Dancing at the DMV: How to Transform Drudgery into Joy

05/23/2011 04:08 pm ET | Updated Jul 23, 2011

But I've no choice. An hour ago, Bill found out that he will be away on business all week. My license has to be renewed, and I do not want to drag the boys along with me. Ugh.

As I'm griping to myself about the dreaded lines, sagging faces and stale air, I suddenly stop. Why am I playing the victim? There is power in our intentions. If I don't want a rain dance, I'd better start imaging a sunny salsa. So, I ask my angels to help get the party started at the DMV.

Maybe I'll meet some great people. We'll talk and laugh and the time will fly. "Wow the line is moving so fast," we'll exclaim. "Just look at how efficient and friendly the employees are. See how quickly everything is getting processed. The DMV has never operated so beautifully!"

When I pull into the parking lot, my happy hula dashes on the pavement. The place is so packed that people are parking on the street. Yikes. I spy one parking place and zip in. I'm re-inspired. This is going to be good.

As a man and a woman bop in ahead of me, we smile at each other and mosey up to the same line. Soon enough, we are joking and laughing about all the paperwork we had to gather to prove our identity. The boogie has begun.

While we are moving on down the first line, I glance over at the two women in charge. One is somber Sally who rarely looks up. The other is Joan Rivers who is animated and intent. I'd rather rumba with her. As my two new friends belly up to Sal's bar, I mambo up to Joan.

"Hi!" I say with cheer.

"Well hello there, sweetheart! How are ya?" Joan asks.

"I'm great, thanks! This line is moving so quickly."

"Just wait for the next line," she warns.

"Well I can still hope!" I add with a laugh.

Joan is a hand-jive expert as she clips and flips my dance cards. "Okay, babe, head on over to the next line and wait to be called."

"Wow, you're good -- thank you so much!" I say as I leave.

Before I get very far, I hear a call. Then it gets loud. "JUL-I-A!" I turn to find Joan sashaying toward me. "Will you be paying with check, cash or credit?" she asks.

"Oh, credit," I answer, as Joan and I move toward the counter where everyone wants to be.

"Okay, doll, wait right over there," Joan says, as she points toward the crowd, "You'll be called in a few."

A few?

I sit down next to a pale-looking soul and ask how long she's been waiting. "Forty-five minutes," she drones and looks away. As I reach for my book, I hear the loud speaker call, "JULIA GENOVESE, line five, please."


Over at the counter, an employee with a disco smile asks for my Visa. She shuffles my papers and types away as I chat with a woman in the conga line next to me. A minute later, I'm handed my Visa and my new license. I look up in shock. "Am I all done?"

"Yup," she says with pearly pride.

In a joyful daze, I watusi out the doors. It's been only 15 minutes since I walked in. A time warp? It was Joan. Amazing Joan. I feel as if she personally awarded me the Mirrorball Trophy.

I drive home in amazement. My intention worked. I asked for fun and an angel two-stepped in. Suddenly I realize I didn't really thank Joan! I am a dance school drop-out, an ingrate!

At home I grab one of my books and start to write an inscription. To my DMV angel? I don't know how to address her, so I leave a space and head back to DMV.

When I arrive, I see Joan and throw my arms wide and yell, "Thank you so much!" As we hug, I tell her that she gave me the most magical DMV experience ever. She whispers in my ear, "It's a two-hour wait today, sweetheart. I just couldn't do it to you." I am in awe -- I hug and squeeze her tighter.

We say goodbye, but as my spirit pirouettes toward the door, I hear a familiar call. "JUL-I-A!" my angel sings out. As I turn toward her brilliance, she throws a kiss and shouts, "God bless you!"

"God bless you!" I call back, as joy and gratitude samba within.

Joan's real name? It was Angel-a. Because even at the DMV, angels are always waiting to dance.

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