It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Oh dear...what, exactly, is my drivers license saying? Looking at the license that just expired I've decided it should be screaming "Did you LOOK in the mirror this morning? "or "What were you thinking with that hair cut?" Seriously, I'm glad there isn't a website devoted to bad drivers license photos. (There's not, is there?)
Everything about it now seems so wrong from the choppy hair cut that is flying off in all directions to the sweater with the stretched out neck line...no no no. Did I really just proudly hand this over as my ID for the past 3 years?? Yes! The kicker is I look so happy in the photo. Apparently ignorance IS bliss.
Over the years I've had professional photos taken for business cards and such. I would carefully rummage thru my closet for days picking out just the right outfit, take care that my make up is just so, brushed and spray my hair into submission. I would take my time getting all the details right because it's a photo that I'm going to have to live with for quite some time... and yet I never gave my drivers license photo a second thought. Apparently I would pop by wearing whatever, grin like a fool, and hope for the best. Little Mary Sunshine chirping "Please! Let me be memorialized for a full 3 years as someone who has no fashion sense and who forgot where she put her brush."
Well, this was my year to reclaim my dignity. I wasn't about to make the same mistake again. I'm not too proud to admit that I changed my shirt 3 times before I settled on a simple gray turtleneck. Before I ever walked out of the house I made sure I was having the proverbial "good hair day" - triple checked in every mirror along the route. Ummm yep. It seemed to be cooperating nicely. So far so good. The DL office staffer who helped me was in good humor as I made a crack about how it would be nice to have a mirror nearby just to make sure that I didn't have lipstick on my teeth. She's laughing as she points to the blue wall and instructs me to smile. Oh sure, easy for her to say. Like a contestant on American Idol I get ONE shot at this. Can I really trust this girl as she assures me that the photo looks fine. Fine? What does that mean? Can I see it? Can we take several and pick from the best? Nope...I have to trust that "it's fine'.
I haven't seen my new license yet, so I'm back to "grin like a fool and hope for the best." Whatever it looks like, my license will be saying quite a lot about me, and it will say it three years at a time.
UPDATE: My new license arrived. The photo is acceptable, but not great (Hello!? Glamour Shots??) I still would have like to have taken several to make sure that the one I'm now stuck with was really the pick of the litter. It'll do, of course that's easy for me to say today. Give it a few years and I'll be wondering what on earth I was thinking.