…and wait, and wait, and wait.
I can’t believe I was struck with writer’s block when trying to figure out just how to best convey my relief and excitement at what happened today.
(And no, I don’t mean relief and excitement at the fact that I didn’t obliterate my back doing squats at the gym this morning.)
So the hell with the theatrics, I’ll get to the point: I FINALLY GOT MY LICENSE TODAY.
And not a moment too soon, I would say. As you’d know, long-suffering readers, I’ve been half-griping about the State of Maine’s slowly turning wheels of bureaucracy for near on two months. It took me over a month to lock in an appointment to sit a written test, for Chrissakes. But I’ve gotta say, time has absolutely flown since I secured my learner permit on January 14. Just three weeks later and I’m fully licensed, insurable and (all things going to plan) eligible to borrow money from a bank.
Haha, who am I kidding? Banks will give money to anyone if the interest rate is right.
So anyway, the finish line is nearly in sight and hopefully I’ll be behind the wheel by the end of the week, desperately using all my willpower to not go through every drive-thru in Augusta.
Speaking of which, I’ve been crafting this list in my head for a month. So I present to you, the Top 10 Things I’m Excited To Do Now That I Can Drive Myself Around.
10. Grocery, beer and other forms of shopping without having to worry about whether I can afford the weight of carrying it home;
9. Get my laundry done without needing to wear 20lb of dirty clothes in a cabin bag on my back for the walk to and from the laundromat (seriously you guys, jeans are HEAVY);
8. Buy a broom! Seriously. I’ve been avoiding this because I don’t want to look like a total dipshit walking a mile along Sewall Street like some Harry Potter reject;
7. Drive-thrus. I’m a fat kid. I’m seriously going to have to exercise a lot of self-control, because back home I was an absolute fiend for a late-night McDonald’s run on the way home from work. I work out enough to counterbalance it, but still … the first couple of weeks may see me reacquaint myself with Mickey D’s (haven’t had it since Colorado), Dunkin’ Donuts (December 13), KFC (Australia, sometime before August) and Taco Bell (2009; although I don’t know if I want bowel cancer);
6. Eat at food places I haven’t been able to without wheels. By this, I don’t mean fast food I promise. But I haven’t been able to GET to a few of Augusta’s restaurants – Lisa’s Legit Burritos comes to mind, as does Roadhouse) to try them out simply because I don’t want to add a $20 return fee to the price of the meal, just so I can move my distended form home in some form of relative comfort;
5. Listen to more music. Back home, my car was always the place where I’d try out a new album or revisit an old favorite. Tunes on the drive to work is the best way I can get into a good mindframe; same with heading the gym. Augusta, be prepared to see a stupid-looking bald guy rapping to Biggie behind the steering wheel five afternoons a week;
4. Do more with my weekdays. Being able to drive the two minutes to the gym and back will not only free up nearly an hour of walking time, it’ll mean I don’t have to put on boots and five layers of clothing for the hike. It’ll also mean I don’t have to make sure I’m back by a certain time so I don’t miss my ride to work. In short: I’m going to have a bunch more free time to watch Sons of Anarchy and drink coffee;
3. Do more with my weekends. I can’t wait to see Portland, check out Waterville, and get out to the coastal towns Maine is so famous for. There may even be a Canadian road trip on the cards if I can find a co-pilot who wants to come;
2. Go to the cinema. I’ve been gagging to see a movie (ANY movie! I don’t give a shit!) since I got to Augusta, but when the theater is a $10 cab ride each way, that’s an expensive two hours of entertainment;
1. Not be utterly dependent on others for rides to work. My colleagues have been unquestionably awesome in bringing me to and from the office, sometimes well out of their way and out of their schedules, and I’ve never felt like a burden. But being totally reliant on someone else to get around isn’t particularly comfortable; I’m glad I’m free of that frustration and the weight of being a pain in the ass for others (not that they say that at all, but still).
Don’t get me wrong though – I realize that being able to drive won’t be a panacea that makes all of life a million times easier and more palatable. It’ll definitely force me to watch my spending and stick more closely to my budget, and those lazy Tuesday morning beers before work will have to stop (if my bosses are reading this, I promise I’m kidding). But the reality is it gives me more freedom, more time and more options. None of those are bad things.
And yes, I did deliberately buy a bottle of shitty bubbles to “celebrate” this most momentous of occasions. I don’t normally drink on weeknights, but when I do, I drink bad sparkling wine after blowing the cork halfway across my neighbor’s roof.