I received a notice a few weeks ago that my driver’s license was due to expire on my upcoming birthday.
And as my birthday is in two weeks, I made my way to the local DMV office this morning to renew my license.
I walked in at 9:36. With out an appointment.
I walked out at 9:58. With a new license in hand.
(Twenty-two minutes, start to finish. That never happens.)
$54.25 poorer. And an official organ donor.
And the best part? (Other than being an organ donor.)
I got a new picture.
And I think it’s an improvement.
The last time I renewed my license was in 2006 but I did it on line so I got to keep the fabulous picture from the previous license, which was issued to me in 1998.
1998 was the year that I moved back to my home state of Florida.
In the 15 plus years prior that I had been away, going to college in Georgia and living for 11 years in Manhattan, I had never applied for a license from either of my adopted states.
Because deep down I knew that, at some point in my life, I would move home.
And I did. In the summer of 1998, my son was a year old, my husband was still my first one and the three of us were setting out on our new adventure. To make a home for ourselves in South Florida.
In my old picture, I think I look kind of awe shucks. My expression says, “Isn’t life grand? I’m married. I have a happy and healthy baby. Let’s do this life thing.” Plus I’m wearing my nerdy, hipster NYC glasses.
In my new picture, I look older. Of course. Wiser? Yes. And perhaps a little cynical. Well, because I am. I’ve been divorced. My kids are teenagers. I know what life has to offer, good and bad. I know I’m lucky because for me, it’s mostly good.
I think the picture also says, “Don’t f#*k with me.” It’s the face I wear when I’m telling my kids to do something and they’re not listening or, even worse, talking back to me. And it’s the look I give my husband when he’s getting a little too rowdy in a restaurant.
(I wonder if the license administrator caught that vibe.)
My new license expires in eight years. 2020.
My son will be long done with college. My daughter will be in her senior year.
And I’ll be in my mid fifties.
Hopefully, they’ll let me keep my picture.