IMG_1060.JPGToday marks the 4-year anniversary of me “defining the relationship” with Maryland. After a tumultuous two days at the MVA, we started on this path that I’ve largely not regretted (except during Mardi Gras week each year when I question why I’m at work, not making myself sick on bloody marys and king cake.)

To mark the occasion, I’ve pulled a few out-of-context segments from other blogs about the MVA process.

In line at the MVA trying to become a Maryland resident.

This place really makes you reconsider becoming a resident as if to ask, are you really sure you want to do this?

I hope I have an answer by the time I get to the front of the line (although, that could take years.)

Another small gem:

Oh undefined audience, how I’ve neglected you so!

I didn’t forget about y’all exactly, I only forgot that I do this thing called blogging from time to time. As always when I return from such sabbaticals, I wanted to give you a preview of things to come:

 The MVA & What I Learned There (i.e. avoid going to the MVA at all costs)

I try not to be one of those here’s-every-second-of-my-day,-I’m-a-martyr-for-enduring-my-very-hard-(except not really)-life status updaters on Facebook, but my friends will agree that I am too-often guilty of such posts. I’m working on it. In any case, my status from day one at the MVA should give you an accurate preview of a blog post to come:

I’ve never felt as alone and inadequate as I do right now at the MVA. It’s like going to see the wizard except you find an angry mob instead of a small balding man.
I just filled out a survey for a coffee cup just to make sure I at least leave here with something.

Maryland, if we break up, I need you to know that it is definitely you, not me. Finally, I miss you, La DMV.

–from I Still Write, Y’all

And finally, from a piece that was eventually edited down and appeared in my first book, and the floor was always lava:

I belong to Maryland, now. Write about the MVA! everyone keeps telling me. You really want to know? Part of me died there, and I’ll never get it back.

There were non-helpful employees that kept changing the rules on me, I went broke for a plastic card and two metal plates, and some lady unceremoniously cut my Louisiana license in front of me. Well, that just happened. Hello commitment.

But there was also beauty: a teenage girl passed her driving test with a 94% and everyone in our section cheered for her when she told her father (although his smile seemed sad). Another father talked to me for a while about his own daughter moving to New Jersey, and he asked how my parents took my seven-states-away move. Well, I told him, they took it really well. (I think it’s okay to lie sometimes.) I also got a nifty mug for filling out a survey concerning my satisfaction with Maryland drivers (very dissatisfied) and my new license picture doesn’t look half-bad.

The man who finally gave me new tags was nice. While handling my paperwork, he sang Mariah Carey’s“We Belong Together” and talked to his friend about their mutual acquaintance who was hiding out in Ocean City. It seems this acquaintance was in trouble with the law and a bunch of angry bikers. I was intrigued by the story and I was also tempted to tell him that, yes, we do belong together; that’s why I need to secure my Maryland residency. But I didn’t.

Instead, I just cried like a girl who’s been in the MVA too long and said thank you! Welcome to Maryland! he congratulated me.

Welcome to Maryland: different.

–from Catching My Breath

Maryland, we’re way past the honeymoon phase, but I still love you. I hope we can move past the emotional affairs I’ve had with AR, CA, SC, NJ, and PA this summer

–Michelle

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Michelle Junot is the author of Notes from My Phone* as well as and the floor was always lava. Get yours before the summer sale is over.

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