Paying it Forward at the DMV

This is exactly what the guy at the DMV looked like. Cross my heart.

Sometimes it pays to be pregnant. Like when people at the DMV take pity on you, just because you’re sitting in a metal seat with your stomach practically touching the chair in front of you.

Never mind that I had no kids with me and that the woman with four kids probably deserved special treatment more than me. Then again, why would you bring four kids to the DMV??? But it does seem interesting that people in general are more willing to help a pregnant women sitting by herself doing a crossword puzzle than a mom trying to keep four kids from destroying a public agency.

Actually, the first hour at the DMV was relatively pleasant. With no children to look after, it was practically a vacation. I read two newspapers, did a crossword puzzle, checked my email on my Crackberry. But by hour two, I was getting restless. They had called number 75; I was 85. Ten people in front of you at the DMV is like the last two minutes of an NBA championship game – it can last forever. There are those damn, responsible people who had the forethought to think ahead and make an appointment, hogging up one of the two or three ladies working behind the desk. And then there are those pesky teenagers who insist on getting their driver’s license and take away one of the few DMV employees to give them an exam. (We won’t talk about how I showed up late to my drivers exam on my 16th birthday and was forced to wait two weeks to take it again – complete torture for a 16-year-old – or the time I got caught cheating on my permit test. It was totally someone else’s fault. I swear.)

So there I was, on hour two, getting impatient and, I have to admit, uncomfortable with Baby Breakdancer kicking me in the ribs, when all of a sudden a bearded angle dressed as a town employee appeared at my side. He bent down and whispered something. At first I thought he was trying to steal my purse, but then I heard these magic words slip out of his mouth: “You dropped something.” And with that, he handed me his golden ticket – #77! I looked up at the sign – they were on 76! I had been chosen! I whispered back a quick thank you. It was like I had gotten out of jail early on good behavior.

As I stood up triumphantly when they called my new number, I quickly glanced around the DMV waiting room – who should I pick to be the lucky beneficiary of #85? The pimply teenager waiting with his mom to take his driver’s test? Nah. The loud, tattooed couple behind me who complained the whole time? Yeah right. Or the guy who carried on a loud conversation on his cell phone for one hour? Not a chance. My eyes settled on an old man who was missing a few teeth and looked like he could be homeless. He seemed deserving. When I finished up, I handed him my ticket. “This should help speed things along,” I said. He gave me a big, toothless grin. “I was number 08,” he said. I had bumped him up by 23.

I smiled on the way out the door. Charity doesn’t always have to be giving someone a dollar or a can of food. It can be as simple as saving someone an hour at the DMV.

The Husband’s Guide to Changing Kitty Litter

With only a month to go until baby #3 arrives, I am going to relish in the one duty I have been temporarily relieved of: the dreaded task of changing the kitty litter. For those of you who don’t know, pregnant women are not supposed to get near kitty litter because there is a chance they could contract toxoplasmosis, which can then give their unborn child all sorts of nastiness, such as an aversion to baths, dogs and the constant need to enter any room with a closed door.

So while I have enjoyed the past 9 months of no kitty litter duty, I have not enjoyed watching Siig’s laborious process of changing the cat poop. For those men out there faced with 9 months of kitty litter duty, I graciously pass onto you Siig’s 10 steps for performing this noble task (women, forgive me):

1. Talk about changing the kitty litter for a minimum of three days. This will get you psyched up.

2. On day four, take the kitty litter box and put it on the deck. Let it sit there for a few days. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also place the tools you will need outside as well, such as garbage bag, shovel and new bag of kitty litter.

3. Turn on TV and sit on the couch. When you see the kitty crying because she can’t find her litter box, throw her outside as well. Tell your kids that, most likely, the coyotes won’t get her (unlike her sister).

4. When wife complains that the kitty litter box has been sitting outside for three days and has yet to be changed, inform her it’s all part of your master plan. You have done your research and the litter needs to dry out first before you can transfer it to a garbage bag.

5. Congratulate yourself that you are half-way done with this project. Grab a can of Coors from the fridge and stare at the kitty litter, now even heavier and wetter because of the recent rains. Give it the old college try and say you’ll do it tomorrow.

6. Ignore your wife when she tells you that she had to bring in the dirty kitty litter box last night, even though she’s 8 months pregnant, because the cat was driving her crazy. She tells you that if the baby comes out meowing and licking its private parts, it’s all your fault. Open another beer.

7. Day 7 – you are now ready to get to the heart of the project. Push up your sleeves and empty the old kitty litter into a garbage can. Let the empty litter box sit in the sun for another day. Be sure to leave the full garbage bag outside to annoy your wife and entice your curious cat to open it with its claws to inspect its own poop. Allow the mess to sit on the deck at least 1-2 days.

8. Drink three beers. Heavy sigh. Grab a broom and clean up the mess, yell at the cat for making your job more difficult, pour fresh kitty litter into the box. Leave everything on the deck, including beer cans.

9. Day 9 –  Look at the deck and realize none of the stuff is out there anymore. Your frustrated wife has brought in the kitty litter box, thrown away the garbage bag and empty bag of kitty litter. You wonder why she is looking at you with a scowl on her face. Everything has gone exactly according to plan.

10. Day 10 – Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Tell yourself that if you keep up this pace, by the time you need to change the kitty litter again, your wife will already have given birth.

All part of the master plan.