It just so happened that right before leaving a little cloud opened up in my schedule and I thought, “Now is my chance.” I had been thinking about this moment since putting it on my list. You see, I knew I was having more trouble seeing – especially reading – and I really did not want restrictions on my license! Call it vanity if you want, but I still play golf without glasses, so surely I can drive without them, although I don’t most of the time. I have these wonderful transition lenses you see advertised on TV and very little help for my distance and it is just easier to be able to read things close up – like the instruments in the car!
So, I entered the parking lot and pulled forward to the car in the space right in front of me and parked. I carefully removed my glasses and placed them in my shirt pocket. After all, if I failed the reading test without my glasses, I could always pull them out and go with the restriction. Even that would have been better than having to return to the OMV again! It was a gorgeous day and I walked into the lobby and noticed there were several people waiting and while contemplating the people sitting there, two others coming in behind me pulled numbers before I could get one. (A little advice: if you have to go to the OMV for anything, pull
a number before you do anything else – even if you are not going to use it!)
While I waited there without my glasses on, I practiced squinting and trying to focus on various things in the room and strained to read signs on the wall….without much success, I might add. Finally, when #29 was called, I got up and went to window #10 – okay, I was feeling pretty good about being able to spot that giant “10” above the cubicle – it was about as big as the “E” on a reading chart. I was also a little concerned about having enough cash to cover the cost, because, again, I did not want to return to the OMV for anything. “Super”I thought when the sweet lady told me how much it was, because I think I had about $2 to spare. So
far, so good. I had my proof of insurance, so check off one more thing. Then it came, “Please place your forehead on the white strip and read the first line.” I put my head up there and a rush of joy came over me when I read the first eight items perfectly. And just as I thought I had made it through, she said, “Please read the last four.” I had not even seen the last four. I put my head up there again and squinted – it did not help. She told me to push my forehead to the machine and it would turn on the light. That helped a little, but after about three tries, I finally I burst out, “Oh, there it is!” I struggled to make sense of the items, then I guessed and she said, “you can see it, but it is blurry, right?” “Yes” I said.
My joy sank. Having no idea what she might then tell me, she said you have 20-40 in your left eye and about 20-70 in your right. Then went on to ramble on about the requirements and that I needed mirrors on my vehicle that would compensate and I had no idea what she was talking about. I am sure I looked puzzled until she said, “all cars come with mirrors like that anyway.” So I asked what all that meant and she said, “You still don’t have to have a restriction. You are not there just yet.” and she smiled sweetly. My joy returned.
I walked smartly and confidently to the place to take my picture wearing a big smile. She told me that my license would soon squirt out of the machine at which time I needed to check it over for accuracy. When my license was complete, I still had my glasses in my pocket and I still did not want to pull them out to look over my license in case someone was paying attention. Like it would matter at that point! Well, to make it worse, I was holding it to my nose and squinting like there was no tomorrow trying to see if the information was accurate. I really wanted to ensure there were truly no restrictions! But I could not even see that. I stuck it in my wallet and walked into the beautiful sunshine to my car with my glasses still in my pocket. The car I had pulled close to was now gone so I pulled forward when all of a sudden there was such a jolt and I realized I had just run my little Hyundai over a concrete parking lot barrier. Quickly I put it in reverse to correct my mistake and my front wheel drive car just spun, making a high-pitched
noise. Thinking quickly I determined to pull forward and just hope I did not tear up everything underneath my vehicle. Luckily, I did not scrape too much more and my back tires gently crossed the barrier. Man, I was so glad there were not two concrete barriers there or I would still be there trying to get my car out of there and likely would have had my newly renewed licensed pulled with all kinds of restrictions added!
During all this commotion, I am glancing all around to see if anyone is watching this fearing I was looking pretty foolish. But when I realized my back wheels had cleared the barrier, I just drove away as though I had meant to do that! When I got away from the OMV and came to a stop and the first traffic light, I put my glasses back on!