It had taken me several weeks in order to prepare for the big day. I had spent multiple hours sitting in a small classroom along with my sister and other teenagers. Completely focused on the television screen, afraid to miss something because there were definitely no retakes on tests about driving. I think that I was the person who got the most nervous on taking these easy to pass tests, but for me it was harder than it seemed. I don’t know why, maybe it was the lack of confidence I had gained for the comments that were always said to me, “You are so bad a driving” or “Don’t crash the car!” The actual experiences that I had had with driving a car before was another, of course; sitting in front of a wheel I could barely look over let alone reach the pedals.
Drivers education was definitely not the type of way you would start summer; after just getting out of high school; where you sit in chair 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for about 8 months, you would definitely not want to continue doing the same thing. But overall I was not bothered, in fact I was more than grateful because although most teenagers nowadays are preparing to get their driver’s permit at 15 years old, I began to think that I was not going to be able to do that. There are many requirements when it comes to getting you drivers permit and I believed that somehow I didn’t quite fit them all.
I sat in the car anxiously, thinking that maybe we were not going to get there on time. I started recalling all the bad scenarios that could happen while we were there; we must have forgotten something or it would never be our turn. There came a lot of responsibility when trying to get a driver’s permit, the process was more detailed than it seemed. When we got to the Texas Department of Public Safety building, it seemed to be quite empty, but there’s more to it than what meets the eye. We entered the small blue building hurriedly, it was even smaller inside than it looked on the outside. I saw the small cubicles lined up in rows; the workers were patiently sitting in their chairs, waiting for the next customer. We were handed some mandatory papers at the entrance, “Please fill these out”, said the women sitting in the small office. The problem wasn’t filling the papers out, it was trying to find a seat in this very small waiting area, only made to hold a small amount of people. Almost every chair was taken, we were lucky enough to find three empty chairs in the back row. As the day continued, the DPS started filling with people. Wow, I had never actually realized how many people were trying to get their driver’s license or permit on the same day.
We sat for a few hours and then our number was called, “Thank gosh, finally!”, I yelled excitedly. We all stood up in unison and walked over to the small cubicle. My sister and I had to get separate cubicles. As my mom headed with my sister first, I headed the opposite way and sat down in the cushion chair in front of what seemed like a very prestigious lady. “Hi, how are you?”, I asked the lady. I was trying to be as kind as possible because I wanted to make a good impression. The lady answered kindly, “Good but very busy here, as always.” She then proceeded to ask for the usual paperwork and asked a few questions. This was not as bad a I had previously thought it would be, it was very straightforward and easy but very time consuming. Everything was going great, for the last step the lady asked if she could see my mother’s identification card. I called my mom over and asked her for it, “Necesitan tu identificación.” My mom handed the lady her id and I smiled excitedly because I was so close to getting my drivers permit. The lady looked at the identification card and her face dropped, “I am sorry ma’am but do you happen to have another form of identification?” I stared at her confusedly, and my mom answered, “No I am sorry, that is all that I have,they told me that they accepted this id.” My face dropped as I sat uncomfortably in the cushion chair, it was not fair, I thought. It’s an identification, that’s all they need. The only reason she wouldn’t accept it was because it said ‘Consulado de Mexico’ on it. I felt anger and frustration swallow me. I looked at the lady and she could tell that I was upset, “Let me go ask and double check,” said the lady. She stood up and walked a small distance before getting to another lady. They talked for about 30 seconds before they both came over. The other lady that came over said, “Of course, this identification can be used. I am sorry for the confusion ma’am.” I was relieved and thought nothing about the situation during that moment but deep down I was scared. I was enraged with the exclusion that I felt from the words that had come out of the lady’s mouth. All three of us were upset at the possibility that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to get our permit. As I walked out of what now felt like an empty, dark building, I felt like we didn’t belong.