It's two months before your birthday, you're still deep in your year-younger mind-set, not even thinking about the celebrations and then you open the mail box one day and there is your license plate renewal form. If you're anything like us, you set it aside. You put it in the long-term to-do pile and then promptly let it slip your mind.
This year, my husband did just that. And then his birthday came and went and then all of a sudden, we found ourselves with only a day left in the month and he woke up one morning and exclaimed, "I didn't renew my license plate!"
In a panic, we dug through all the papers on the kitchen table, on the filing cabinet in the study, and in the mail slot above the key rack. And we all breathed a sigh of relief as he kissed me good-bye and said, "I may be a bit late tonight - I'll take care of this after work."
Then he glanced down at it as he was heading out the door and stopped dead in his tracks. "Oh my god! I need an emissions test!"
"I'll take care of it!" I reassured him and he was on his way.
I began phoning every mechanic in town long before any had opened their doors for business. And when I finally did start to get through to a sleepy but present receptionist, they all informed me that they were booking for a week from today. I realized I didn't sound desperate enough and so I picked it up a notch. Then finally, the good man at Master Mechanics said he could squeeze Mark in at 3:00. I said, "He can't be there til 3:15". The guy sighed and said, "Look, I'll book him for 3:00 and if he's ten minutes late, I'll still look at it."
I phoned Mark at work and he said he'd get there.
When he walked in the door that evening, he breathed a sigh of relief. All taken care of.
"Did you put the other sticker on your ownership?"
"And you put the sticker on your license plate?"
"It's raining, Melissa. I'll do it tomorrow," I'm sure he was feeling a bit impatient with my third degree. So I let it go.
The next day, as Mark was driving home from work on the QEW, he found himself in stop-and-go traffic next to a police cruiser. All while still moving, the police officer rolled down his window and called, "Your license plates have expired!" (This was the first of December).
Mark grabbed through the papers in the middle console and, with a shaky hand, held up his sticker, "I got it. It was raining....."
The police officer nodded and then just before pulling away added, "It's a $5000 fine, eh?"
Mark nodded and thanked his heavenly stars.