A major rite of passage

I lost my wallet recently, and perhaps the most important thing inside of it was my driver’s license. I literally have fears that the one time I drive without my license with me will be the time I get pulled over for something and end up in jail. So replacing it was something I had to take care of right away.

As I was waiting at the Secretary of State’s facility, I was struck by how busy it was, and how varied the people inside were. Literally all groups of people were there, and everyone waited patiently for the automated number to call out the next person to be serviced. It felt a bit like playing bingo, when you’re waiting for that last number to get called, and when it isn’t your number you get disappointed and hope there’s another number to be called out. And there’s always another number in this game.

After I was called, and I paid my fee and went over to the final waiting area, I noticed a rather nervous-looking girl getting her picture taken. She put on this brave face for the camera, and then went back to her even more nervous-looking woman who appeared to be her mother. There was a third woman with them, and I’d figure her to be an aunt of the new driver.

When my license came up, I thanked the person who handed it to me and started on my way. But as I left the facility, the new driver and her mom were posing for a picture with the new license on display, and the aunt did the honors of preserving the moment for posterity. I was glad to see that the moment made everyone so happy and, even though I’ve been driving for more years than I want to reveal here, I was heartened by the replenishment of the driver pool at that moment.

When I started driving, cars were so different than they are today. One example is cupholders didn’t exist back then. You couldn’t sell a car without a cupholder today, but once it was some kooky idea someone came up with. And the new driver will doubtlessly see changes in cars as she drives, too. I don’t know her name, but I wish her–and all nervous new drivers–the best as they join us out on the roads. Remember that a wave to another driver on occasion can work wonders. And you’ll know when those moments are.

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