Happiness is: finding out that the state of New York doesn't care how much I weigh.
To those of you who've spent your lives with a driver's license that only lists your name, age, hair and eye color, you have NO idea of the stress involved in filling out that little space on the California Driver's License Application that says Weight: ________.
It doesn't matter if your height to weight ratio is in perfect proportion or if you have such a low BMI that you eat chocolate cake washed down with a full fat mocha for breakfast (I don't even know what a full fat mocha tastes like... I don't think I've ever allowed myself to order full fat ANYTHING) and whine that you "just can't keep the weight on"; NO one wants to write the correct number in that spot. NO ONE.
(Remember how, when we were kids, we always had the threat of something going in to our "permanent record"? I've always had the vague notion that it's kept at the DMV and that's where they document your weight for all eternity. I do not want future archeologists to dig this shit up and put it in a history book next to my picture. "Wow, Millenium Woman was a bit of a chubbo...")
Even if you're one of those enviable obese people who has such a rockin' body image and amazing self-esteem (I can't tell you how much I envy those people) that you love yourself how you are and tell everybody that you are "Fat AND fabulous" while embracing your curves and workin' the room and have no problem getting dressed without first encasing yourself in Spanx from top to bottom, you do not want to write that number down. If you say you don't care, you are LYING... and I guarantee your number has been reduced by at least 20 lbs. (10 if you're not overweight; 5 if you're downright skinny.)
The first time I got my driver's license I weighed 110 lbs. At 5'1, this is not exactly a weight that would have put me in one of those motorized scooters at the Walmart, but it was enough to make me write "100 lbs" down instead. I mean, 110 wasn't bad but 100 was much better. I remember being more worried that they would question whether or not my weight was correct than I was about actually passing the test.
When I had to renew my license shortly after I gave birth to Kacey, I was still carrying around some baby fat (the kid weighed almost 10 lbs... cut me some slack here!) and probably weighed around 145. Naturally, this required writing "115" because, you know... I was dieting and would (yeah right) get back down to that weight soon. (Also? I was afraid that if I had left it saying "100 lbs" they would have laughed in my face and then said, "Okay, no really... how much do you weigh?" at which point I would have died on the spot.)
And so on and so forth. One of my biggest (pettiest) concerns has always been that one day I will walk into the DMV to renew my license and they will take one look at the LIE I told about how much I weigh and force me to step on a giant scale, which will flash the number overheard while they're taking my picture and it would appear in giant, glowing red numbers in my (no doubt already not great) driver's license photo.
Lord, I wish I were kidding when I say that but damned if it isn't true. I should be more concerned about starving children and global warming but alas, when faced with the prospect of weighing myself in public, I'd sell my mother to keep my ass off of that scale. (My Miss America acceptance speech would be a little less "end world hunger" and more "never allow a scale to be placed in the DMV." I would bring tears to my audience with my passioned plea, no doubt.)
New York just got a little bit better. One small step for moving here, one giant step towards getting my fanny down to the DMV and switching over my license,