Monday, March 28, 2011

Brain Fart

Last week I had an appointment at the DMV to have my licence renewed.  It expires next month on my birthday when I turn 29-again.  I made the appointment purposely for last week, because my in-laws were in town and that meant free unlimited babysitting.  This was the DMV, and even though I had an appointment, who knew how long it would take.  Although I did have people tell me that making an appointment was the way to go.  Still, I was skeptical.

I arrived for my appointment EARLY.  This in of itself is good for me, because I am usually late to everything.  It's hard to be early or even on time for things when you have three extra people to get ready and tag along with you.  When I don't have to take them with me or get them ready to go somewhere, I can actually be punctual.  

I walked in and filled out my paperwork.  Within five minutes I was called to a window to start processing my renewal.  This was taking no time at all.  The appointment WAS the way to go!  I would be out of there in 15 minutes and have plenty of time to run other errands!  I love the DMV!

The lady behind the counter asked me for my paperwork, my current license and my $31.  Crap. I forgot about the $31.  They didn't take credit cards, I had $5 short of the $31 I needed in cash and I didn't have my checkbook on me.  Who carries THOSE around anymore?  They did however take debit cards.  Oh good!  Well I have one of those!  Now this is where I had one of those ideas run through my head for some unknown reason that proved itself to be true.  That thought was "what if I forgot my pin number".  Then my brain had a malfunction meltdown, that wiped away that pin number I'd had in my head for TEN YEARS.

I gave the lady my debit card, she ran it and handed me the keypad to punch my number in and at first I drew a blank.  Then I remembered the first two numbers, but the second two eluded me.  I tried three times and kept getting denied.  I felt my cheeks start to get hot and flushed as I stood there feeling like an idiot.  My heart started pounding in my ears and I started to go into panic mode.  The lady behind the counter looked at me like I was an idiot.  She seemed a bit annoyed, which I guess is how most DMV workers seem anyway, but this, I'm sure, was not making her day. Then she told me,

"Go and see if you can figure it out.  I have a line forming behind you."

I went to my car and sat there trying to recall the numbers.  Why could I not remember? A couple of numbers popped in my head but where the RIGHT numbers?  I went back inside to try.  No they were not.  Part of the problem was the pin number I have is not one that is special to me.  They are just four random numbers Wells Fargo gave me when I first got the card.  I planned on changing it to something that did mean something to me in the beginning, but then I memorized those four so I left it alone.  Now I was wishing the numbers were my birth date.  At least THAT I could remember.  Even if the year I was born gets a little confusing sometimes.  

I left again and desperately searched for $5 in my car, but all I could find was a buck fifty in quarters.  Perhaps I could beg for $5 on the street.  I was in Hollywood after all.  It probably wouldn't take me to long to acquire that much.  I refused to give up and go home.  I had an appointment dammit!  I couldn't just leave and come back another day.  My free unlimited babysitting would be gone by the next week.  I had to figure something out.

I decided to drive to the nearest ATM.  Perhaps if I was actually in front of the machine my pin would come back to me more easily.  I found one in a liquor store down the street.  Which was perfect.  I mean if my pin didn't come back to me, then what better place to beg for money?  Or perhaps turn a $5 trick.  I decided to try the ATM first.  

I tried four different numbers, all wrong.  Then that ATM shut me out.  I decided to call Andy to see if he knew the pin number to our credit card.  Then I could get money off of that.   Of course he wanted to know why I was asking and I had to explain to him my situation.  His response wasn't surprising.  He laughed.  For a while.  Why did I call him?  When he stopped laughing, he told me to try and calm down and relax and the number would come back to me.  Only too bad for me, because I had myself in such a tizzy that not even a Burke Williams massage could have calm me down.  

Then I called Wells Fargo.  Surely they could help me.  Yeah, except they're not so keen on giving out pin numbers over the phone.  I suppose that's good MOST of the time, but not this time.  The woman did tell me that I could go to the nearest Wells Fargo and reset my pin number in the bank.  I decided that would be my last resort.  I remembered, from when I used to work in Hollywood, that there was a Wells Fargo nearby.  I could go there, try the ATM one last time and if it didn't come to me, I would go change the pin.  Hopefully I could still get back to the DMV

I drove down to Sunset and Vine where the Wells Fargo is.  Or was.  It was no longer there.

W. T. F.???

Instead I went to the Bank of America next door to try the ATM one last time.  I didn't care that they wanted to charge me $3 to use it.  If I could get my money, it would be worth it.

On the drive over, two more numbers had popped in my head.  I was sure one of them had to be it.  Although, I had been sure of a few others that hadn't worked.  My brain couldn't really be trusted right now.  It was freezing me out.

I walked up to the machine and punched in the first number in my head.  Nope.  Then I tried the second one.  The machine was taking a little longer this time.  Then came the sweet sound of money being dispensed.  FINALLY!  I remembered it!  Wait, what was it again?  No, I got it I got it.  And I got my $20 I needed to make up the difference of the cash I already had.

Now, I just hoped the lady, who had become annoyed with my memory lapse at the DMV, would be okay with me coming back 45 minutes later.  I walked back in and waited in line at her window for about five minutes. When it was my turn I walked up holding $31 in cash and said to her,

"I brought cash this time."

She burst into laughter and I knew she wasn't going to turn me away.  I think this time I did make her day.  I finished up my renewal in ten minutes.  When all was said and done I spent over an hour and a half getting my licenced renewed when it would have taken me 15, 20 minutes tops.

I don't think I've ever been so mad at myself and my malfunctioning brain.  I suppose I could blame my weekly wine consumption for killing those memory cells too.   I have to say though having kids helps you to find a way to get something done no matter what.  If this would have happened before kids, I would have just given up, gone home and rescheduled for another day.  That was not an option for me, so I knew I had to do something then and there.

So if you have to go to the DMV in California, I highly suggest you make an appointment.  You really will get in and out of there in no time.  However, make sure you have plenty of cash.  You know, just in case. 


Paolo said...

This made me laugh out loud! I'm sorry you had to spend all that time trying to remember 4 numbers, though I can TOTALLY understand! I had to pay my property taxes and I went in and paid them, then I remmbered I didnt receive/pay my sewer tax. Oh, I better do that now! Glad I remembered! The lady checked my name/address and then asked me, "Ma'am, do you have a sewer?"...... ugh... No! That was the old house. Oh my gosh, I couldn't get out of there fast enough!!

Katie said...

that was me..... Katie! crap, i can't even leave a comment properly! time for bed!

Tim Taylor said...

Kris, you are lucky the machines didn't keep your card. When that happened to me in San Francisco one time, the ATM machine kept my card after the third try and then I couldn't even use it as a credit card! What's worse is I was TAD from Newport News at the time and had no way to get any money. I had to borrow it from friends - Thank God for Marines!!

Hollyhome said...

Awe :) That was so fave part is that Andy doesn't even know your pin! LOL And for future reference the Wells Fargo was moved around the corner to the W on Vine and Selma next to the Trader Joe's. Harder to find...but you can see the BOA from there...much love! I spend 5 hours at the DMV and never got my ID in the mail!!! I am too scared to go back and tell them...for they may hold me hostage again.