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Editor's Note: Adventures at the secretary of state's office

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 11:04 a.m. CDT

I had a birthday last week.

This honestly doesn’t bother me. As yet, I’m not real hung up on getting older – my 7-year-old even told me I’m “a young pup” over breakfast.

I don’t lie about my age, but I decided if I feel the urge to start, I think I’ll tell people I’m older than I am instead of younger.

I think I look my age. So if I tell people I’m five years younger than I am, they could think, “Wow, she looks older than that.” I would rather tell them I’m five years older than I am and have them think, “Wow, she looks pretty good.”

There was one awful thing about turning another year older this year: my driver’s license expired. And since I wasn’t savvy enough to renew it online and get the sticker (it takes about two weeks), that meant going to the DMV.

Now up to now, I had never had a problem with going to the DMV, other than it being kind of inconvenient. I always found the people working there to be efficient and courteous, and I’d never waited more than 45 minutes or so.

The first part of that statement is still true.

I arrived at the office about an hour after it opened, so I knew I had a wait ahead of me. But it was disheartening to pull a number – 50 – then realize which number was up – 15.

I waited two and a half hours, which were not entirely unpleasant. The staffers seemed to be working as quickly and efficiently as they could, and other than everyone griping about the wait, no one waiting was in too irate a temper.

One older gentleman went up to the counter every two or three times they called a number, though they were hours from calling him. And I had real sympathy for the mom with three very young, very bored children who clearly thought this would be a quick errand.

Finally, it was my turn. If you don’t respond quickly enough when they call your number, sometimes they pass you by, so I fairly flew up.

Then we hit a snag.

I had moved since my last driver’s license, and though I had updated my address on my registration with the secretary of state’s office, the lady behind the computer said I needed a second proof of my new address.

Really? I said. Even though it’s right in your office’s system?

Really, she assured me. That counts as just one proof of address.

As I was scrounging through my car, hoping against hope to find some scrap of mail, the alarm on my smartphone calendar went off. I had an interview to do for work – in 10 minutes.

So I went to work, losing my place in line but giving me the opportunity to print out a copy of my pay stub to take back as a second proof of address.

The wait wasn’t so bad the second time that day – only an hour and a half.

Once it was my turn, we were done in a matter of minutes, though I was put out they wouldn’t let me cock my head in my photo.

At least I’m good for four more years. Maybe next time I’ll get the sticker.

Enjoy your MidWeek.

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