Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally Legal

Since we already decided to cram some major life-changing events into this summer, I figured I would top things off by becoming a Washington resident. After five years, it was probably time. (Take note that four of those years were spent as a student, I was basically a Colorado expat).

So logic tells me that I best google the Washington DMV before I truck down there--mostly because I can only imagine "urban" DMV centers as glorified versions of a burning, torturous hell that require fourteen form of identification and seventeen copies of my latest light bill. Not fun. But let it be known that here in Washington, we are SO progressive it isn't even called the DMV, it's the DOL. DOL, what the hell. (Good one, eh?) But I found the website, eventually...and then the fun began.

After I waited in line for an hour in a completely confused mob of Seattle licensees (the numbers kept going from the seventies to the upper three hundreds, no rhyme, no reason), I was greeted happily by a woman named Penny. Now, seeing as Dustin and I just finished watching Season 3 of Lost on DVD in record time, I clearly imagined Penny as a wealthy heiress searching for her loser boyfriend in the South Pacific via helicopter at all costs. But this Penny, DOL Penny, proved to be quite a different character.

Penny was thrilled to know that I moved to Washington from Colorado, and she told me all about her travels to Denver, her children's travels to Denver. Then I made the mistake of asking about voter registration. Poor Penny, she has NO IDEA how painfully longwinded she is, has NO IDEA that while she yammered on and on (and on) about the mail-in ballot and the DOL's internet user fee for special order licenses (ETCETERA. ETCETERA. ETCETERA.), I had filled in two full pages of paperwork. In fact, by the time I finally started filling out the next set of paperwork, she had gone on to suggest an entire afternoon of activities I could incorporate into my excursion to the Department of Vital Statistics (among her ideas were: lunch with a friend, stroll along the waterfront, and finish the day by purchasing fresh flowers from Pike Place). Which apparently I'll need to visit if I actually want to change my name.

But I left the DOL with a certified temporary Washington license, and it's strange how much more at home I feel already. I live here now, it's official, and I can call this place home, even on paper. So I'm soaking up all that it means to be a Washingtonian, and in the mean time, Holly Wood will have to wait.

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