Monday, July 31, 2006
God Bless the USA
So, here is the thing... I love living in Florida. I love that the opportunity presented itself while The family G is young enough to enjoy all Florida has to offer and that we no longer are forced to deal with Canadian winters. (because come on..I don't care how much you love winter sports or anything else, I boldly call those that proclaim to love winter- FIBBERS(which doesn't really sound very bold at all. I had called you all liars but then decided that was just mean of me. Am tough like that.). No one, and I mean no one, in their right mind likes getting out of bed on a frosty January morning and having to deal with everything that goes with it. The scraping of car windows (if your car even starts that day), the snowsuits and the invariable "Mom, I have to pee" just as soon as you get the little darling ready...ugh. Need I say more? Give me sunshine, blue skies and humidity any day of the week. I am extremely thankful that the powers that be have allowed us the good old VISA renewal that guarantees we are able to stay here until at least 2007 with an extension available until 2010. (Could I possibly have used anymore parentheses in that paragraph? I don't think so.)

But. Yes, there is a rather large BUT on its way to you. /BEGIN RANT

A couple things. First of all, the DMV. People? The United States, being the super power and all that it is? REALLY truly needs to work on that which they call the DMV. It is ridiculous and I know most Americans will agree with me here. My Canadian peeps? It really IS all it is depicted to be on TV and in the horror stories you hear.

When the Leester and I first moved to the USA (pre 9/11) we simply went into the DMV and upon relinquishing our Canadian Drivers licenses we were issued with shiny brand new Florida ones. Of course, they confirmed our driving abilities and our clean driving record, wished us a hearty welcome upon handing us our new pieces of plastic and sent us on our way. It felt to us like an achievement. We were here more than just on vacation, we had actually MOVED to Florida.

Fast forward four years to our second move, to central Florida. Upon going to the DMV to change my address on said license (as required by law, am law abiding non-citizen, after all), after waiting in the monstrous line upwards of six hours in the (stifling, recirculated non-airconditioned, smells of animosity and icky government workers who needed a shower ten hours ago) waiting room; I was led to the counter by the calling of my number. BINGO! (No, I did not shout it, by this time any sense of humor I had upon entering had been checked at the door) After making my way to the counter I was barely greeted by the most foul tempered and despicable bitch I have ever laid eyes on. She asked why I was there and when I explained I needed an address change and handed her all required documentation (I'll save you the details but read:VISA, proof of ID, first born child, wisdom teeth etc.) and waited for this simple process to be completed. She looked at the documents in hand, turned without word and walked through a door marked 'Authorized personnel Only' and disappeared. I glanced around, possibly shrugged and then proceeded to wait. Imagine that!

Well, after about 15 minutes she returned with everything except my drivers license. Hmmn..So do I need to go get a new picture or something? I asked her, to which she informed me "Nope, you don't." Well, I audibly wondered, what do I do now? "Nothing, you no longer meet the criteria to hold a Florida Operators license." Excuse me? Huh? Wha?? How is that, I inquired, maintaining my cool and level head. "You do not have a Canadian Drivers License to relinquish to us, therefore you do not have proof that you are authorized to operate a motor vehicle in our fair State."

Okay people...Do you see where this was headed and how quickly (given my nature for dramatics, admittedly) this was about to spiral out of control and into something newsworthy and very ugly?

Headline: Canadian girl gets confused and goes postal in the DMV, Read all about it!!!!

The foul, power hungry bitch that she was? Well, she robbed me even of that opportunity when she turned and walked away without another word. I kid you not, upon asking someone else what I needed to do, I was informed that the DMV was now closed and I needed to come back the next day. But if I had driven myself? I should probably call someone to come and get me as I would be stopped outside if I tried to drive myself.

UGH! I was LIVID! Now, not only was I living some three thousand miles or so from all I knew and loved, braving a new frontier, I was expected to do so as a pedestrian! Unheard of!!! Nooooooo!!

