Updated: Jul 15
I look way more serious in this photo than I felt when it was taken at the DMV just ten days ago. I guess because it's a Real ID, I felt a need to get real serious!
Real Opportunities to be a Superhero of Love
You never know when you will have an opportunity to step into your Superhero of Love. And, you definitely don't know when and where a Superhero of Love will step onto your path to crack open your heart and pour some love in.
I certainly would never have guessed that I would meet a series of Superheroes of Love at the DMV during a pandemic.
The first Superhero was one who tried to scoop me out of the line in the blaring sun when he found out I had an appointment (originally scheduled for April). It felt wrong when he pulled me inside the building. I swore that the people in front of me were, indeed, ahead of me. It turned out they were and my magical elf was reprimanded and I was sent back but it was a most hilarious snafu on his part. I arrived back in the line just at the moment it really was my turn to go inside so it was perfection -- a magical detour.
I then arrived at the paperwork check-in desk where I pulled out the reams of paperwork I needed to secure a Real ID, and also to arrange for my personalized plates to be registered to my new car. For the Real ID, I had thrown what looked like a mortgage statement into my bag but I hadn't opened the envelope. Why open it? I knew what it was!
Mr. DMV opened it and looked quizzically at it and then to me. It was just an ad from the mortgage company cloaked in an envelope looking precisely like a statement.. You can imagine my horror thinking I would have to return home. The man very sweetly plucked something else out of my pile o' papers and said "How about this?" It was my registration renewal paperwork. I would never have guessed it would work as the DMV list of potential identification-confirming documents is fairly limited.
Blondie, the Superhero of Love
I then got to the guy who would actually secure the ID for me. While we chatted about how different his job is now, and I explained how cool it was from the patron's point of view, he started asking me about my hair color. I had only days before had it colored and didn't really even know what to call it myself. He then called me "Blondie."
He wasn't the laughing kind, but I could see he was laughing on the inside. When he said it, I watched as a glimmer of a smile started to escape against his will. I joked back, laughing with him in response to my new nickname (which no one has ever called me in my life): "Wait! Are you thinking I'm stupid!?" He buckled up the nearly freed smile and said "No, no, never! You are not stupid." He explained he was referring to my hair and my levity. So maybe yet another stereotype is on its way out!
DMV Angels Magically Appear
Then it was on to the registration part of my day where I had to take off the plates on my car and replace them with my personalized plates. I had meant to bring a screwdriver and forgot because of the reams of paperwork. Luckily they have screwdrivers there for the patrons' use (in temporary exchange for your license!) so I grabbed what looked like a bouquet of screwdrivers. Shockingly, they were all too big for my plates so I went back inside defeated and worn down by the heat, when I saw a man kneeling in front of his car, replacing his plates. I asked him if he had a smaller Phillips-head screwdriver, explaining that all my choices were way too big.
It was so hot but he jumped into action, rummaging around in his trunk. He couldn't find one but I saw he did have a flat head that could potentially work, so I asked if I could borrow it. He was delighted to lend it to me and then as I walked away he asked if he could use one of the ones I had because his wasn't working either. We made the exchange and went to work.
As I ran back to him I yelled, "It worked! It worked!" And he replied "You are my angel!" I said "No, YOU are MY angel!" We laughed and I told him my name and asked for his so I could thank him.
"Raphael," he said.
I said "Oh my god, you literally ARE an angel!"
The Difference Between Heaven & Hell: Superheroes of Love
They say in hell they have long dining tables and the people have to eat their soup with long spoons, too long to maneuver feeding themselves and they go hungry. In heaven, they have the same tables and spoons but they quickly find that feeding each other makes it all work perfectly.
I've never before thought of the DMV as heavenly, but on this hot July day it was far, far from hellish. Superheroes of Love stepped onto my path at every turn. If you have to go there during this pandemic I hope you find the same fairly clear superhero path! And if you need a Real ID, it's pretty easy, just double-check your paperwork.
Oh, and according to my Real ID...my hair is AUBURN!