Why a Trip to the DMV is Just What the Doctor Ordered

The DMV has been regularly cast as a black hole which sucks the prime years out of you. There are  reports that they make you wait for so long the next day’s stubble starts growing in (if you’re a guy that is… generally speaking, of course).

But it behooves me to speak up for the department responsible for a license picture that didn’t force me to commit identity theft.  Of course, the photo was taken almost a decade ago – we’re talking about my pre-baby, pre-dark-circles, life-is-about-me, carpé diem, 20-something avatar.

Not too long ago I had the privilege of getting my license renewed sans my spawn. In other words, it was time for a mini-vacay/ stay-cay. Woohoo! I wore my flip-flops, sun hat, and carried a hip flask of strawberry margarita.


I just tucked couple bars of dark chocolate in my purse and I was good for the long haul.

But waiting for my number to be called gave me the delightful option of doing absolutely nothing. The beeps and buzzes were not my washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, oven, stove or time-out timer – can I get an ‘amen’?

In addition to these perks, I observed that a trip to this venerated institution is great for one’s mental health.

1) It sharpens your observation skills

The DMV is to people-watching what truffles are to fine cuisine.

There’s the East European model, the washed-out Italian mafia don and Lucy Lui’s stunt double. There are young men whose pants have succumbed to gravity and the “young at heart” who shouldn’t be anywhere within a mile of the place.

It’s one of the few places you can turn off your phone and not be bored.

2) It elevates your imagination

The DMV has all the makings of a flash mob just waiting to happen.

The hum-drumness of procedures, the fluorescent lighting and the bleakly blah background are the perfect foil for the 883rd almost-viral rendition of Happy.



3) It pumps your confidence

Yeah, it’s a little pathetic, but you have the five-second advantage taking the token before the people behind you. It’s merely incidental that you’re number 141 and that 140 people beat you to it.

4) It boosts your ego

When your number gets called, smile benevolently at the room and take your time to meander down to the counter. This is your moment of glory. Throw in a Princess Kate wave for the mere mortals you’re leaving behind. For the next whole minute you are the object of envy of everyone in that room.

5) It helps you re-prioritize

You have a rock-solid alibi for skipping your workout today. You know, DMV = Black Hole.

On your way back home stop by at KFC to pick up dinner.

Remember, the fact that the DMV is located next to the mall has no bearing whatsoever on takeout dinner for the family.

The DMV may have been done with you in under 7.5 minutes. But nobody, I repeat nobody, needs to know that.

P.S.: This post can also be titled, “How to spin the prosaic to look positive.”




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