License to Chill

Rock your photo license like Alice Cooper…

Photo license renewal was a torture we not only endured, but we paid hard earned money for this gross misrepresentation of ourselves. Upon request, we were expected to whip out this form of identification at the bank, video store, etc.

My photo license came with the explanation, “yes, that’s really me.” If Ansel Adams were alive, employed at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and photographing me, he’d focus on what looked like a Hawaiian sunset. In the finished photograph, I’d resemble the Badlands. I would almost rather go to my day job in Hell than have my photo taken.

This year’s license renewal coincided with a milestone birthday. Milestone made one want to take a rock and stone the person who came up with a stupid word such as milestone to describe a significant event which really implied a long damn time.

Add this milestone to my obsessive and over imaginative psyche and it was easy for my brain to wander into dangerous territory. What if I came in for a photograph with bleach blonde hair, teased to heaven and with enough makeup to be mistaken for an ageless Vegas showgirl? Would the DMV take my picture or make me wash my face?

I did what any writer, still employed in day job Hell and with a milestone on their hip, would do. I called the DMV and lied. I mean presented a fictional possibility that I was a writer doing a story on the photo license process and asked the above questions about the Vegas showgirl scenario.

The gentleman answered, “I’d have to take a person’s photograph however they came in.”

The answer was given reluctantly. The gentleman didn’t want people like me with stupid ideas to pass these ideas onto people who didn’t already have them. Sorry dude.

I had the okay to bleach my hair and tart myself up to look like Marilyn Monroe except I knew I’d end up with a photo license of Marilyn Manson.

The best I could hope for was a decent photo that didn’t get me thrown in jail for impersonating the person on my license.

I still coveted a really good milestone photo license. On Monday, my day off from Hell, I woke up early. If I pulled two small pieces of my freshly washed and colored hair into a ponytail, I’d have a mini face lift according to Joan Collins. I then curled my hair to cover the ponytail and styled it to accentuate my cheekbones. Eye liner and shadow opened my eyes. An ageless look required blush, lip liner, lipstick, then spraying your face with some junk guaranteed to set your makeup and give your skin a dewy finish.

The miracle spray had its work cut out. With the humidity, my eyeliner threatened to melt and slide down my face to make me look like Alice Cooper. My aim was ageless Vegas not aged rocker.

As I pulled into the DMV parking lot, the rain let loose. I made a run for the door under a golf umbrella. The odds were against a decent photo as a frizzy mass of cowlicks threatened to defy the goop holding my hair together.

The sign on the door said, “Closed Monday.”

As I stood staring at the empty parking lot, did I really want the young video clerk growling at me and calling me a cougar? Did I think the bank teller would take one look at my driver’s license and say, “Whoa, you look too hot to be that age.” Well… never mind.

I got up early on my day off for a photograph. The hell with a photo license, I needed a license to chill.

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