Fandango’s Provocative Question #158

An interesting question. Because I often do my best thinking on the fly, but my best planning overnight.

When and where do you do your best thinking? Why is that?

I do my most intelligent thinking while I am doing other things, often while cooking or cleaning. Or writing. I do my best worrying at night when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I’m not sure if worrying and thinking are remotely the same, though they often feel the same. The difference I suspect is the number of times the same idea rolls around my brain. After it has spun three or more times, it is not thinking. It’s brooding. Obsessing. Fretting.

Waiting at the RMV in Worcester

Right now , I’m obsessing over getting my driver’s license. I’m not sure exactly how to get it without having to go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. This isn’t a new fear or obsession because I remember — long, long ago, back in the olden awful days — which were not golden if you had to got to the DMV (in New York is wasn’t a registry; it was a department) to do anything with a car, whether it was a farm vehicle or an 8-wheeler. The lines were long, often stretching out the door into the street. At 3pm, they closed down and if you hadn’t gotten to the front of the line? You had to come back the next day — and maybe the next and the next.

My dread of the RMV is old and it’s built into me. Even having to go online and deal with something car-related gives me a queasy stomach.

The RMV is the tallest building in the county

The good old days weren’t all that great in a lot of ways. Remember getting unemployment and standing in those lines? I always thought if there was going to be a rebellion in the U.S., it would start at the Unemployment Bureau, spread to the Department of Motor Vehicles and run through all those departments where they hired people who were incompetent and did as little work as humanly possible. So I am afraid and angry and frustrated and I have to think my way around it.

Really, it’s not a big deal even if I actually have to go the the RMV. I just have this deep-rooted fear of state-based departments all based on a reality where these things are not true anymore. Oddly, knowing they are not true doesn’t make the fear go away.

So, when is my best time for thinking? Probably while I’m writing. Because when I’m putting words on paper, my brain clears out its rubbish and suddenly, I see rightly.

Categories: #FPQ, #Photography, Anecdote, Bureacracy, Customer Service, Government, Provocative Questions

5 replies

  1. In California, when you turn 70, no matter how long you’ve had your driver’s license or been driving, you’re required to take the written test in order to renew your license. What a pain to have to read and study the handbook. I did pass, but I fretted over it for weeks.


    • I did that last time when I turned 70. But they do it again at 75, so I was trying to get this done before I turned 75. It’s not happening. But the test here is so simple, it’s not a test. if you can see at all and remember you name, I think you pass. It’s all the forms. Not only are there a lot of forms, but it starts to get expensive after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My license was up for renewal this year too. It was simple to do the on-line form and press “Submit”. I got the thing in the snail mail about two days ago too. That getting the actual card back was the most stressful part for me because the USPS service has gone very bad in these Covid days….nobody wants to do the job (apparently), and getting delivery of mail can be real sketchy. The on-line said that receiving the license could take “four to eight weeks”, but it got here in under two. Easiest license renewal I’ve ever done and they extended the time for renewal to six years instead of the usual four. Bonus! I hope your experience is as stress free as possible. The on-line thing (if that’s an option) would be my recommendation. You can download and print a copy after you’ve completed your form too, in case the mail delivery isn’t timely. Good luck!


    • That’s the way it USED to be. Now, they’ve added all these other requirements and forms. But, on a positive note, I got my birth certificate yesterday — Garry’s too — so that’s one bar jumped. I’m not sure what else they are going to want yet. As long as I don’t need the “REAL ID” which is the Federal “official” ID, it’s relatively easy, though not nearly as easy as it used to be. It really helps if you actually already have all the various forms they want — like marriage certificates (if you changed you name by marriage). This get REALLY complicated if you got married in a different country (I did). Good thing we weren’t planning any traveling!


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