Why I Should Just Take The Bus

As you know, I'm a car girl. And that, coupled with the fact that I get motion sickness on the D.C. Metro trains, means I try to drive everywhere. And in D.C., that causes many issues:

1. There's no parking

2. If there is parking, it has a meter and you get like 26 seconds per quarter so unless you have recently robbed a bank in all quarters, you probably don't have enough to park for more than 5 minutes.

3. Driving in D.C. is scary because the streets are laid out weird, and you are constantly dodging confused tourists, rude taxi drivers, random motorcades or road blocks, and cyclists. I feel like I'm constantly in a real life version of "Paperboy"... (that is an old Nintendo game if you are too young to get that reference.) And then there are -

The Signs.

Here is what you might expect to need to read before turning down a street in D.C.:

-This is a One-Way
-Unless it's Tuesday
-Then it's a Two-Way but you can't turn if it's before 9 a.m.
-And don't think about parking here if there's inclement weather
-Unless it's below freezing, then you can park for 5 minutes
-But you probably don't have enough quarters for 5 minutes so don't worry about it
-By the time you are to this sign, it is probably Wednesday which means this is once again a One-Way. Move along.
Here are actual signs in the city, but I've seen much crazier ones. You'll often see people trying to park just standing, staring up at signs for several minutes, trying to do the math to see if they can actually park there. It's way worse when you have to read paragraphs before knowing whether or not you can even TURN somewhere...(I sadly have not had a chance to take photos of those signs because I'm too busy trying to turn...)

And besides all that craziness, I feel like there are many things to keep up with on your car, at least if you are technically a Virginia resident like I am. Personal Property tax, state inspections (even if it's a BRAND NEW CAR...not that I'm bitter or anything...) and you need TWO license plates, which I did not know because I actually got away with keeping my old Tennessee plate on my car for much longer than I probably should've... and Tennessee isn't a Transportation-Nazi like Viriginia is. Yeah. I said it.

Funny story about license plates... first, I had never paid attention to my old Tenneessee plate before. My dad got his and mine at the same time and I just had to slap it on my car and pay him and be done with it. So one day when I was the passenger in my friend Ryan's car, we pulled up behind my car and he bursts out laughing and reads aloud what's on my plate. And to protect the innocent (aka My Parents, as you'll see below) I won't write the details here but it was something like :

"109 *slang term for something sexual*"

And then I burst out laughing because I had NEVER realized that before and was driving around all this time with that on my car. And even worse, since my dad bought both our plates, that meant my parents were driving around with "108 *slang term for something sexual*" on the back of their car. Sigh. Good thing they have pure minds and would not understand that anyway...

So when I finally got to the point where I could no longer run from the law and I had to bite the bullet and get VA plates, I made the annoying trip to the DMV and replaced my inappropriate TN tag with a VA one.

Then I immediately got two parking tickets in a row.

And I couldn't figure out why - I had a correct tag now, what was the deal!?

So then I finally read the fine print on the ticket and it says I need TWO plates. So now I'm annoyed because the DMV only gave me one, darn it! And they never mentioned anything about needing to buy two!

So I go back to the DMV, tell them they only gave me one plate and they owe me a new set of plates and they are confused but comply and give me a new set. 

And I'd had a stressful day anyway, and it's dark out and now I'm squatting on the ground with my screwdriver, taking off the one plate on the back --

and off drop TWO plates.


Apparently they were stuck together the first time and I obliviously screwed them both on the back of my car, leaving the front naked and thus incurring tickets.

At that point, I was so tired I just started laughing and kept the two new plates.

After that I had to GET HOLES PUNCHED into the front of my car so I could even HANG the stupid tag on it, but I've lived in compliance with VA law ever since.

At least, as far as license plates go :)