I was not able to post yesterday because I spent the entire day trying to officially become a Texan, again. After going through the process, I am definitely less excited to be affiliated with the state than I was before. (Though I guess I really have no out, seeing as I was born in Houston…) Here is a how my day went.
8:00 arrive at Kwik Kar to get my car inspected.
8:01 – 8:20 walk to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and an Apple Fritter. (Looking back, I firmly believe that this is the only reason I made it through the day.)
8:30 told that I need new windshield wipers in order to pass the inspection. What were they thinking in Oklahoma letting me drive around the state with those less than sufficient windshield wipers. (I have no idea why they did not pass inspection, I had never noticed a problem.) Clearly, I was a danger to myself and others.
8:47 paid $62 and some change for the privilege of getting an ugly sticker inside my window that says I passed the inspection.
9:02 – 9:20 drove to the county tax office to register my car.
9:27 was told that I did not have all of the necessary paperwork. (Very annoying mistake on my part.)
9:28 ran back to my car in the rain
9:29 – 10:53 drove home, picked up necessary paperwork, drove back to the tax office, jogged through more rain inside, got in line, made it to the front of the line, was told I needed a number for what I wanted to do, gave woman a quizzical look, got out of line, received number 63, sat down, number 63 was immediately called, went back to the counter, gave woman another quizzical look, almost passed out when I thought for a minute that Melissa had to be there too, rediscovered my blood pressure, wrote a check for more than $170 for the privilege of having two license plates instead of one, drove back home, occasionally muttering things to myself that made me feel better about the lack of control I had over the entire process.
11:00 – 11:45 drove to the Department of Public Safety with Melissa and Bethany to get our drivers license. Received numbers 176 and 177. Discovered that they were currently on number 79. Sat on the floor because there were no empty seats. Ten numbers were called in the first twenty minutes.
11:46 decided that we needed to get some food.
11:47 – 12:20 went to Sonic to eat and talk about how fun it was to get to do this all day.
12:21 discovered that they had gone through thirteen numbers the entire time we were gone.
12:22 decided to go home to feed Bethany.
12:23 – 1:29 driving home, walking dogs, feeding Bethany, driving back.
1:30 discovered that they had gone through seventeen more numbers in our absence.
1:31 – 1:37 drove to a gas station to fill up the car with gas.
1:38 – 2:17 more work on perfecting the art of waiting.
2:18 forgot where I was.
2:19 wondered if I was ever going to get out.
2:20 an employee for the Texas DPS came out an explained a new strategy that was going to revolutionize the way that we did this.
2:30 somehow this approach actually meant that we were placed in a new line, and we were first in it!
2:59 wrote a $48 check for the privilege of getting a piece of paper that was my “temporary license” with the incorrect zip code on it, and the promise that I will get a real license in the mail someday, and the zip code really should be right on the real license. But if it isn’t, I am told I can just come right back here and they will straighten it all out for me…
3:04 drove out of the parking lot of hell.
1 state inspection sticker: $62
2 Texas license plates: $170
2 paper temporary licenses: $48
Spending seven hours jumping through government hoops: PRICELESS