Tag Archives: expired drivers license

Failed it!

31 Oct

So, I know it’s hard to believe with all of those fabulous forehead lines (*note to self: ask dermatologist “how much is botox?”) that I’m not 16, but nope, I’m 38 and taking my driver’s test… again.  [because remember this]

This is me in line, ready… or not… to go.  I passed the written portion with Jaxon, my 16 year old son, with flying colors a couple of weeks ago and spent a few hours prepping for my 2 point turn.  Maryland no longer requires you to do a 3 point turn or parallel parking, so yay, me… this is cake, right?!  Not so much.  2 point turns aren’t that easy, especially when you don’t have giant cars on either side of you to judge your side mirror distances.  I kinda sucked at it when practicing, but finally became more comfortable and decided it was now or never to take the test.  Of course, I was nervous.  I don’t often drive and when I do, I basically concentrate on the important things like stopping at stop lights/signs, using turn signals, checking my mirrors, not hitting cars or pedestrians and defensive driving tactics, so that I’m prepared for all of the idiot drivers making illegal maneuvers around me.  It’s a lot harder than you think (or remember from 22 years ago) to focus on turn signals (in empty parking lots), proper speeds, making sure to look over your shoulder and in all of the mirrors at all times, counting your trailing distance from the car in front of you, reading signs, following every minute traffic law possible, etc.. etc.. etc…  Though these things do come naturally over years of driving, you get into a comfort zone and stop focusing on 30 things at one time… and for good reason to be honest, because who can focus on 30 details at once and not be missing something critical because your focus is literally everywhere all at once?

Well, apparently it is critical to keep your hands gripped to the steering wheel with your palms facing away from you.  Seconds after the test started the instructor told me to stop and said “watch the position of your hands”.  I assumed that she was trying to tell me that I wasn’t keeping my hands at “10 and 2” and simply replied “ok” and resumed motion focusing on braking, signaling, mirror checking and her instructions on what to do next.  The 2 pt turn was straight out of the gate, as I started backing into the spot I immediately got flustered because those darn flags are just not visible in the mirrors until your turn is in place.  I noticed the instructor nodding in disapproval from the corner of my eye as I was backing up, so I doubted my position and decided to pull forward and reposition myself.  She nodded again.  Clearly, I was screwing up, so I sighed and thought “screw it, just back in”.  I had overcompensated when I pulled forward and readjusted.  Apparently, I was actually good to go on my first attempt and should’ve ignored her nodding.  Though close, I was still inside the cones and just continued on my way backing in.  She asked me to pull out of the space and pullover.  Focusing on blinkers and mirrors and cones and looking over my shoulder all the while, I pulled out knowing that her tone meant I failed even though I cleared the cones.  After I pulled to the side she said, “remember when the test started I asked you to watch the position of your hands?  As you turn your steering wheel, you turn your hands and grip the steering wheel with your palms facing you.  You can’t do that.  I had to give you a point every time you did that and you did it 6 times during the 2 pt turn, so you failed.”  She continued to say that it happens all of the time with drivers with expired licenses.  Us, more experienced drivers, get into a habit of gripping the steering wheel wrong or using palms to turn or letting our grip go of the wheel, so that the steering wheel slides through our hands (palming) as we turn.  Though, I never lost my grip of the wheel and didn’t palm it, I was turning my hand and gripping the steering wheel subconsciously from the wrong side.  She said she even does it all of the time and when she drives she thinks to herself “I would fail my own test”.

So, that was that.  38 years old and Failed it!  Though, I didn’t wreck the car or hit a pedestrian or run a red light… this failure sucked almost more… I mean, that’s a really obscure fucking technicality.  The instructor wished me luck next time and told me to go ahead and schedule a retake tomorrow, but as I drove home Mike and I noticed that this “moving my hand” thing is a pretty bad habit that is going to take a lot more practice to shake.  Poop.  I’m not going to lie, I did cry afterwards because what’s more embarrassing than failing a test that you easily passed 22 years ago… that your 16 year old son is getting ready to take?!  But that’s just it.  I have to take a deep breath and show my son that it happens.  Whatever.  Try, try, again.  I think I’ll try again after a bit more practice this time, though.  And who knows… since I technically didn’t get to drive the course at all, maybe there are a couple of more habits that could fail me that I don’t even know about?  Stay tuned for “Failed it: Part 2“.  In the meantime, watch out for a dangerous white minivan roaming the streets with a seriously old female student driver who dares to turn her grip when she turns risking the lives of anyone who is in and around her vehicle.


