Tuesday, November 24, 2009


So I've been avoiding writing about this because, well it's just downright embarrassing, that's why!! I mean, I haven't felt quite this humiliated in a really long time and now I'm about to admit it to the world by posting it on the world-wide web. I don't really know what I'm thinking...but here it goes. I guess a little bit of confession is good for the soul even if it makes me look absolutely crazy.

The week before we went to San Luis Obispo I lost my wallet somehow. I'm still not really sure how it all happened. You're probably thinking, "How do you not know how you lost your wallet?" I know people. I've NEVER lost my wallet before. NEVER! And then all of the sudden we need milk and I go to the store to pick up a few things. My items are being checked through and I start to search my purse for my wallet. It's suddenly nowhere to be found. I start to panic but then assure myself that it must be in the car. I run to the car (as fast as I can with three little boys in tow) and search the entire car top to bottom...nothing. Absolutely nothing! I do find my checkbook though and run back inside to pay for my half-finished Diet Coke (I know...so humiliating!) and the rest of my groceries. Good thing I had that checkbook.

I search all over my house and it isn't anywhere. I can't even remember the last time I used the wallet. I use cash for groceries so I really don't use my bank card that much except for gas and stuff. So who knows? I am befuddled as I have no recollection of where it could possibly be. Later that day, my sister-in-law calls and says that her car had been recently broken into and her wallet was stolen. Hmmmm...she lives up the street. That could be what happened to my wallet but really, I'll never know. It's never surfaced again.

So you get the point. My wallet is gone and I found out in a humiliating way. But this is nothing to what was to come. I had to stop all of my cards, well really only one. I only have a bank card. And then I had the lovely task of trying to replace all of my medical cards, insurance cards, Costco card and of course the lovely driver's license.

So flash forward to San Luis Obispo. I lost my wallet just days before having to depart for SLO and I just had to go. I couldn't get in to the DMV before leaving and I was just praying I wouldn't get pulled over. I think I saw at least ten cop cars on the way down. I'm telling you...scary!! I wasn't trying to break the law, it was just an unfortunate circumstance. So once I get to San Luis Obispo, Debbi Weeks (who we're staying with and my mentor for nearly ten years now) encourages me to stop in at the DMV and see if I can do anything about my license. She graciously offers to occupy the children for the forty-five minutes I'll need to wait to be seen...what an angel!

I wait for what seems like ages but really, I didn't have an appointment so I deserved it I guess. I was so bored I was trying to guess what number they were going to call next based on the pattern. What I discovered was that they weren't calling my line of numbers at all (the G's) but only the B's and the H's. For every five B's they'd call ONE G. I ended up getting so frustrated I stopped paying attention and eavesdropped on the conversation going on between two college girls in front of me. Total drama but at least it was a little bit more entertaining.

Finally I'm called to the front and I expect to pay my money, give my paperwork and get out of there!! But the DMV guy cheerfully announces that it's nearly time to renew my license and so I better just do that rather than have to do it in a few months. Okay...I ask what needs to be done and he mentions it's not a big deal. All right...let's do this. I've got three kids all four and under waiting in the car with their adopted grandma and it's almost been an hour. Give it to me. And let's do this.

We start with the eye exam. Perfection. I can definitely see. I jump through a few other hoops and then he announces that I was chosen to take a written test and that if I could just step over to the other line, I'd be on my way to getting my new license. What?! A written test! I haven't taken a written test since I was 15 and I sure haven't studied. And didn't I just remind him that I had three little boys waiting in the CAR!?

I smile and politely walk over to the other line while seething inside. But at this point, I am determined to leave with the license, written test or not. I get my 18 questions and get started. The first question went something like this, "When is the road the wettest? 5 minutes after it started raining, 15 minutes after it started raining, or after it stops raining?" WHAT?! What does this have to do with driving? Why are they asking me about the weather? And on it went with one ridiculous question after another. Did you know that it's illegal to smoke while driving with a minor in the car? Hmmm...neither did I because well, I DON'T SMOKE! I wouldn't think it'd be a great idea but I didn't know there was a law about it. And I also do not drink much so do I know the legal alcohol limit? NO! I have been driving for nearly fifteen years and there is hardly a traffic question on the test. Give me a traffic question and I bet I'll know it but no, a bunch of questions about rainy weather, obscure laws and that made up my test. I simply do the best I can without studying one bit and hand my test back in.

The lady gives me a knowing nod and quickly grades my test. I could tell by her eyes that I didn't pass. Luckily she was the nicest lady around because she gestures me to come close and tells me, "You missed two too many but I know you have kids in the car and that you're in a hurry. Why don't you do these two on the back and if you get them right, I won't make you retake the test." That was the best news I had heard all day. My humiliation quickly turned to gratitude and I very hastily pounded out those two questions. A few minutes later, I got to take my picture and I walked out of there with my temporary license!!

I'll never know why I was chosen to take that test. My sister-in-law didn't have to do one and she's the same age as me. I have a perfect driving record with no accidents or tickets. Why me? I never knew that a lost wallet could cause me such trouble. However, thank God, it still all worked out and I didn't have to go back and re-take the silly "driving" test.

So all of you be warned...if you have to go in for a renewal, you better dig out your old Driver's Ed books and do a little studying. You just never know if they will put you on the spot and make you take a written test. Take it from me...you want to pass. It's humbling to have been driving for so long and not to pass. It's like I said before, downright embarrassing.

So there it is. You can laugh all you want. I didn't pass. But then a lady had grace on me and I did pass. And really, in the end, I guess that's all that really matters. Once I got back to the car, I thanked Debbi profusely and checked on the boys. They had all waited so well! We got frozen yogurt with "sprinklers" to reward them for their exceptional behavior and to celebrate my license renewal. Who knew there'd be anything to celebrate? I don't think I'll ever take my license for granted again!


  1. Whoa, I did not see that coming, nor have I ever heard of having to take the test again. But really, it doesn't sound like you have anything to be embarrassed for - I know you DO feel embarrassed, but truly, the only people who really need to feel embarrased are the ones drinking and smoking!

  2. For Dan, it cost about $100 to get ID replaced, flight card replaced, company ID, license, etc., when he lost his wallet. What a pain, huh? Glad you passed, though. I keep thinking that eventually I'll have to take a test again since I'm a bit older than you. But I just got my notice and I can still pay for it online. WHEW! Another four years covered. hugs

  3. When I moved to California I had to take that test and had the same experience--questions about whether a dog in the back of a pick-up had to be (a) Tied down (b) in a crate or (c) no dogs were allowed in pick-ups. WHAT?? Anyway, to make a long story short, I also failed the test, but the DMV worker just smiled and handed me my license regardless. Hmmm...I wonder how many drivers out there failed their tests too?