I’m one of those people who might be described as “Never met a stranger.” Perhaps I walk around with a look on my face that says, “Tell me your story. I am dying to hear it!” Funnily enough, this aspect of my personality makes the job that I have perfect for me. I listen to other people’s stories and make them into interesting (or at least somewhat) articles for the business publication I freelance for.
Today I had a two-fold mission: get the car registered/get my Oklahoma Driver’s License. Please note that when transferring all this from one state to another you better plan on making a day of it. Oklahoma, unlike Tennessee, uses tag agencies for vehicle registration and driver’s licenses. Yet, when you move from another state you must go to the Department of Public Safety (aka the driver’s license testing place) to get your license – sort of. So the car tag took all of 10 minutes and over $100 – OUCH! Man, Oklahoma, do you want some of my blood too? As I caressed my poor, hurting checkbook I asked where the DL testing place was. The clerk, who was a bit on the surly side I might add, said that the nearest one was in Edmond and she gave me the address. So I asked, “Well how do I get there from here?” To which she replied, “I grew up in Edmond, but I have no idea – sorry.” I felt confused and abandoned as she walked back into the tag agency.
Sigh. Okay….I’ll call….Shawna! Shawna did not grow up in Edmond and has never been to the DL testing place, but knows her streets and helps me find it. I love Shawna. She is a true friend.
So I get there and take a number and sit down. I start to fidget and people-watch. There are several teenagers with their parents who all have mixed looks of fear and exhilaration on their faces. Then there’s the rest of us, staring longingly at the digital number-thingy, waiting for our turn.
The man next to me, a gentleman in his 60s, asks me something about what kind of ID he needs to get his renewed. Since I am the queen of overkill, I brought like 6 acceptable forms of ID. So I gave him a list of what he could use, and he seemed relieved. Before I know it, we’re swapping stories about Tennessee and then we start talking about Harley’s. My parents are Harley riders. They go to rallies. They wear bandannas; they have cool t-shirts. They have biker friends and everything. They’re even going on a cross-country ride this summer with my uncle Robert. I actually think it’s really cool even though I tease my parents to no end. So, over the course of the 35 minutes we sat waiting for our turn, I learned that this gentleman had 1 grandchild, a son-in-law in the oil field, a motorcycle-phobic wife, and I heard the details of his near-fatal ATV accident last year. Wow. I was kind of sad that it was finally my turn and said, “It was really nice talking to you.” as I made my way to the clerk’s desk.
So as I’m digging out my load of verifiable info of my citizenship, I learn that the clerk has family in Chickasha, where I went to school, has been widowed and is now remarried, has gained weight since remarrying, her dad was a farmer and a minister, and her first grade crush that she still wonders about still lives in Amber, Oklahoma. Again, wow.
As I leave to go back to a different tag agency, versus the former surly one, to get my actual license I wondered what prompts people to share so much of their lives. I do it too. My mom always said I would talk to a doorknob if it would talk back. She knows me pretty well.
And yes, this story is to be continued . . .