watching opportunities. Because this DMV is located in a crime-ridden and highly segregated area, it also boasts a noticeable dearth of white people. It reminds me, in pleasant ways, of my short-lived teaching career in an equally segregated school not far from the facility.

With a sigh, I heaved myself out of the car and waddled into the DMV, all the while resigned to photographic doom. Soon, however, my frustrated feelings gave way to a sense of peace. There is something about being caught in the ineluctable grasp of government inefficiency (think four counters, two hours of waiting, and ten government officials later) that lulls you into a state of quiet quiescence. As much as you would like to speed up the process, you can’t. It’s you against the Department of Motor Vehicles, and, like it or not, you will sit where they tell you to sit until, hours later, some merciful bureaucrat decides to call your name. I wasn’t the only one who decided to take my wait quietly; in fact, a sense of quiet resignation pervaded the entire facility, which, inefficient though it was, ran relatively calmly.

My only hurried movements occurred while waiting at counter number three (cashier), when I remembered that I carried earrings in my purse just for emergencies such as this. I crammed the earrings in and patted my eyebrows into place with my fingers, and then proceeded to take a seat in yet another waiting room.

It was at that moment that I spotted her. She was tall, perfectly coiffed, and arrayed in shiny black boots and an outfit that showed off her killer figure; if we weren’t both waiting to have our pictures taken, I would have thought she was on her way to preform onstage as one of Beyonce’s back-up singers. When she sat down a couple rows away, I stared. “Man,” I thought to myself, “that is the way to go. She obviously remembered that this process involves a picture, and wow is she prepared!” I looked down wistfully at my shabby appearance and realized that even if I had taken the time, the end product wouldn’t be the same. After all, how do you hide the fact that you look like a hippopotamus?

Then I heard her talking to the woman next to her, and to my delight, she started explaining why she looked so stunning. “My last picture was terrible!” she exclaimed, settling into her seat and shaking her beautiful curls vigorously. “I was pregnant and puffy, and nobody even recognizes me in the picture! I came here just to have my photo redone–I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

I rejoiced. There was hope for me, after all! At one point, this gorgeous woman had also been–in her very own words, “pregnant and puffy,” and she too had suffered the consequences in her driver’s license picture.

I zipped up my red sweater, pulled my hair out of my face, and smiled hopefully into the camera. Someday, post-pregnant me will do this again.