Don’t Back Into a Maserati

Don’t Back Into a Maserati

Don’t back into a Maserati. I’m serious. Don’t do it. Nothing good will come of it.

It was a Friday morning about 9:05am in early August.  I was leaving for work a few minutes early, as traffic is unpredictable on Fridays when I noticed a car parked across the street, across from my driveway and to the right a smidge.  Perhaps I should have paid attention.  Oops.

I backed my car down the driveway, turned and barely swiped the back wheel well and rim of a Maserati with my bumper.  DAMN!  I couldn’t believe it. My little Scion backed into a Maserati.  This couldn’t be good. I had NO idea the kettle of worms this would open. 

I pulled back into my driveway and got out.  No one had come out to see what that noise was.  I’m pretty sure only one person on that part of the street was actually home!  I went to that house and knocked. The neighbor told me the car belonged to one of the home builder people down the street and he’s been parking there for several days. I thanked her and headed back to my car.  I wondered why he didn’t park in the construction zone? Oh ya, Maserati.

I’m Not That Person

I got in the car and drove away.  After a block or two, I reminded myself that I was not THAT person, I had to go back.  I would be late and probably get a ticket. It was the right thing to do. 

He was nice about it. We looked at the damage and he said he needed to file an insurance claim, which meant we had to call the police. (Scratches, paint transfer, Maserati, ya, oh boy, oh boy.)  

He commented a couple of times that he couldn’t believe I’d come and found him.  I told him I couldn’t just drive away, I’m not THAT person.  I called work to tell them what happened.  Next, I called my insurance company and got the claim going.  He did the same.

Don't Back Into a Masarati, the Crime Scene

The Kind Officers

The police arrived, took our info, and said, “No one ever finds the person that ran into them in a situation like this,”  They repeated that three times and asked me why.  I told them, I’m not THAT person.  Can you imagine the bad karma I would have collected if I’d driven away?  Goodness knows I don’t need bad karma!

After a really long time in their car doing what police officers do, they returned and told me I was being cited for reckless driving.  I started laughing. I was doing all of 5 miles per hour. Maybe laughing wasn’t the best move of the day. He said he was going to give me a break with the expired license, but I had to get it taken care of that day.  Wait, WHAT? End laughter, begin panic!

Apparently my license had expired in February.  I remembered to register the car. The license? Nope. I forgot to renew the license. Holy crap on a cracker!

He told me to go directly to DMV and renew before the end of the day, that way it wouldn’t show up when he entered my ticket.  I thanked him, called work and told them I had to go to DMV. I was pretty darn pissed about getting a ticket and I was really grateful I didn’t get arrested.  That would have really ruined my day. Damn Maserati.

The DMV

I arrived at DMV and waited in line.  The gal asked me why I was there and I told her. She asked if my license had a gold star on it.  I looked at it and said no.  She handed me a pile of paper and told me I needed to have all of the stuff listed to renew.  Birth certificate or passport, social security card, a bill with my address…I told her I had none of that with me.  She sent me away.  She wasn’t polite about it either. How dare I show up expecting to get a license? (The old license was 15 years old. I was a little out of practice.) I really had no clue. Apparently it’s called getting your Real ID.

When I returned home I opened the drawer where I keep such things of great importance. It was empty.  I ransacked my office.  Nothing.  Oh boy. Really?

Oh man, now what? 

I called the state of Florida and asked what I needed to do in the event I could not locate a passport or birth certificate.  They said I needed to get a copy of one of those things.  Could they help me? Nope. Frustrated and shaken, I went to work.  What else was there to do at that point?  Why did I find the guy with the Maserati?  

Perplexed by the whole situation, I decided to start at the beginning. I called the county I was born in. They had no record of me. None. Nada. Zilch.

“Wait, I was adopted in the early 70’s, let’s look for my birth name,” I said. Nope, not there.  We tried everything I could think of and the results were the same. Really shaken, I called my awesome aunt to verify the spelling of her brother’s name (my biological father) and yes, I had it right. I went out to start my workday.  My aunt called the county, who suggested she call the state.  She called me back, and I spent the rest of the day dumbstruck.  To make the situation more interesting, all the parental units involved were deceased.

Yup, I was an orphan with no proof that I existed. 

I Did Not Exist

The hold times with the state of California were unbelievably long, and I never got through.  I gave up.

There was a pile of things that said I existed that I couldn’t use. The fancy hospital birth record they give new parents, copies of the petition for adoption, child support payment stubs, baptismal record, and a confirmation record. As far as the government was concerned, they didn’t prove a thing.

