puzzle exile

I'm in a sort of self imposed (by dint of stupidity) exile from the world right now. You see, in my poverty minded mentality I waited until the last minute to get my car lic. plate tags renewed. It's different from state to state how you go about all that auto registration crap, and while I've lived here since 04, I didn't technically do the car stuff until two years ago. I never thought I was going to stay here so I just kept my car registered in Arizona. So, having forgotten how it works here, I kept putting it off and doing it online at the last minute. I forgot one important step, that is, I would have to take the registration they mail me with the lic. tags (which I didn't remember I would need to do) to an auto mechanic to then get my car 'inspected'. In Arizona it works differently and I will spare you the differences. Anyhow. I waited for my tags and they never came. I emailed the DMV and they said they will send new ones out and NOT TO DRIVE MY CAR. So I waited. I got my stickers. I went out and pasted them on my car and felt like I was good to go.

I had errands to run. I ran them. I noticed a police car at the three way stop glaring at me. I avoided his eyes (my seatbelt wasn't on). He did a swift little aggressive turn and I could just FEEL HIM staring at me. SHIT. I turned and whipped into the alley to get to the post office. I noticed him right behind me. Like a big studly animal pouncing on me. I hastily buckled up. His lights went on. Keep in mind I'm kinda of panicky most times especially when I'm pmsing. I pulled over and my heart was racing out of control. I just wanted to run my damn errands and get HOME. Not going to happen. The officer looked like a worse for wear Ed Harris. In other words, pleasant enough,not too intimidating but up for the role of officer on duty.

He asked the usual. 'do you know why I stopped you?'.
I'm hardly going to say, 'because i wasn't wearing my seatbelt'
I said 'no'
He said because my inspection sticker was over due. In Vermont we have these big ass stickers that have a month number on them that goes on the seeable part of your rear view mirror. They kind of reflect. I had this big 10, not 11. I'm an idiot. I kept waiting for someone to mail me something to let me know the next step was to get my car inspected. I told him that. He asked for my registration and lic and insurance.

I've been having eye stuff going on, my vision twitching....it suddenly went bonkers and I began freaking a bit. Look I get nervous even on a good day when something unexpected happens. Post traumatic life disorder. So imagine my horror when I had NO registration. I couldn't make eye contact with him. He was incredulous that I didn't have it. He said it would have come with the lic stickers I just got. Well NO, THEY DIDN'T. We kept batting the same conversation back and forth while I was frantically searching over and over in my glove box for the damn registration all while babbling I didn't know. I didn't know. I didn't get my registration. I don't have it.
I couldn't make ANY eye contact with him. He told me to calm down.

'how long have you lived here?'
'how long?...uh a few years.'
'don't you know how this works?'
'uh no, its different and i forget.'
'how come your car has so much snow on it?'
I'm an artist. I don't get out much.
(what is WRONG WITH ME?)
I kind of babbled. I will spare you my embarrassing rant.

He went back to his vehicle. I waited what seemed like ten minutes. I was reduced to a shaking ten year old. Jesus what is wrong with me?????!!!!!

I felt like he was checking to see if I had been arrested for prior drug use or escaped from an institution. No one acts like this. DO THEY?

Long and short. I can't drive til I get my car inspected.
I can't get my car inspected until I have my registration.

DMV said it was on it's way.
I can't get my car inspected even if I had my registration for awhile because its winter and everyone on earth is getting snow tires put on and car work done and no one can see me right now.

I'm stuck here. Tod's van hasn't worked since last year. It's a heap sitting there. I've put myself into puzzle exile. I'm gluing thousands and thousands of pieces together to work on my next fun thing that may or may not turn out. It's a zennish sort of art project. One piece at a time. Over and over. Hours and hours a day. Getting up to drink coffee, check the world online, jump on the trampoline and go back to gluing puzzles. I realize how much I've missed working with puzzle pieces. I started going through the stacks of boxes and as my baggies got used up, emptying more into 'junk parts' which are used for the base of something, and 'good parts', which are pretty in shape, size or color and are used at the 'top coat' of whatever I make. Here are some pictures of all my stock. I've left out an entire huge box that is stuffed with dozens of bags as it is buried under scrap. I suppose my only hope is that I become filthy rich so I can be seen as 'eccentric' rather than nuts.


Sheree Rensel said...

Oh my gosh! Paula, this post brought back so many memories. Years ago, Florida had all kinds of weird and stupid rules about cars, inspections, and registration. Back when I came here, they charged you $500. just to change your registration from a different state to Florida! I came down here unemployed and I nearly had a heart attack. I went for a long time with a Michigan registration. I finally ended up paying it and then a few years later that fee was deemed unconstitutional or some weird ass thing. Anyway, all of us suckers got our money back in the mail. (COOL!!)
Florida also had that inspection thing. Every time you needed to renew, you had to go to the INSPECTION GARAGE. They were state run garages. What a hassle!! They finally got rid of those too. I totally understand your frustration. I have to give you credit. I would have started crying even before the police officer approached the car. I would have had a meltdown right in front of him!
I feel so bad that you are now a "shut-in". I worry for you. Just looking at all those puzzle pieces makes me even more bonkers.
Stay strong!

self taught artist said...

nice to know someone else would have been flustered too. i was MORTIFIED. no reason to get so freaky, why does authority paralyze me? The little things in life are the things that make me stumble. all the damn rules and hoops. thanks for sharing, cool you got your money back!!!

sarala said...

Wow, that is sure a lot of puzzle pieces!
I've been through the getting pulled over for not having up to date tabs before. They act like you're a criminal.
I was once pulled over for allegedly running a light (which I hadn't) when I had a baby in the car seat. The cop accused me of having an expired license too because she was too lazy to turn the thing over and see the renewal sticker on the back. And I'm totally not sure where my registration is!
Once I was pulled over for the tab thing and I was so tired I burst into tears. I got off that time. And I wasn't being manipulative. It was the end of a long week at the job from hell.
Sorry you're "grounded" though. That really stinks. I'd get cabin fever without my car.

Steve Kane said...

As a man whose strategy for dealing with the real world is to have as little to do with it as possible, I can sympathise with your freaking out at getting stopped by a cop. It's so aggravating when you find yourself completely failing to deal with something that most "normal" people would think was no big deal.

Hell, your saw what happened to me when I got some dumb crush on a girl at work: it completely fucked my head up! Most "normal" people would have dealt with it one way or another without making a fuss. Me? I fell to pieces. Ridiculous

So don't be too hard on yourself.

And holy mother of dog, I've never seen such a massive stash of puzzle bits.

self taught artist said...

i love it when you guys share

gigi said...

I seriously cannot WAIT to see what you transform all those bags of puzzles into!

(and sorry about the cop. lousy pigs.)

deb said...

I have only ever been pulled over for speeding, it was when I first moved here from England, I was much younger and cuter then, the officer told me to slow down, I wasn't on the autobahn anymore! So I lucked out! I love your puzzle stash... it looks like sooo much fun, will email U a proper response later, but have a better day! 2ft of fresh snow here today... I HATE WINTER!

self taught artist said...

two feet????
wow. I thought winter was coming here early, but thats ridiculous.
yes the puzzle stuff is fun but after 10,000 pieces give or take a few, I'm not at a critical point of no return. :)
ahhh the 'cute factor' now we have to wait to be cute old ladies :(