Do you simply adore the picture on your driver’s license? Is it pure joy to pull that precious picture out and show it to airport security, or at checkout counters, or to the police officer when you’ve been pulled over for traffic violations?
I think I know your answer. Me neither.
A couple weeks ago I received the dreaded notice in the mail that once again it’s time to renew my driver’s license. To say I wept with joy upon receiving the notification simply isn’t true. Quite the opposite. Memories of my last ID picture experience haunt me.
Six years ago when I last renewed my license I determined that my new picture would be my best ID picture ever. There were no large zits on my nose, and I hadn’t recently fallen off my bicycle resulting in a black eye. Been there, done that.
The mirror and I were tolerating each other relatively well and I believed this was the year for photo success.
As usual, I waited until the last day possible to renew before paying a penalty. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but I actually spent the entire evening prior to going in for license renewal planning for my picture. I styled my hair, I put on make-up, I wore what I would wear the next day. Then I practiced taking pictures of myself until I figured out how to have the best smile. Totally uncharacteristic of me when you consider I didn’t spend nearly as much time preparing for my wedding. Or job interviews. Or professional photos of our family.
This was different….I was determined. Fixated. Obsessed. Best ID pic ever coming right up.
The next day my hair still looked decent and I was able to reproduce the previous night’s look. I. Was. Ready. My husband was off work and agreed to drive me to the driver’s license place and drop me right at the door in an attempt to preserve my stunning appearance. Boom. This was going to be so easy.
Even though it was early in the day the temperature was already over 100 degrees with intense humidity and the winds were blowing at record speeds. We arrived at the specified location where there was a long waiting line out the door. So we waited in the air conditioned car for the line to shorten a bit. Not to happen. I finally just bit the bullet and got out of the car to wait in line. The front of the building was fairly sheltered from the wind, so it was just a matter of the high temps and humidity. It was just a short little wait before I could enter the door into air conditioned comfort. No problem.
Except there really was a problem.
The air conditioning had malfunctioned inside the building. They were leaving the front door open to attempt to keep it cooler inside. Yes, the outside air temp of over 100 degrees was considerably cooler than it was inside with every square inch of that little office packed with people waiting. No exaggeration. The place was wall to wall people. Of the sweaty variety.
But I kept a positive attitude. Surely it wouldn’t take long to make it to the front of the line. Surely I still looked as stunning as when I left the house. Surely the sweat that was now pouring (POURING) from my hairline down across my face, filtered by my mascara-laden eyelashes, and saturating my cute top would only serve to give me a dewy glistening youthful appearance.
Uh, surely I was deluded.
And then, in an attempt to make the room cooler one of the employees set up an industrial strength garage-type high speed fan to move the air. On a stand. Set to the highest speed possible. Pointed right in my direction. My wet sweaty hair was being restyled while I waited. How convenient.
If I’d had a mirror at the time perhaps I would have bolted out the door, and come back another day. And paid the late renewal penalty. But I didn’t.
Have you seen that famous scraggly-haired, icky-faced mug shot picture of Nick Nolte? Yeah, my ID picture turned out nowhere near that good.
But it is indeed a picture of me. Yes. No denying that fact. It confirms my identity. Sadly.
I looked up the definition of the word “vanity”. Interesting.
1. Excessive attention to one’s own appearance
2. Futility. (for scripture reference, read pretty much the entire book of Ecclesiastes)
Lesson learned. It is futile to give excessive attention to your appearance.