This morning, I went to the DMV to get my name changed on my driver's license. It seemed like I was the only one in the joint who made an appointment. I walked in, strolled past the long-ass, no-appointment line, and went to the head of the appointments line. The clerk helped me immediately, annoying everyone standing in line next to me. I sat down with my numbered slip, looking at the monitor for my number to be called. There was a couple sitting behind me and I asked them, "Have you guys been waiting a long time?"
The woman let out a loud sigh, "Yes, forever."
"Did you make an appointment or did you walk in?"
The man shook his head, "No, we should've made one. We've been here all morning."
She asked, "What number do you have?"
I showed her my slip, she showed me hers. I seemed to be quite a ways behind them. So I fired up my iPod, inserted the earbuds and watched the drama unfold around me. Even with the earbuds in I could hear this woman screaming at a clerk, her head full of pink rollers shaking violently. I don't know how the people working there do it, I would go from zero to batshit in record time. Then the woman sitting behind me tapped my shoulder, "Isn't that your number on the screen?"
I looked up. Yeah, that's me. Damn, that was quick. I thanked her and made my way across the room. The clerk shuffled a few papers, tapped something into a computer, and then directed me to yet another window to take my picture. The woman in pink curlers was standing ahead of me in line, pulling her curlers out, complaining that she wouldn't look good in her picture because she didn't know she had to retake her picture. She finally yanked them all out and patted her hair down, yelling the whole time about trying to look good. The clerks behind the desk were poker-faced, but as soon as she left, the one taking pictures turned to her co-worker and said, "She crazy." The co-worker just shook her head and said, "That's my people."
They snapped my picture and I asked, "Does it look okay? Because I think I left a curler in." Stonefaced and ignoring a perfectly good joke, she turned the monitor around so I could see. I made a face.
"You don't like it? It looks cute."
I shrugged, figuring they weren't going to do a reshoot "Eh."
I turned and walked away, but I was only ten feet away when I heard them laughing and they called me back.
"Is something wrong?" I asked.
"No, we just got your joke," they laughed. "Do you want to take your picture again?"
So they took another picture and I asked, "How does it look?"
She didn't even bother to turn it around. "Exactly the same."
Right after lunch I dealt with getting my name changed on my passport. Since my old one was issued less than a year ago, there's no charge for changing my name. But for whatever reason, it took three employees to get my re-application together. So helpful. Then I was asked to sign the application, raise my right hand, and swear everything on the application was true. I picked up the pen to write, but then I hesitated, "Sign using which name? The new one or the old one?"
"The new one, baby. That's your only name now."