Today’s disasters were of my own making…again. This time my procrastination came back to bite me in the ass. Nearly seven years ago I got married. I changed my name with the DMV and mailed in our marriage license and name change form to the social security administration. Apparently the form and certificate were lost, and every year I have to do something weird to file my taxes because there is a name “mismatch.” Eventually I ordered another marriage certificate from the county and promptly lost it when we moved. I ordered a third certificate, but never did anything with it. Then I went to DMV to renew my license and was informed my account was frozen and I was not able to renew my license because of my name mismatch. MF. Then I called the social security administration and they said I needed to bring the name change form, marriage certificate and valid id to their office. This is where my problem gets annoyingly complicated. I cannot renew my license because my name is not correct, and I cannot change my name because my license is no longer valid. Long story short I had to get my medical records, birth certificate, old college photo ids and some other random items together to prove I was still me-just with an expired license.
Today was the day. I’m going to the social security office as well as the DMV. So after an exhausting morning with the kids, I put Cecilia and Jake down for naps, and set Joey up with a snack and movie in the room adjacent to my husband’s home office and set off on my journey.
As I drove around in the hot and humid heat of the day, I cursed Map Quest out loud. They gave me directions to some random federal building, and I finally arrived at the social security office 40 minutes after I left my house.
Upon entering the social security office, I first noticed the smell. Old socks. No, old sweaty damp socks that sat in a gym bag for a few days in the trunk of a car. It hung thick in the air, nearly bringing tears to my eyes, and was one of those odors that was so bad you could taste it. As I took my number and sat on the edge of one of the filthy chairs in a room full of miserable perspiring people, I cursed myself for not taking care of this seven years ago. Fortunately for me the line moved quickly, the service was surprisingly decent, and I was able to repress my gag reflex until I was able to breathe the fresh air of the parking lot. As I ran to my car, because of a summer rain shower, I hoped at least perhaps some of the dirt of that place would wash away.
About 10 minutes later I pulled into DMV and wasted no time parking and getting inside to renew my license. Nap time would be over soon and I had already had “it” for the day. After waiting in line for what felt like an eternity, I was finally serviced and told I had to come back Friday because the “social security hold” would not be lifted for 48 hours.
As I left the DMV, I cursed myself again for waiting so long to do something about this and for not anticipating that this could not all be resolved in one day. Trying to think positive, I did realize my hair, now drying, was beginning to frizz into my super-summer afro. At least Friday, when I get my new photo, I can try to look half normal. Nearly to my car, this is when I saw her.
Getting out of her new Odyssey, with her perfectly straight and styled hair, make up fully done, fantastically fabulous outfit, shoes and matching bag was Mrs. Perfect. Maybe you know her? She’s always super-duper happy, super put together, kids always looking sharp and are always on their best behavior. She’s got a perfectly clean house, with a lawn as well manicured as her nails. She just had a baby two months ago and is already thinner than me thirteen months after having my baby (I probably wouldn’t fit in this bitch’s lady’s maternity clothes). What’s that? I sound jealous? Maybe a little, but it’s more than that. It’s this woman’s mannerisms and snide remarks (but always said in a happy perky voice) that irritates me…and news flash lady, no one is that happy all the time. Although I’m not always the most positive person, I can appreciate a positive attitude. This is different, this is not being positive. It’s fake. I hate fake.
So as I realized Mrs. Perfect saw me and I knew I was going to have to engage in an irritating conversation, I breathed a heavy sigh (under my breath) and smiled.
“Hi, Susan! What are you doing here?” she chirped. I went through my situation as she disapprovingly nodded as I talked. She was also here to renew her license, but a week before she was required to do so. Of course. She went on to give me a talk about being organized and I removed my sunglasses as she spoke. “Oh, my! Have you been crying?” she exclaimed. “Your mascara…” she trailed off.
“Oh, yeah. It was… uh… raining as I left the social security office…” as I wiped my eyes. Becoming more irritated by her pity looks, I attempted to make my exit. Mrs. Perfect just shook her head, and in a super perky voice told me how nice it was to see me again. Right.
So as she unloaded her kids from the car, and I walked away with my tail between my legs, I was surprised to hear her tone change sharply and an expletive actually escape her lips. I turn just in time to see her baby projectile vomiting over her shoulder, in her hair and down her shirt.
As I walked up to her she was clearly embarrassed, and I told her in the same perky tone she uses with me that it “happens to the best of us.” I always keep a bag in the car with an extra outfit for each family member, so I was able to give her a tee shirt as well as a plastic grocery bag to put her pukey shirt in…Mrs. Perfect didn’t have a spare.
On my way home, my Catholic guilt kicked in and I felt a little bad for smiling over the fact that Mrs. Perfect was knocked down off her high horse a bit. I got over it quickly though as I realized I’ll now have a mental picture to give me a genuine smile the next time she’s making me feel like a big hot mess.