The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Friday, June 16, 2006

If You Want to Keep Your Friends, Never Look At Their License Photo


A few years back I accompanied my friend L to get her license renewed in the lovely state of New Hampshire. As we were waiting in the cramped DMV office with the toothless, bearded, ripped Harley-Davidson t-shirt wearing crowd (both men and women), we amused ourselves with a running commentary on what the daily lives of these people must be like. While I don't remember the exact banter, I do remember amusing ourselves so much that by the time it was L's turn to get her picture taken we were doing that silent, gasping for air, tears streaming down our faces kind of laugh where you almost wished you had never been so funny in the first place. She got up and giggled her way over to the very unamused DMV worker, still clutching her stomach as if to hold in the derisive laughter.

L quickly stopped laughing once the DMV lady had snapped the photo that was to be laminated onto her license for the next 3 years. Mouth open with a half-snort, eyes both squinty and lazy, chins like crazy, skin a translucent white. The ride back to her apartment was silent, new license clutched tightly in her hand. And so for the last 3 years L has had to endure 30 seconds of torture at every bar and every show we've been to as bouncer after bouncer glared at her, stared down at the picture, glanced back up her with a little less hostility and a little more curiosity, and finally smirked to themselves and waved us in.

After making the move down to Boston, I tried to assuage my lingering feelings of guilt over the crazed-laughter picture by being overly enthusiastic about her new Mass license. "It'll be so great. Just think- you'll be recognizable!" It seemed to cheer her up some.

So I was more than a little surprised when this morning L looked up from her coffee mug with red-rimmed eyes and dully intoned, "I got my Massachusetts license in the mail." It was then I noticed it, the innocent-seeming little rectangle sitting there on the table next to her bag, as if she was unable to put it in her wallet just yet. I cautiously ventured over to pick it up and before I could register the shock of the picture, words were already coming out of my mouth. "But... why? How? Your eyes... they're so... dead. And why are you smiling only on the left side, like Katie Holmes? Your hair... was it raining? Were you angry? I just don't... I don't think I understand."

The death glare I received in return was worse than the silent car ride home 3 years ago. Snapping my mouth shut, I gently laid the license next to her now-empty coffee mug and backed away, muttering incoherent things like "not so bad" and "quite presentable" and "at least you can buy beer at Fenway without actually bringing the doctors that pulled you out for proof of birthdate".

Thank the good lord bird I had to be at work and I managed to escape. Lessons learned:

1. Never comment on a license photo. Ever. Ever, ever, ever.
2. Under no circumstances should you agree to accompany a friend to the DMV, even if you think you are helping.
3. No matter how bad you think something is, it can always get way worse.

At least I can't be blamed for this one.

3 Comments:

Anonymous rude mega rocks hardcore!

I think the Kate Cruise 1/2 smile is TOTALLY underutilized. Rock that bad ass DL photo, L. I'm rootin' for ya!

7:29 PM

 
Blogger MyUtopia rocks hardcore!

How embarssing! I thankfully got a good one this time, though it has been awhile and I look a little different so people don't know that it is me.

6:19 PM

 
Blogger NancyPearlWannabe rocks hardcore!

Did you notice I am refusing to call her Kate Cruise? I bet she wishes she never left Chris Klein now that she's been Scientologized. Like I said: things can always get waaaaay worse.

8:02 AM

 

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