Well, suffice it to say that I did get it all worked out the next day and they gave my my license back. It cost me time, energy and stress and further set somewhere in my mind the idea that bureaucracy is just a pain in the ass. That oft times the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing when it comes to the government, regardless of the Country.

Well, the time nears for me to head back to the DMV for the yearly renewal and I am scared. I FEAR the DMV. Cover me people, I'm goin in!!!!

Secondly, upon speaking to someone whom I adore yesterday, someone who was to have vacationed in this fair Country for a couple weeks, someone naturally a born Canadian citizen whom I am told was turned away at the border after being deemed a THREAT by homeland security?!? (READ:By some punk ass, snotty-nosed brat fresh out of police academy training that has been given a gun and a position of power but not the knowledge of how to act like a human being) This person much adored by myself had once upon a time (READ: 1975) been found in possession of a singular marijuana cigarette and has traveled here for vacation numerous times since then and has ALWAYS been forthright in the release of this knowledge to those needing to know, a.k.a. the border patrol/any and all persons of the law enforcement variety. This person has traveled here as recently as just a couple months ago and quite literally yearly for the past several. Well, not only was this person denied entry upon this occasion? This person has since been blackballed and is NEVER allowed in this country again. As in like, EVER. As in the border punks fingerprinted, photographed and humiliated this person to no end prior to turning them away at the border. And that, my friends? That is SERIOUSLY messed up and simply laughable. THAT is how your Homeland Security tax dollars are being spent. Disregard entirely the obvious fact that shit needs to change and something needs to be done to actually PROTECT this Country, AS WELL AS CANADA, from terrorists; that these two Countries should be working together and not entering into stupid pissing contests and just step back for a moment with me and realize how stupid that is? Agreed?

I mean, its all good, the person I am speaking of went and vacationed perfectly happily in Canada and wont bother trying to come back this way again, as I am sure there is little desire left to contribute to the American economy after being treated as he was, but still.

I, people? AM PISSED. I have spent YEARS touting the grace and dignity of the common American people I deal with living here, trying to dissuade people with misformed opinions and convince them that you and i are very much alike in all ways and the fact that our two Countries are neighbors and friends...BLAH BLAH BLAH. What a crock.

Should he have proclaimed that yes, although he has tried the marijuana, he did not inhale? Would this have made the sin more forgivable???

It makes me second guess a great deal about my decision to be here. What happens when NONE of my family or friends are allowed to come here? Largely due to the ignorance and attitude of some random asshole and not due to anything they have said or done?? What then, hmmn?

I know, here is where a great number would say to me, if you don't like it, you can always go back to Canada.

To you? I say thank you. Thank you for allowing me the idea of The American Dream. Asshat.


*Edited to add: I failed to mention in the above rant that my great-Grandparents, great-greatGrandparents etc.? All either pioneered this bountiful land or were born and raised here. My grandparents moved to Canada and therefore? I am not easily eligible for citizenship. What the hell is wrong with this picture, people??*


Anonymous Tig said...

As someone who has been accused of being one of those snot-nosed punks fresh out of the police academy without a gun who was just responding to what was written on the computer screen about someone regardless of the fact that the data comes from someone far and away from the point of contact, despite the fact that I had been at the job for several years, had kicked plenty of ass without having to fire my Glock 17 which was held firm in my holster, all I can say to you is "the system sucks". America was built on bueaucracy, red tape, and lots and lots of ink. Declaration of Independence? It was filed four times with two different agencies before being sent overseas. Bill of Rights? Someone accidentally filed it under 22-D and it was lost for six months. Rumor has it Washington was listed as deceased for eight weeks in the White House because his laundry turned up at the local morgue and no one had the paperwork to retrieve it. Poor guy ran our infant nation in his underwear for two months!

I'm sorry you're having a hard time, darlin'. Wish it was different. We are the greatest country on Earth, but the paperwork to get here is a bitch.'re in Florida which resembles an armpit for a good reason. Either way I'm glad you're here. :)

-tig ( the pics *whistle*)

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