i live in tennessee. like, officially.
Last week, I straightened my hair and put on my grown up pants and went to upgrade my license to one from the state I am in (love with). I did my research to find out what I needed in order to make this happen. Twice. Because there is nothing like waiting in line for an hour just to be told you do not have the proper documentation. So I picked a location from the list, wrote down the address and directions and crossed my fingers that this express location issues TN licenses to out-of-state license holders. (Spoiler alert. They do not.)
You guys, the thing about the city is that there are one way streets and no free parking lots. What I failed to do was the Google Earth portion of my research. Because the address says Rosa Parks Ave (formerly 8th Ave N) and the GPS says Rose L Parks Ave, which is not to be confused with Rosa L Parks Blvd, and the entrance to this building is on 7th Ave N. What now? I got lost, okay. I drove down a street next to a supreme court (or something?) and was stopped by a security woman who asked if I took a wrong turn. Yes. Yes, I did.
This was all in search for that express location, which couldn't even give me what I wanted, but they did give me multiple apologies and directions to the nearest full-service driver service center. Which I found without a problem. Also, this place had a parking lot. A free parking lot.
The woman inside was so sweet and replaced my number in line (B110) with another one she had laying on her desk that would be faster (B107). So kind. Except for the fact that B107 was the next number called and I wasn't half way though filling out the form. Hello, panicky sweaty palms. This obviously did wonders for my handwriting. But the man was nice and made copies of my (correct!) documents while I finished. He questioned me on the height I provided on the form and tacked on two inches because he felt that was more accurate. Whatever. Then there was the eye test and I don't need glasses for driving, but what if my sight has gotten worse and I actually do? Finding out at the counter of the full-service driving center from a man who questions my height judgment is not exactly ideal.
But I passed (phew!) and then he asked, "You're not wearing contacts, are you?" No. I am not. I wrote that on the form. I am in denial about how tall I am, which I don't really see as an issue. My vision, on the other hand. I will freely admit to you that I wear glasses while reading or working on the computer. He accepted my answer (which I kept as a simple "no") and said, "Welcome to Tennessee."
Twenty-something dollars later, I signed my name on the pad as "Sarah Squ-[insert squiggly line here]" and took a photo while half-smiling with my mouth closed. I was stressed out, okay. But my license says "Tennessee" at the top, with an outline of the Nashville skyline. And my hair looks good. So that's something.