One of my fondest memories of my mom, though she doesn’t like to talk about it, is the time she told off the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) man. I should start at the beginning… I don’t know of any female on the face of the Earth who wanted to drive more than I did when I was a teenager. Even now, I prefer driving to being a passenger in almost all situations. Driving for me was symbolic of freedom and maturity. I wanted to get behind the wheel and fly! When I was fourteen, Dad started teaching me to drive on a dirt road near our home. I can still remember listening to my Steven Curtis Chapman’s Signs of Life cassette in my Dad’s old truck as dust flew in the rearview. This, my friends, was living! So I went through a Driver’s Education class, did my student driving, and the day finally came for me to get my permit! Mom left work as soon as she could, picked me up, and we were off to the DMV!
We arrived at the DMV at approximately 3:45 in the afternoon that fine Tuesday. As shocking as this may sound given the time, it was packed with people. So we sat, waited, and I was finally called back for my written test. After my test was graded, I thought I was going to walk out into the world a permitted woman… but it was not so simple.
Unbeknownst to us, the law had changed on Monday (the day before) and now people were required to have two proofs of identification before getting a driver’s permit or license. By now, the time was twenty minutes to five, and as we all know, the DMV closes at five o’clock – sharp. Not five o’clock and one minute later. Not five o’clock and one second later. Five o’clock… period. Mom wasn’t sure she could get home and back in time, but apparently the pitiful look on my face convinced her to try.
Careening through Traffic
To hear Mom tell it, she weaved in and out of traffic, flew into the driveway, grabbed a stack of tax papers, and ran back to the car while the little boys across the street watched the show. Unfortunately, five o’clock came and Mom wasn’t back, so the nice DMV man said, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” So, knowing that I had no ride, and that I was a young teenage girl, he put me outside and locked the door behind him. All I could think about was how I was going to have to wait a whole day to get my permit (a thought which makes me chuckle now).
Finally, Mom pulls up like she’s running from the cops. By this point, I was starting to get tears in my eyes. I just wanted to go home, but Mom had other plans. First, she asked me what I was doing outside and after I told her the story of the nice DMV man locking me out, I saw a side of my mother I’d never seen before or since. She’s part grizzly bear!
Leaving the car where it was, she commanded me to get the tax papers from the back seat, she marched up the walkway, and my mother wailed on that door. She beat on it and beat on it and beat on it some more. The female employees grabbed their purses and ran out the back door. Finally my friend, the nice DMV man, came to the door and my mother, the second grade teacher, wagged her finger at him and screamed, “SHAME ON YOU!” (All that production for a shame on you?) I can still remember standing there with a stack of tax information in my hand watching my mom school the nice DMV man. After she calmed down he said, “Come on in, we’ll finish you up.”
As we sat there waiting for him to process my paperwork (or whatever was happening… it’s kind of a blur), Mom suddenly realized what she’d done. Embarrassment filled her face and she had to excuse herself. Yeah, I could’ve been embarrassed, but I was proud. My mom let somebody have it. She fought for me… not because it was a huge travesty that I had to wait another day to get my permit, but because she was angry that her cub had been locked out in the cold.
So I got my permit, enjoyed almost eleven months of driving with a licensed parent in the front seat, and then the day came for me to get my driver’s license! This time, Dad took me. ~smile~
An Important Feature in a Spouse
Fast forward a few years to Liberty University, January, 2003, Group Dynamics (PSYC 405 in the Teacher Education Hall); I met Eric Viets. I didn’t know it at that point, but I was sitting behind my future husband. As we got to know each other, I quickly realized that this was the kind of man that would fight for me. He hasn’t needed to tell off a DMV man on my behalf, but he would if he needed to do so. ~smile~ He has spoken to people who’ve hurt me on my behalf, which I appreciated, and I know that he would spring to my side if I needed him. This is such an important feature in a spouse.
When my mom took on the DMV man, I felt loved… shocked… but loved. When you choose a life’s mate, you are choosing a partner who will be with you through thick and thin. Do you want someone who will spring to action if you are in need or do you want a wimp that will hide and hope for your best? Believe me; you want someone who will fight for you.
You want someone who won’t listen to others put you down. You want someone who will take on a dragon who is breathing fire on you. You want someone who will fight to keep you (i.e., someone who takes marriage so seriously that he or she will fight to keep your marriage strong). If you do find someone like that, your marriage partnership will probably last multiple decades. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart or someone who would sit idly by if you were in trouble. Marry a fighter… like my mom. ~smile~
Would your boyfriend or girlfriend fight for you? Would you fight for him or her?