Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Love NY?

Since Jonathan and I moved to NY state back in May, we've been talking about switching our drivers licenses and registering our car in NY. Lots and lots of talking about it, but very little actual movement toward getting it done. Last week while driving to a very large horse show in Saugerties, NY I was pulled over by a cop, because I was talking on the cell. I'd been talking on the cell the entire way to the horse show, but of course I got pinched just as I pulled into the parking lot of the horse show. I was mortified. Jonathan was pissed. Then came the bad news. Not only was I getting a ticket for talking on the phone while driving, but our CT registration had expired. The cop informed us that he wouldn't impound our car (gee, thanks), but we needed to drive the Audi straight home and get it registered with NY tags a.s.a.p. Once we were released from the cop's stern gaze, I endured several minutes of "I told you not to talk on the phone" speeches from Jonathan. Then I expertly tried to switch the blame to him for the registration being partially his responsibility (we all know I was reaching here. He's incapable of doing such a task). We ended the conversation with an impasse of "Whatever" to each other and moved on. The good news is that we have a second car to drive thanks to my brother-in-law, Geordie, who didn't want to keep his car in NYC so it lives with us. The bad news is that the car is a white, beat up Chevy Malibu that has a curious odor and by curious I mean unpleasant. It also has no air conditioner and it tends to overheat so sometimes you must drive it with the heat on low (a real treat when its 90 degrees outside). We call the car Whitey and though we're grateful to have it, we both hate it. Besides being hot and smelly, it's just plain uncool.
I picked Monday as the day the we'd go to the DMV and get our driving selves legal in NY. We assembled as many documents as we could think of to prove we were who we said, fired up Whitey and we were off to be responsible adults, doing a responsible errand, albeit a few weeks late to be truly deemed responsible.
Nothing went according to plan at the DMV. Not one thing. Jonathan's name came up as suspended in NY state for a year and half old, unpaid speeding ticket that we'd sent in, but never got an amount to pay. I'll get back to that in a minute. I didn't have a social security card so I was turned down for a NY license. I've made it 41 years without a s.s. card, but now I have to drive to Poughkeepsie and get one. Strike two. When we showed the DMV lady our documents to register the Audi, she informed us that we had to have a letter from the lien holder which okayed our choice to register the car in NY, oh and an insurance card that was less than 45 days old. Strike three. I now had more phone calls to make and I had to drive to Poo-town in all of my free time to get a s.s. card. Remember Yosemite Sam? The angry mustachioed little gunslinger from Looney Tunes who spewed expletives in a non sensical stream of gibberish? I turned into him for a minute while we were leaving the DMV and walking across the 100 degree parking lot toward Whitey.
"I can't f'ing believe this!!" I finally shouted, nearly vibrating with frustration.
"Guess what?" Jonathan said to me with a grin. "Legally I can't drive in NY, so you are now my official driver!"
I sank into the stained driver's seat of Whitey and rested my head on the steering wheel. A trickle of sweat weaved its way down my back, I took a deep breath and resigned myself to just focus on one thing at a time. We decided our first mission would be to head to the courthouse in Copake which wasn't where Jonathan got his ticket, but that was where the DMV said we had to go to pay it. To get to Copake it was about a 45 minute drive past dilapidated dairy farms, crumbling silos and muddy pens of depressed black and white cows. Whitey blended in quite nicely in this atmosphere and Jonathan amused himself by playing sports radio channels the entire drive. I ground my teeth, sweated and concentrated on the road. After a stressful, brief moment of getting lost finally we found the Copake town offices. I slid Whitey into a parking slot, we gathered up the necessary paperwork and walked our bedraggled, wilting bodies up to the front door. Jonathan gave the door a yank, only to discover that it was locked. My eyes immediately flickered to the hours posted on the door. Closed at 3 p.m. It was 3:10. We'd driven 45 minutes one way, in Whitey, on a 100 degree day, past farm after farm that reeked of rotting sileage and cow shit to miss the damn closing time by ten minutes. At this point, I couldn't even speak. Jonathan kept giggling, but he knew to avoid solid eye contact with me. In silent fury, I crawled back into the sweat soaked driver's seat and revved the engine. This whole day had been spent spinning in circles. The absurdity of it all began to take effect on me and instead of turning back into Yosemite Sam, I began to laugh. Jonathan soon joined me and we laughed like hysterical maniacs on our way back home to Millbrook. It was a situation that only the two of us could conjure up. We seem to be specialists at turning simple errands into complex, Rubik's cube-esque feats.

Today is a new day. I have a list of chores and errands to accomplish and with any luck by the end of the day, we'll be one step closer to being legal residents of the state of New York.

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