Coping Skills From My Fun DMV Adventure

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The R of Shame!
The Scarlet R!

It’s a long story how I got here, but I found myself missing my licence plate (one of the two required), my car’s registration, AND an inspection sticker. No plate means failed inspection: such a learning experience? What does the Scarlet Letter failed inspection sticker look like? I learned that too! Talk about adult education…

So I freed up a day, showing how optimistic I was about quick resolution, and skulked over to the DMV. RMV, actually, because in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we’re  like that. It’s not a Depertment; oh no, it’s the Registry. Taxis have “hackney” licenses, left over from horse days. I’m almost surprised our judges don’t wear those British wigs…

Any way, when I got there the line stretched way out the door. Not promising… So I stocked up for the long haul. Cell phone, book, tennis ball to bounce, snacks.

The line wasn’t the “mile and a half long” that the guy in front of me in line surmised. It only was mall – length long. The entire mall! Ugh. So I had to take action.

This was my day off, dagnabit, and I refused to suffer. I wore a tropical shirt, for what that was worth. Everylittle bit helps! On arrival, I poured on the chatty & the humor & the goofy. It

RMW Adventure Wear
RMW Adventure Wear

was a great audience : trapped, (really) low expectations, eager for distraction.

I told the crowd that on my last visit they beat me with a hose, then pointed out I actually wished it had been as quick & efficient as that, showing off my beaten-down-by-the-RMV license picture.

Then I had a nice chat with a solar energy guy – I wasn’t the only one who was working the trapped audience. A bunch of us got into the topic. We also discussed who’d be making the final decision on this one: in short, we talked about my wife.

The “line” we were in was actually the line to get into the actual line – charming, yes? – but for that reason it moved quick. In the real line, only two people were ahead of me. Things were looking up!

I bounced the ball, of course: that’s given. And I took a picture. The signed offered “Mass IDs,” but from a distance it looked like “Mass lols,” far more interesting,  especially given the ironic setting. It turned out I never needed the book. Overprepared worked!

I’ve met some nice people at RMV over the years, and some demons on loan from Hell. It seems they have some sort of arrangement… Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not so much. To improve my odds in any case, odds, I pour on the friendly politeness. They also seem to like it when I openly acknowledge the truth: I’m at their mercy. I do my best to convince them I trust them up front, that I’m really happy to meet them. It all helps.

Hose - Beaten!
    Hose – Beaten!

RMV lady Noreen was very helpful: she cleaned up my mess in a flash. She even offered tips to help me prevent any more grief. I shook her hand & thanked her.

Today’s adventure offers another lesson. I could have accepted my plausibly dismal prediction, and skulked, skowled, & suffered my way through it like most people. It would have been miserable, of course, felt much longer & the outcome could well have worse that way.

But I didn’t.  Read my lips, folks:


It’s a dreaded source of misery, pain, & lost time, and I had fun! And I got the job done as quickly as possible at that.

Live and learn. You can make life better: even the crappy parts. You have more fun, and less misery. You learn how to make it so, and get better at it each day. You can do that, all of it.


Does “better” sound worth a little effort to you? Does making misery into fun sound worth it?

You bet it does.


  1. You had me laughing from pouring on the ‘chatty, the humour and the goofy,’ Greg! What a great attitude! You’re right! There is little choice in the matter and one can either grumble and scowl all the way or don a cheerful attitude and bring sunshine to those around. While I must confess I can’t play the goof except with really close family, I can and do however, offer a sincere and warm smile and a chat. Way to go Greg! 👏🏻👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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