She was supposed to get it a few days after she turned 16, in early March, but the company that she took driver’s training from failed to put her certificate for taking the class in the mail.
When Monte called the driver’s training office about the whole issue, they seemed really okay with the fact that they never bothered to stick the certificate in the mail.
And none too willing or anxious to do much about it.
So we had to cancel McDaniel’s driver’s test.
Which we were okay with since it was an hour away in a little town we’d never been to before.
It’s quite tough around here to get a driver’s test time.
So we called around and the next available time was several weeks away, early in the morning, on the north side of town.
The night before, we laid out all the necessary items we’d need.
Except all Monte had for an updated insurance card was a photocopy.
Seemed a little unofficial, but we added it to our stack of papers.
The BMV was just an exit away from Monte’s office but it was the last day of the month, which means something important to his line of work, so he didn’t come with us for the test.
We arrived at the testing facility early, just in time to watch a kid in a small SUV knock over a cone not once, not twice, but THREE times during the maneuverability test.
Not good for McDaniel’s nerves.
But I assured her we were in Monte’s much smaller car
and she’d have full view of the cones backing up.
There was no line in the office.
Let me type that again in case you missed it.
There was no line at the BMV.
We’d found some sort of early morning
secret sweet spot!
Within minutes of showing all the necessary paperwork, McDaniel was walking out with the instructor to take the driving test.
I watched from the office lobby.
I noticed the instructor kept looking at the back of Monte’s car.
I immediately wondered if a tail light was out.
That would stink if they wouldn’t let McDaniel take the test because a tail light was out!
I thought to myself.
I saw the instructor and McDaniel turn and walk back into the office.
I couldn’t tell from McDaniel’s face if she was about to cry or was just confused.
The instructor informed me that Monte’s registration sticker on his license plate had expired the month before.
As in February.
As in he’d been driving around illegally for an entire month.
He’d been driving around illegally
with McDaniel at the wheel for an entire month.
She had to get driving hours in.
What a lesson that could’ve been if she’d been pulled over while “Dad was showing her how to drive”.
The instructor pointed us across the hall and said we could go ahead and update the sticker and she’d hold the test time for 2 more hours.
Knowing it would be AT LEAST two more weeks if we scheduled the test for another day, we rushed to get in line.
The line wasn’t too long.
When I explained the situation to the man at the counter, he asked if I was Monte.
Only Monte could update his registration
since the car was registered in his name.
He said our only recourse was to fill out a power of attorney form, fax it to Monte's office for him to sign and then have him fax it back.
People still use fax machines??
Since he only worked one exit away, I called him to get down to the BMV PRONTO because our testing time clock was tick tock ticking away!
McDaniel and I waited in chairs in the lobby as we watched 45 people file into line.
Our early morning sweet spot was blown.
My blood started to boil as I sat there thinking about McDaniel being late for school. And now I was going to be late for bible study.
I started to feel my heart beat in my left eye when I thought of a photocopied insurance card and expired registration.
I’d lived this story before,
posted the bail
I texted Sumita that I wouldn’t be making bible study and that she needed to pray, PRAY HARD that I would not, in fact, MURDER Monte at the BMV one exit from his office.
Apparently they did pray, because ladies asked me about “the situation” at church.
On EASTER SUNDAY.
Monte finally pulled into the nearly full parking lot.
He apologized profusely as he whizzed by us to get into the LONG line.
He may or may not have recognized the sight and sound
of the thump thump thumping of my left eye.
He stood in line a SWEET FOREVER
only to hear that the DMV computer showed that his registration was updated.
They failed to mail the new sticker to him.
It was THEIR mistake.
$4.00 later a new sticker was on and McDaniel and the VERY patient instructor walked out to the now legal car.
We couldn’t see the maneuverability test course due to the unfortunate parking choice of a huge truck pulling a trailer of lawn mowers.
We could see as she pulled across the busy road and drove away through a residential area.
We watched as she creeped turtle slow though the neighborhood.
I asked Monte if it was just me or was McDaniel driving slower than any human being ever?
He agreed it appeared snail like.
Then her turn signal flashed on and she was gone.
We waited what seemed like an hour for them to come back.
You know what kills the thump thump thumping in your left eye (and any murderous intent)?
Waiting on your first born to get back safely
in a car that she is operating.
As she got out of the car she gave us a thumbs up and practically skipped the rest of the way into the office.
She nailed the maneuverability test
and got a point taken off for driving too slow.
she actually was driving dangerously
But it didn’t matter--she passed!
We had to get BACK in line so that she could actually get her license.
Even though the line was practically out the door, and this had been our UMPTEENTH time in it, it didn’t matter.
McDaniel was on cloud 9.
Even when the lady taking her picture told her to stop
“doing that thing with your teeth”
and to “smile naturally”
and “stop looking so creepy, baby!”
and rolled her eyes impatiently
as two men walked right in front of McDaniel
just as the camera clicked.
It didn’t matter.
She was now a licensed driver!