When a Police Officer asks me that question… I want to look GOOD.
I recently received an envelope from PENNDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) that stated there were “Important Materials Enclosed from Penndot.” Sure, I know it’s that time when my vehicle registration and driver’s license updates are due. I’m prompt at hopping online, paying with my debit card and having my required documents whisked to me from Harrisburg within a week or so, and I’m gold.
This time was a little different.
I received the documents, no problem. What I neglected to realize was THIS year, I need to update my Drivers License PHOTO. I panicked. I HAVE to lose weight. My face looks too fat! I need a little tan. Hell, I need a haircut again!
In Pennsylvania you are permitted to “smile” in the photo (as opposed to Delaware where you are forbidden to smile, grin, chuckle or laugh while I believe they make you sit on nails and mess up your hair so you look like that mug shot of Nick Nolte when he was picked up for public intoxication). As a matter of fact, one year at the PA Photo Center a slightly pudgy, school-marm-like woman “photographer” called me “handsome,” and proceeded to take about 5 photos with different poses and various levels of smiles! At the end of the license “photo shoot,” she allowed me to pick one that was the most flattering of me. I must admit, at that time, it was extremely difficult to choose only one.
These licenses are good for four years and you pretty much have to pull them out at every credit card transaction, check cashing opportunity (like who REALLY writes checks anymore), of course the airport at the security gate when you’re running late, oh… and the occasional DUI checkpoint. The last reason brings up a VERY important point to look GOOD in that photo.
When the officer looks at the ID while deciding whether or not to “ask you a few questions” on a Saturday night after you JUST finished celebrating a person’s birthday from work that you don’t even LIKE at the local microbrewery, I don’t know about YOU, but I want to look happy and successful and like I have a good job and lots of money. NOT like I’ve just been released from 10 years of prison, have a drug problem and look like I’ve just eaten a whole bag of Oreos. It makes the “check-point” experience go MUCH smoother and you get the “wave-through.”
That being said, I have a few weeks to prepare for my latest photo shoot, so I need to get back to the gym, the tanning booth and to visit my local Hair Cuttery as soon as my schedule allows!