Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm Not A Woman, Hear Me Roar - Don't Get Me Started!

Much the opposite of the Helen Reddy tune, I am not a woman however as many of you have read in my earlier post, the Nevada DMV was convinced otherwise. If you haven't read that entry you may want to before you continue this saga with me and the others reading...
And so it came to pass that over the course of a year and a half, I HAD lost some weight (more toning than actual weight loss) and I had a haircut good enough to go on the dreaded driver's license. And so I went to the DMV, waited in line and then proudly proclaimed, "I am not a woman, here me roar!" - Don't Get Me Started!

There I was with my birth certificate in hand and a smirk on my face knowing that this could either go down easily or might need a spoon full of sugar for all parties involved. First up, the information counter where they figure out who you need to see, how long you need to wait and what number you get. Unlike waiting with a number at a bakery, there is no sweet treat in store for you at the end of this adventure. "Next" was the cry I heard accompanied by a less than enthusiastic gesture as I moved to the counter to be assisted by a large black man in his seventies. I thought, "This is probably not going to go so well." I had already decided on my approach, it was going to be one of those, already laughing as I explained it kind of things so as to disarm any negative thoughts on the issue itself. I figured if I sounded amused by it, he might be too. He fell right into it, saying, "Wow, I guess that was our mistake there, fella." First of all I don't know that I've ever been called, "fella" (kind of liked that) and here was John Amos' third cousin on his mother's side saying it to me. I loved it even more when he told me there would be no charge and that he was going to give me a number that would expedite the whole thing. Once again, everything your mother told you is true - don't judge a book by it's cover.

And so I waited and stared down at this license I had kept for six years saying that I was a woman. Wow, what would it be like to be a man again in the eyes of the DMV? Well that thought didn't last long because I was like, "What the fuck does the DMV know anyway?" And soon thereafter my number was called and I was headed for cubicle 19.

At cubicle 19 sat a large Hispanic woman who looked as though she was having less than a great day. "Perfect" I thought to myself, the big black man was cool and this woman no doubt is going to be where the fiasco begins (or continues in this case). And so I worked up my self-deprecating laugh as I sat down, doing the, "You are not going to believe this one." Now granted, I don't think everyone has to be enamored by the whole story but all this woman asked was if I had filled out a form for the new license. I mean, not a flinch, not a blink, hardly a glance at the scarlet "F" under "sex" on the license just, "Well, fill out this form and let me know if anything has changed since this one" as she's holding the old license. Of course my mind began racing a mile a minute...changes you say? about I've never been nor intend to be a woman?? But I just remained calm and let her know the only thing that had changed was my weight. (Yes, I was going to make the number larger because I had lied on the first one anyway but figured with my current appearance, unless I told people I had to get on some Predisone and ballooned up, no one was going to understand the 135 pounds on the license when in person I was pushing the 150 mark. Oh make no mistake, I wasn't going to list 150 but I was willing to go as high as say 145 which coincidentally is all that you should pay at an auction for someone's license that has the wrong sex listed on it!) Much to my surprise she said, "Dat's okay, we no need to changes that. Heres you take this over dere to get your pictures."

She opened the right hand drawer of her desk and put the license in it, closing it and the story of me being a woman in the DMV's eyes. I did wonder if Maria Conquita was going to take it home and pass it around the table because I would think it would need to be destroyed or stapled to something but instead, she put it in the drawer without any expression. Maybe she was being polite and waiting for me to leave before she showed it to all the other DMV staff or maybe it was going to become February in the DMV calendar for next year. We'll never know because Maria had a poker face the likes of which you rarely see. Oh she was good, she could give Clint Eastwood a run for his money.

So within a matter of half an hour, I was a man. Now that doesn't mean that when I pick up the phone people don't still call me, "Miss" or when I'm in a store with a female friend the clerk doesn't say, "Are you ladies finding everything you need?" But in the eyes of the law, the state of Nevada, I had become a man and as I began my triumphant walk to the door I held up my new license to John Amos' third cousin on his mother's side and gave a knowing wink. He gave me the thumbs up sign and I began to really believe I was someone that could be called, "fella". The strains of the electronic music from the 70's began to play and I did my best Helen Reddy, singing to the music in my head - "I'm not a woman, here me roar. In numbers too big too ignore. And I know too much to go on pretending." Don't Get Me Started!


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