Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm unmotivated to post

As you can probably tell from the lack of postings lately.

I haven't had much to really post about. My life has been a little blah. And I refuse to try to be all poetry like Princess Sparklepants has been.

I've been doing computer-geeky things with my machines at home. And slowly starting to organize my files so I can find things (and in the process do a little cleanup of the files I don't need).

Then, I found the story of my 24th birthday. It was shortly after I moved to Georgia. And, quite possibly, the most f'd up day I had in quite some time!

I started reading it last night and giggled quite a bit. In short, I felt like Lucy Ricardo in that episode where she was finding her birth certificate.
Aahh - birthdays - the second best day of the year, correct? (Christmas being the best) - not for me. I probably would have had a better day playing in traffic on GA400 (Mass Pike? I-95?) during rush hour.

Let's see - where do I start. 9am, my phone rings - it's my grandmother wishing me a happy birthday (she calls my cell, but I don't complain because I don't expect to be on long because I told her I had things I needed to do) - I also get to talk to mother (ok, you can stop laughing now). I get off the phone with them about 9:20, and I hop in the shower, primp myself, gather my birth certificate and a bank statement and head up to the DMV (dramatic "DOM-DOM-DOMMMMM").

11:50am - I arrive at the DMV. I see the line is literally around the corner and out of sight - I'm like "I'm glad I made a reservation for noon" - I get in, they tell me to sit and they'll be with me momentarily. I'm like "kewlios" so I'm all happy.

12:05pm - it's now my turn. I'm like "Ok, I need to get my MA license transferred over to GA, I have my birth certificate and a bank statement, and even a utility bill in case you want that too. And here's my MA license, I think it's all in order." - she looks at my birth certificate and is like "what's this?"

"My birth certificate."

"I don't think we can accept this."

"Why not? It's a valid birth certificate with the raised seal and everything - albeit the seal isn't raised MUCH because it's so old"

"Um, it's not in English."

"Yes, it's in German. I was born on an American Air Force base in Germany to American parents."

"We need a Certificate of Birth Abroad"

"Here's a photocopy of it - I don't have the original - I've NO clue where that would be."

"We can't accept that."

"I've got a Social Security card too - I can't get that without being an American citizen. I've enough documentation here to prove without a shadow of a doubt I'm who I say I am and I was born when I say I was, and I can even give you the time on my Hospital Birth Report."

"Sorry."

"So, you're telling me I'm screwed?"

"Basically."

"So, what are my options?"

"Get an American birth certificate"

"Am I supposed to be born again? Can I just go down to the church across the street and become born again and get a birth certificate that way?"

- no comment -

"I mean, my mother is 1100 miles away (thank God) - and I don't think I can fit back in her to be born again - and if I did, the birth would be today so I wouldn't be old enough to drive for another 16 years - although I'd get to go back to school and I'd prolly be the smartest in my pre-school class, and I'd have nap time again, but I don't think I'd fit in the chairs."

"I'm sorry"

"I have a little blue card somewhere at home which I've been searching for since I moved here that is a notice of my birth that is from the Town (ok, now it's City) of Easthampton - where I was registered - if I can find that, can I use that?"

"Yes, but you won't be able to use this appointment."

"I'll worry about that later. Ya know that phrase 'Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it'? - well, it looks like I just got my wish to be fu*cked for my birthday."

Anyways, I'm PISSED as I walk out of there with the knowledge that I probably won't be able to drive after midnight because that little blue card is gone - vamoose - hasta-la-way-go-bye-bye probably in the move.

So, now you have a pissed off mole (POM for short) who has TOTAL road rage on GA400 trying to stay calm so I don't speed and get pulled over and have MORE problems.

Next stop - home - one hand I'm searching frantically thru the few boxes I didn't unpack - no avail - other hand, I'm dialing people trying to figure out all my options. First call: My grandmother in Easthampton, MA - asking if she can go to the Town.. err.. City Hall (I still can't get used to calling it a city) and get a copy of my record of birth mailed to me. I also explained her the situation up to this point. I got off the phone with her then called Dad and informed him that the state of Georgia is screwing me and it's all his fault (for having me OVERSEAS). I also inquire about his post-surgical health, and get off the phone with him to call the state of MASS to see if there's any "grace period" so I technically wouldn't have an "expired license."

Call MassRMV - one of the MOST HATED orgs in the state there. Explain the situation up to that point. The guy on the phone informed me that if I was MOVING to Mass, I could present any expired license up to 4 years old and Mass would give me a license, but he's not sure of GA's laws, and there is no grace period. Trying to get the info I WANT, I asked a few other questions, and discovered there is a form I could fill out explaining I'm traveling and couldn't get to MA to renew my license and allow me to renew it without penalty when I return to the state, but it doesn't serve as an extension to allow for another state. So first idea comes to mind: Fill this form out, SOMEHOW get to Mass, get a MA license renewed, return to GA with "American" birth certificate and trade in for GA license. Nope - nocando - no way to get to MA without valid ID and expired license isn't valid ID on aircraft. Strike 1.