If I was a category on Jeopardy: category option #1

12 Aug

Me:  I’ll take “Life’s Geometry According to Carol” for $0.01, Alex!

Alex:  In every aspect of her life, Carol uses this route to get from point A to point B.

Me:  What is the “shortest distance”?

Alex:  With a penny for your thoughts, you are correct!

About a year ago, I realized that my license had expired.  I’m not the best with attention to detail.  As a matter of fact, if it is not demanded of me in person, I chalk it up to not that important (i.e. never has to be done).  Then, about 6 months ago, I lost my license.  It’s probably somewhere in my house; in one of 20 or so purses that I own and switch out of daily.  (Speaking of which, do any of you switch out purses regularly?  If so, are you able to do this chaos-free… or is it just me who has trouble with finding anything after a switch?  I just have never found it as simple as dumping the contents of one into another.  I have about 5 handbags right now 1/2 full of junk, but sadly no license in any of them… yet.)

So, I haven’t had time to renew my license until today.  I did my hair and makeup and made sure that I wore a shirt that wasn’t wrinkled and baby food stain-free, so that I could look undead (at the very least) in my new license photo.  Then I had to search for bills with my name and address on them to prove my residency… and, oh yeah, I needed to find my birth certificate and social security card.  They were in lock boxes for which I had to find the keys and subsequently drop one very heavy lock box on my bare toe… just because I didn’t think that things were going as hideously as it should be.  About an hour later, I was ready to head off to the MVA and battle the long lines.  When I got there, I had to stand in a long line to speak with a clerk who would check all of my documentation, give me forms to fill out, stand back in the same line to have my forms checked and then given a number to wait to in another much much much longer line.  However, I never even got to the reentry of the first line.  Upon looking me up in the system, the clerk said “Oh my!  It’s been a long time since your licensed expired!” Me: *playing stupid* “What’s that mean?” Clerk:  “Well it’s been over a year, so you’ll have to take the tests to get a new license.” Me:  “Tests?  What tests?” Clerk:  “You’ll have to take the written test and then you’ll have to pass the driving skills test.” Me:  “Crap!  Are you serious?  It’s been so long… I don’t think that I’ll pass.  Do I have to, like, parallel park and stuff because I don’t do that.” Clerk:  “Yes, you’ll want to practice that before you try to take the test.” Me:  “How about I do what I normally do in a situation that requires parallel parking?  I switch with my husband and let him do it OR if he’s not available I drive around and around until I find a space that doesn’t require me to perform the ‘parallel park’ maneuver.  Are there points for that?  I mean, knowing your limits should get a person bonus points?” Clerk:  *a bit amused* “Nice try, but you’re gonna have to do it.  Ride around DC for an afternoon and you’ll be good and skilled!” Me:  *laughing… surprisingly laughing* “It’ll be more like bumper cars.  Not a good idea.  So, what do I do now?” Clerk:  “Well, if you don’t think you need the practice you can go ahead and take the tests now, if you want.  *glances around at the identification I brought in*  Never-mind, we don’t except short forms anymore.  *points at my birth certificate*  You’re going to have to get a long form.” Me:  “My birth certificate is not valid?” Clerk:  “No because that is an old birth certificate.  We only accept the newer issued longer forms.”

So, I have no license and I have to take a test to get another one because I’m too stupid and irresponsible to keep track of the one that I had.  Also, apparently I’m old… like, so old that my birth certificate is historic, practically a museum worthy national treasure and therefore, not valid.  I applied for a new birth certificate online.  While I await it’s arrival in the mail, I will be studying for the written test and practicing my parallel parking for the road test over the next 10 days.  Here is a little test for you:

Carol will probably

A. drive locally anyway

B. use an old license that I lost years ago and then found it soon after I got a new one in order to get in and out of Jax and Leila’s schools during their first week

C.  fail the tests miserably and be without a valid license for some extended period of time

D. all of the above

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