|NOLA DMV and a ten minute sketch on 4/18/2011|
My mom allowed her driver's license expire which I finally noticed about one month ago. Not ever wanting to spend a day at the DMV, I figured it would make little difference now to rush into reissuing her another license especially since her birthday was six months ago. I later found that she let her insurance lapse and was still driving. Selfishly, I thought it just as well. Mom's not a bad driver for her age unless she drives further than about five blocks from home, which, when she does, produces phone calls from the police from another parish! So, it is probably better for all mankind that she be taken off the street. And then I realized that someone would have to take her to her two major weekly outings, "makin' groceries" at the neighborhood store and going to mass at St. James Major.
It's one thing to watch mom play bumper cars with other octogenarians in the grocery store isles while others whip out their box cutter switchblades to sever additional weight off of the produce. It is actually quite entertaining!
It is totally another thing to sit, stand, kneel and collapse in the pews of any church on any given Sunday. No extra indulgences doled out by the heavens is enough for me to ever take on that challenge ever again. In her younger days, mom would routinely arrive fashionably just before the offertory hymn and slip out the front door after receiving holy communion. Seldom did she even wait for the final blessing unless she was trying to impress someone... Or really felt she needed it that week for some unknown transgression. My dad, who was no great Catholic, but a very respectful and punctual man, would hate to escort her to church because of her constant tardiness. I don't think her exiting early bothered him as much as arriving late.
No matter what the outcome, I had to try to save her independence and, silly me, I actually thought I could get the entire transaction completed in two hours... or so. Forget about it, though it did give me time to rehearse with mom our game plan to avoid having them totally shred her license and bar her from driving forever.
"Listen mom, I can't help you find your expired license or answer any questions on your behalf because they'll suspect something!" And, you can't shuffle your feet or teeter todder your way to the front desk... they are trained to notice those kinda things,"I said.
One hour and one sketch later, our number comes up. "Number 494, please go to section 13... number 494, section 13.
"Great, I thought, Section 13 is half way up the hall and mom's surely gonna pass out midway!"
I offered her my hand as an escort, but she deny it and strutted herself on over and down the hall to Section 13 like osteoporosis was an unknown noun. She sat down on a chair that normally would have her groaning,"CHEESE AND CRACKERS"as she would descend slowly downward. And when the attendant behind the desk asked for her license, her registration and her expired insurance card, she pulled it out of her wallet without hesitation casually carrying on a conversation about her three wonderful boys. Only when the woman asked mom for the model and make of the automobile did she defer to me for assistance.
Though we still have some hurdles to clear, having to return with more information about her situation, it seems mom's performance impressed the state enough to re-institute her driver's status. No written test and no driving test. I was amazed, as well as, a bit befuddled at her performance and how well she played the part. I also wondered, possibly, who else she has played all these years!
Copyright Ben Bensen III /2011