I call the GA DMV and inform them of the situation. They tell me of a "translator service" that can translate my birth certificate. I'm like "THERE'S ENGLISH ALL OVER THIS CERTIFICATE I HAVE NOW" - but instead of fighting through this loop deal, I get the information.

I call these new people (Catholic something Services) - I explain the above to them (I can just HEAR people laughing each time I explain it because it sounds like something that only would happen on "I Love Lucy" *recalls the Passport episode where Lucy couldn't find a birth certificate*) - they told me it would cost $150 to get it done. I ask about expediting it so I could potentially get to the DMV today and get my life straightened out. He tells me $300 for "speedy delivery" and I wouldn't get it 'till 3 *IF* I faxed it to them before I headed that way. I was like "Okay - I'll fax it to you as soon as I can manage to get across the street" - I call the DMV and ask if I can use my reservation and she's like "No. You'll have to stand in line." - "Which is half a block around the corner," I pipe in.

My grandmother calls back and says she overnighted a copy of my birth certificate, but the post office said it probably won't get here for two days (so TECHNICALLY it was 2-day mail, not overnight, but I digress, this isn't a bitch session about the post office). Also, I get a phone call from a friend and I explain the situation and he's not sure what to do.

At this point, I know I can't get a license until a future date because you can't get appts the day before and I can't DRIVE up there with an expired license to get a Georgia License. In order to get a license now, I'm gonna need to take the written AND road test. No problem, I remember most of the rules of the road and - well - I've been driving for the past year and change constantly, so I should have no problems passing a road test. - I inform them that I have an out-of-state vehicle if that's fine for the road test. She said yes, as long as I have proof of insurance.

I'm like "oh crap" because I can't get proof of insurance because I was told by my insurance company in MA that since I'm moving, I'm not really covered anymore because they can't cover out of MA (um, what about roadtrips here? But I can't argue much because there's not much I can do there trying to explain why I need proof of insurance). So I call the GA tags (license plate) department (which is TOTALLY different from the DMV licensing people) - I tell her the situation and she makes my day even worse by telling me I can't get GA tags without a GA license (even tho I was told by someone earlier that I could do them in either order) - and I know I can't get GA tags without GA insurance. The logic for calling them was to inquire about the law to see if I could get insurance on a vehicle without a license. She said I'd hafta call an insurance agency.

Insurance - the biggest gamble of you're life - you pay tons of money basically betting that you won't get into an accident, the insurance company bets you will (or do I have that backwards?)- and either way YOU LOSE. I pick the most handy insurance agency in the list, and explain the situation and ask if I can have insurance on a vehicle without a valid license - he said I could open a policy, but the policy would be canceled once my MA license expired (essentially midnight) - no luck there. So, the situation is I have to take a road test to get a GA license - in order to take the road test, I need GA insurance. in order to get GA insurance, I need a license. In order to get a license..... well, you get the picture. I brainstormed a bit, and came up with my other two options.

Option 2: BEG someone to let you borrow their car for the road test who already has GA insurance and all that jazz - the pro is there's no big hassle with agencies, but the cons are I'm not comfortable in that vehicle and I would inconvenience them having to take me to get a licnese.

Option 3: Take a friend and go get insurance on my truck with him/her as the primary driver. Take the vehicle to the road test, take the road test, get the license, take him/her OFF my policy and add ME to the policy. This seems SHADY and will probably cause more headaches.

So, the current situation is as follows:
- I ACTUALLY MISS Mass for a change
- I'm ROYALLY PISSED OFF at Georgia
- The lady at the DMV best be GLAD I didn't have PMS going on
- I'm a year older and yet I can't drive again legally (funny, a similar situation happened when I moved to MA from SC, but I digress 'cuz it was totally different still)
- I have a birth certificate due here by Thursday, so if I can find a friend with a vehicle that is an automatic, I can theoretically take the tests this weekend and have a license by then... that is IF I can get an appointment.

So, next time you wish someone a happy birthday - make sure it's REALLY a happy day for them! :-D
For those of you who wonder the outcome of everything, my grandmother sent me my birth certificate through "regular mail" (not overnight) -- it arrived that Friday. I begged a friend of mine to take me to the license place and use his car. It was 9.5 hours at the license place. Apparently if your license is expired, you've forgotten how to drive, so you need to take both the written and the road test. The VERY first question on my written test was the child seatbelt law. I came close to turning around and saying "Excuse me, may I have another test, there won't be a child in my vehicle." Needless to say, I got it wrong. But, I took the driving test in my friend's Toyota Echo and parallel parked quite easily.

What have I done to prevent this from happening again? Well, I finally went to go get my passport, so I shouldn't have to prove I was born again. I also have the "Easthampton Birth Certificate" filed away in a safe place. The only thing to make it better is if I had an actual safe to keep everything in.

1 comment:

Salon Chick said...

Great story! And you know the other wonderful thing about GA - for your birthday every year you get to pay advalorum (sp)and to renew your tags! Like I want to spend $200 on that crap every year instead of a new outfit or something!

Also...I've seen your house. Are you sure you know where that certificate of birth is stored?