I decided to report my passport as lost. I had what I needed to get one at some point.  A person can use that to get a driver’s license!  I was brilliant!  Well, you need a valid ID to do that.  You need a valid ID for a lot of things.  

Things You Need a Valid ID For

  • Change jobs
  • Rent a car
  • Buy a car
  • Rent a place to live
  • Buy a house
  • Sell a house
  • Get on a plane
  • Get on a train
  • Purchase alcohol
  • File legal papers
  • Report a lost passport
  • Request a copy of your Social Security Card
  • Vote in person
  • Go to the doctor. (HEPA)
  • Pick up tickets at Will Call

It’s really amazing what all you need to show your ID for.  It seemed that it really is important to exist if you want to function in society.  Who knew?

Denial, Denial

Defeated, I limited my driving to work and home and the stores in between and was terrified every time I got behind the wheel.  There was a $165 ticket to pay, and Traffic School to complete. I didn’t want points on my license. Ironic, huh?  I took driving school, sent in the paperwork and all was forgiven by the court.  No one asked and I didn’t tell.  Whew. Dodged a bullet there, although my insurance rates went up.

Don’t Back Into a Maserati

My boss insisted I take care of the situation. Several weeks had passed and there had to be SOMETHING I could do. She didn’t want me going to jail. Bless her heart, she was really concerned about having to bail me out one day.  Yes, you can go to jail for driving with an expired license!  I learned that fun fact in driving school (I know, right?) More irony.

The Quest

I spent the better part of two days dealing with the county I was born in and the State of California.  A whopping 7+ hours of phone time was spent on hold, transferred, disconnected, yada, yada, yada.

I spoke to a woman at the county who was willing to go to the record archive and dig through boxes for my adoption papers.  She said it could take several months.  She felt bad for me. Ordinarily, I would need a court order. It’s a small town, remember? (By the way, I never head back from her, even though I left a number of messages.)

Next, I spoke to a woman who, ironically, was adopted. She had gone through this! She knew the hell I was in. Not that it really meant anything, but it was good to know someone else didn’t exist at some point.

I told her the whole sordid tale and she suggested a statewide search for my birth record.  If it couldn’t be found, she said I would have to apply for a new birth certificate. New?  Yup, post-dated.  She thought I had enough information plus I had family who could testify.  It would take several months, maybe even a year.  Eek ads.  I really didn’t want to wait a year.

A Glimmer of Hope

I sent off the paperwork for the search.  We won’t really get into how I was able to do the paperwork without an ID. Let’s just say there are angels in this world and one looked after me. I am forever grateful.

I waited.  I decided if they sent me something with my birth name on it, I was simply going to change my name.  It would be easier than this mess!  

Six weeks later my birth certificate arrived!  An amended birth certificate.  It was amended four years after my birth, with a letter stating that the original was sealed by court order and this was the official copy on record.  If I needed the original, I would have to get a court order to have the record opened. It would need to be reviewed by the court and a document produced stating that it existed.  I could not have the original.  I could not see the original. No one could. Ever. Really?

You Have to Have a Sense of Humor

This whole situation had my mother written all over it. Unbeknownst to any of us, she made sure the record of my biological father was removed.  She saw to it that the record was sealed and only she could access the information. Crafty gal, wasn’t she?

Yes, I’m absolutely convinced that she took the only copies of the birth certificate and adoption records on file with the county. It’s the only explanation for them disappearing from the county offices. Let’s face it, I was born in a small town.  Nothing was on microfiche at the time.  She commented on how nice the little old lady was who helped her, and how she let her dig through the boxes herself. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Crafty with a side of evil.

Whatever became of the information she sent me for my passport? I’m pretty sure I lost it. If you don’t back into a Maserati, you don’t have to worry about such things, right? Either I lost it, or I never received it back. I honestly don’t remember. I got my passport two days before I was leaving for Europe. I remember receiving it, packing, and leaving. I don’t remember the envelope and I’ve not found it.

Read more about my wacky mother…

Existing Feels Great!

I went to the DMV not knowing if they would accept the document or not. The knot in my stomach went away the moment the man asked me how I wanted to pay.  OMG, I left with a new driver’s license.  

I existed again!  I was legal, I could drive and do anything else on that list!  

The lesson here is, don’t back into a Maserati. No, the real lesson is don’t let your license lapse and know where your proof of ID is.

Next up, I will report my passport lost and get on the list for a safe deposit box to put this damn birth certificate in.

And remember, don’t EVER back into a Maserati.

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Penny, blogger at www.flipflopsandsensibleshoes.com, signature