A Heavy Birthday Week

Do you have a heavy birthday week when multiple friends have birthdays? I do, and this is the week.

A Heavy Birthday Week

My sister is the first person in my life with a birthday this week. Here is our favorite photo, which she posts on Sibling Day. Yes, it falls just before this week. I’m on the left in case you don’t recognize me.

The other two birthdays belong to my long-time friends, Pat and Marilyn. We met in the seventh grade at junior high. I’m pretty sure Pat and I developed our friendship first, but it’s hard to remember the circumstances in the fall of 1964 precisely. Regardless, for me, it feels like a triad that has persisted over the last fifty-plus years.

If you live in the United States, what other event is on your mind this week? That’s right. It’s the dreaded Federal Income Tax due date. Therefore, I like to plan early acquiring gifts for these three friends.

A Gift Buying Strategy

It seems I’ve always lived a distance from my April birthday friends. Therefore, I mail the gifts. After the New Year, I start to think about an appropriate gift. I’m not a shopper, but I enjoy visiting certain stores; garden centers, cute gift shops, and antique malls. As I browse, something will catch my eye, and I pounce, buying three of the same or similar items. This year my sister led the way.

Last month, I waited just past 5 pm for a frame shop to finish my order. All the little shops had closed as I strolled down 3rd Street in Winter Haven, Florida, except one.

a heavy birthday weekHappily, I popped in. Near the back of the store, I noticed kitchen towels with catchy sayings. My sister’s last name is Rogers. Believe it or not, I never made the correlation with the popular children’s television show until recently.

The best part was receiving her text. Then we talked about how funny this quip is, even though it isn’t true! How silly is that? I guess that’s why I knew she would love it. We have the same sense of humor.

Next, the search was on for Pat and Marilyn. Their towels were right next to the Mr. Rogers quip. Mission accomplished!

Don’t You Love the DMV – Part 2

When you first read, “Don’t you love the DMV part 2,” I imagine your response, “Oh Yeah, one of my favorite places to visit!” Perhaps you expected to read my disheartening experience as a former Floridian, trying to become a North Carolina resident. Let’s see how my visit really went.

Two weeks ago I wrote Part 1 of my experience at the DMV. If you missed it, here’s the link.

The Process Begins

As I sat down in the small office area, I appreciated the protection of the large plexiglass that allowed me to easily hear the maskless DMV employee’s questions as we got started.

Things were going well until I requested a Real ID.

“I need a passport or a birth certificate for that,” he said.

“Oh… I thought I had all the documents. Doesn’t a Social Security card suffice along with my old driver’s license?”

He looked again at my documents. “Wait a minute… yes, this will work.”

Everything went along nicely with us sharing little funny stories about our lives. The rapport between us was growing.

And Your Name?

I always like to know the name of people I meet in an official capacity. It seems friendlier and I like to acknowledge their customer service. However, in this article, I’m giving the DMV employee an alias.

“Well, some people call me ‘asshole’, but my name is John Doe,” he chuckled.

Laughing out loud, I replied, “Well, you didn’t earn that nickname today with me!”

And Then the Photo

As John was working on finishing up the paperwork, I was concentrating on getting ready for the dreaded photo. My eyes tend to look like slits as I almost always have a smile… and the DMV is okay with a smile now. I’m practicing opening my eyes slightly wider in anticipation.

Then I suddenly lose my grip on my purse, which tumbles to the floor. Bending down, I gather it up and return to a sitting position.

Ding! The flash goes off before I had a chance to prepare. The resulting photo is acceptable. Maybe I’ll get another chance in five years when I renew!

Sharing My Positive Experience

Next stop was a walk to the nearby tag office. I’m in such a good mood, the clerk comments on it.

“Yes, I’m so thrilled with North Carolina. Becoming a resident has been so easy and positive!”

“Who did you see at the DMV?” She asked.

“John Doe.”

“Really?” She exclaimed.

“I know, it was kind of unexpected, but I gave him an honest compliment and everything was easy peasy after that!”

In Conclusion

More and more, I’m seeing the truism that ‘Like produces Like’. If I feel down or expect the worst, negativity meets me at every turn.

Conversely, if I feel upbeat and expect the best, life flows easily and obstacles seem to peel off as I walk my path.

Don’t You Love the DMV – Part 1

Don’t you love the DMV? If this acronym is confusing you, in the US we are referring to the Department of Motor Vehicles. We get our driver’s license, plus the title, registration and tags for our cars.

Last week I completed all these tasks, even received my North Carolina Real ID. Never heard of that? Me neither until I began my due diligence toward changing my resident status.

The Real ID is a new form of U.S. government identification. In the near future, airport security will require either a valid passport or a Real ID to board commercial flights.

Getting Back to My DMV Experience

As I headed to my local DMV appointment with my packet of required documents, I felt confident everything was in order. In addition to reading the 101 page driver handbook, I had studied the dizzying laws regarding every form of infraction imaginable. Rather than a onerous task, I was surprised I learned new, helpful information.

As I confidently walked up to the door, the first obstacle appeared. The door was locked. A neatly typed sign indicated every applicant must be accompanied by a DMV employee. Sadly, there was no phone number to call and reach them. I calmly walked back to my car in the 40°F weather and started searching for a solution on my cell phone.

Within minutes a man exited the building, headed toward his car.

“How do I get in?” I asked.
“There’s the guy you need,” He replied, pointing toward the building.

A young man was standing in the sun, smoking a cigarette. Hurriedly, I gathered my packet and purse and made my way toward him. Just as I got there, he extinguished his fag. I inhaled the familiar aroma.

“I never smoked, but in my younger years, everyone I cared about in my life did. Occasionally I really enjoy the aroma of cigarette smoke.”

The DMV employee looked at me with confusion as he held the door open for me.

”Thank you,” I replied.

Yes… this is a classic humorous cliffhanger. Stay tuned for the conclusion next week or signup for my newsletter where you receive additional information reserved for readers of my newsletter.