Recommended wine for today’s entry: We had Menage a Trois rose yesterday with our Thanksgiving feast. A couple of wine experts had recommended rose as a good pairing for the traditional foods, and then, lo and behold, they were offering samples of it at Kroger Wine and Spirits. The girl made a point to tell me that the name is not dirty, it refers to a blend of three grapes — Merlot, Syrah and Gewürztraminer. Their description: “Good rosé is like a carnival in your mouth—and not one of your low rent carnivals. We’re talking about your really classy, country faire kind of carnival. Our Ménage à Trois Rosé is the epitome of a good rosè. No pretension, no pretense, just a fruit-laden roller coaster ride of raspberries, strawberries, lychee nuts and flowers.”
On Wednesday, I visited the County Clerk’s Office to register a car. Well, not A car, two cars, actually. And not MY car, but my husband’s and a daughter’s cars. I am not sure just how this particular task was added to the List of Things Ashley and Only Ashley Can Handle, but it has been, much like anything to do with computers, cell phones, spiders, strangers at the door or carcasses in the garage have made their way to The Husband’s List.
This being the week to be thankful, I wanted to pass this along: I am thankful I live in a rural, less-populated county.
(Except, that is, when I’m about to wet my pants and I’m stuck behind a tractor straddling the center line. Or I round a corner at 11 o’clock at night to find a herd of horses and ponies running down the state highway in front of me, and Barney Fife doesn’t answer the phone when we call. Also, I’m not thrilled about my remote area when there is an escape from the state prison — which, I assume, is located in our county because it is rural and less populated, thus if a violent psychotic escapes from said institution, there are fewer people to massacre.)
Anyway, today I renewed the registrations on two cars and was on my way home in seven minutes.
When we first moved from the Big County to this one in 2002, it was not without trepidation. We knew the schools were good, but we thought we might miss the accoutrements of being closer to everything. One of my first stops was to the county clerk’s office, where I needed to change my driver’s license AND register my car. I went in the tiny little storefront office that said County Clerk and approached one of three people lined up like bank tellers.
“You’ll need to take a number, please, ma’am,” the woman said politely.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, looking around. No, I was right, there wasn’t anyone waiting. There was the obligatory line of orange molded chairs lining the wall, but no humans in sight. And three clerks standing there looking at me.
So I found the little machine and took a number. It was 1. This was like ten-thirty in the morning and they’d been open for two and a half hours. I remained standing for a few minutes, thinking surely they would call me immediately. But they didn’t. I finally sat down and just as my butt hit the chair, someone called out, “Number 1?”
Here is where I become the idiot. I actually double checked my number. Well, thank you very much, that is me.
I went to the middle teller, who very efficiently handled the transfer of my car into the new county. Then I said, “And I need to get a new driver’s license with the new address.” The clerk looked over her glasses at me and said…you guessed it, “You’ll need to take a number.” I was still the only person in the building that wasn’t getting paid by the hour.
So I headed back to the machine by the door and almost took the number 2 ticket, when suddenly one of them screeched, “OH NOOOOOO! NOT FROM THAT MACHINE…FROM THE LICENSE MACHINE!” So I turned to see where they were pointing, and, sure enough, over by a little room off the side of the main room was one desk, strategically facing a wall, with its own number system.
I was number 1 for the second time that day. I was starting to feel very special.
The woman took like six pictures of me — I am not kidding, she did a MUCH better job than the joker who took my senior pictures in a trailer in the bus circle at Ballard High School. She even offered me a comb before we started. Then, as one of the clerks was squeezing past to go to the restroom, he chimed in on the final selection. It was quite convivial and I was considering having the whole crew back to my house for lunch.
Once we settled on the best shot for the cover of a magazine, they reduced it to the size of my pinkie toenail and issued the license. I then announced that I wanted to be an organ donor, and I wanted them, my new buddies, to be the first to know. But I needed two witnesses to sign the back of the license with me — my photographer was one and then, just to make it super official, she suggested we have the deputy sheriff be the other witness. Well, I was really entrenching in this new county, I reckon.
So she opened the door that was behind her desk and there, lo and behold, was the great and powerful Oz himself — the deputy sheriff. At his desk. Actually, asleep on his desk. There was not ONE item (except his head) on the desk — not a piece of paper, not a pencil, not a stray paper clip. Spotless.
He did wake up when we entered the room and thankfully, his first inclination was NOT to go for his gun. He just smiled, took the proffered pen, and signed.
Ah, my missions were accomplished. And as I left, a car was pulling into the lot. I just picture those five employees getting home that night, grabbing a beer, putting their feet up, and saying, “Whew. We had a steady stream of customers today.”