Sep 24, 2010


If you happen to live in St. Joe County here in Hoosierville, I say get thee to the BMV immediately to watch your tax dollars in action.

I got a new car recently (her name is Ms. Dottie VanBuskirk, by the way) and today was the day that I had to go get the damn registration and tags for her. I have put off this particular chore right up to the very tippy top last minute on the scale of things that have to get done around here, so I loaded up my handbag with Ellison (my Kindle, don't you know), a bottle of water, and some snacks for sustenance.

Anywhoose....I put it off and put it off all morning and finally got the "Get in the damn car already and get this done, CJ" call at about 12:30 from Aunt Chrissy. What can I say? She knows me too well and knew that I was looking for any excuse I could to stay inside my house and avoid a) the general public, b) the pleasantries of spending the day in a government office, and c) going anywhere on a Friday before a Notre Dame home football weekend. (See two weeks ago for my big gripe about that.)

It took me four minutes to find an appropriate pair of shoes to wear, three minutes to pat Stewey on the head and tell him how much I love him and how happy I would be if he could refrain from peeing on the furniture while I was out (he did! and was rewarded accordingly), eight minutes to chase the trash can down the street, and then twenty minutes to exchange pleasantries with a neighbor about how blustery it is and how she wanted me to know that if I ever need to talk to anybody about womanly things she would be happy to provide an ear. (I suppose this last bit came because we got on the subject of said womanly things, and I immediately started bawling over the fact that Mom died when she was only 54 and the last year of her life she was a little busy trying to have colon cancer and I never got the chance to talk to her about stuff and I'm only 44 and never thought I would find myself so freakin weepy....and on and on and on until she gave me a hug, told me she hoped I would be blessed with the Holy Spirit, and that she would be happy to help.)

If you're keeping track, that's 35 minutes so far and I wasn't even out of the driveway.

Once I arrived at the mega shopping center that houses the BMV it took me nine minutes to find a parking spot, one minute to figure out how to pull into said parking spot correctly, two minutes to fret over the distance between me and the dinged up door on the car next to me, and another five minutes to find another parking spot about eight miles away from where I needed to be.

So now we're at 52 minutes and my water bottle is empty, my snacks are gone, and I'm still trying to figure out a way to procrastinate further.

The first pleasant shock I received was that the entire BMV facility had been re-decorated, and as near as I can tell, it was re-decorated with a Sherwin Williams paint card in one hand and a Pottery Barn catalogue in another. The walls were painted khaki, blue, and gorgeous green. The chairs and desks were all in a teak-looking finish, and all of the employees were snappily dressed in navy blue t-shirts and khaki pants. Yeah, it might have looked like Notre Dame threw up in the place, but it was a good kind of Notre Dame throw-up. Know what I mean?

I opened the door and was a little dismayed to see that there wasn't one single solitary person sitting the waiting area....every customer in the place was sitting in front of a BMV employee and it seemed like everybody in there was having a wonderful time. People were chatting and smiling and laughing, and had they been serving drinks I would have thought I'd stumbled into a TGIFriday's during happy hour. I'm pretty sure there was music playing, and I know I saw a few big-ass flat screen TeeVees up on the walls, but I can't swear to this because I wasn't in the place long enough to notice much more.

Six minutes and two seconds from the moment I walked in the door to the minute I left. And I need to point out that two of those minutes were taken up with me saying "Are you sure I don't have to go sit over there and wait four or five hours for somebody else to do something before you can do something else and then I get my tags and registration?"

Stephanie, my new best friend at the BMV said "Nope. You're all set. Thank you so much for coming in today and please don't hesitate to let us know how we can serve you better in the future."

I sat there gawping like a fish and promised myself that the next time I have to go to the BMV I'll take flowers and sandwiches.

So I'm off to the grocery store to pick up provisions for this weekend's menu. Tomorrow I'm going to make turkey with stuffing inside (I'm thinking a turkey breast pounded thin with the stuffing rolled up so that we have a roulade situation), and then on Sunday we're having spaghetti and meat balls. I have a recipe for an oven roasted marinara sauce from Ina that I've been wanting to try, so Sunday seemed like as good a time as any to smell up the house with garlic and basil and onions (oh my).

OH! And a very big fat THANK YOU to lovely and faithful stitchy friends...who were kind enough to help me out with the Gingher list. You just freakin' ROCK my world! Woo Hoo!


  1. Wow! Thoroughly impressed with your DMV. Ours here is a nightmare, just like you thought yours was going to be. It's nice when something surprises you like that, isn't it?

  2. You are too funny! Please, you have got to write a book---or better yet, have a reality show about you and Stewey! It would be hilarious. Like "The Office" or like Seinfeld.

    Enjoy your weekend Ina Jr.. :)

  3. Wish Indiana and Iowa were "attached" instead of Illinois in between. I'd invite myself over for the weekend feast! Sounds delicious. Also wish you would consider being in charge of a stitching retreat - then I definitely would drive to Indiana. Happy eating - and stitching - this weekend.

  4. Your experience reminds me of mine when I had to go to the Passport office. The last time I went it took almost 8 hours to see a human. This time - I think it took us less than 20 minutes to get in and out of the place.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who named their Kindle - mine is named Paige (yes, I know, not highly original).... :-)

  5. Did I see someone suggest a Spinster Stitcher retreat????

    *starts packing*

  6. Coni, you crack me up! Your experience kind of reminds me of the last time I got my driver's license renewed. I had done the pre-work on-line, so all I had to do was get the photo and have the new license printed; we were in and out of the DMV place in under 10 minutes. My guy kept saying, "Is that all we have to do? You're done already?" PennDOT does something right -- amazing!

  7. One of the biggest problems I had when we moved to IN 25 years ago was finding the "DMV" You see that's what we used to call it back east. Took several weeks to discover that IN has a "BMV" and then to find it listed that way in the phone book (remember those?)

    Glad you recent experience there was so easy and pleasant!

  8. Oh, Coni, I do love you. Thanks for giving me a big smile this morning.

  9. Yes, Michigan cleaned up their act too. But recently they began closing the actual Secretary of State offices so I don't know how it's going now. You can do so much online it's great but sometimes you DO have to go in. Last time I did, I had the same kind of was incredible and delightful too! Theresa

  10. In the days before Indiana improved its BMV, I once took a whole afternoon off work to renew my driver's license. I came prepared with a book, sat reading until my number neared the top, which took FOR.EV.ER, then pulled out my license as they were about to call my number, only to discover that I was a year early for the renewal. Sheesh!

  11. Geez. My DMV is soooo not like that. It took us just over two hours for my son to take the learner's permit test and get a piece of paper saying he passed. They could have hand engraved his permit in that time but instead mailed it a week and a half later.

    I like the sound of this weekend's menu. If the pasta sauce turns out, will you share?

  12. I've heard lots of horror stories about the DMV, but have never had to go through that being in the UK.

    I always know where I can come for a good laugh, your blog is always so funny.