Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nike's Onto Something


I walked into the tag agency, looked around, and pulled a number—60.

There were about 15 people in the waiting area. I took a seat and prepared to spend the rest of my afternoon in the hard plastic chair with a book titled Thigh High, a recent loaner from the library.

I was there to take care of a 4-year-old thorn in my side. In 2007, I bought a new car and sold my decade-old Civic as salvage after it caught on fire. The old license plate has been riding in the Altima's trunk ever since, along with a receipt of the $250 exchange and a document with the details.

Every year I go online to renew my registration and I'm reminded that the state of Florida still thinks I own two cars. Groaning, I remind myself to take care of this. But who has time for the tag place and how much was this going to cost? Did I have all the documents I needed? Would I be penalized for taking so freaking long? Sheesh, we had a different president last time the Civic was in my possession!

It wasn't until I cleaned out the trunk last week and saw the thin manilla envelope again that I decided enough was enough.

There I was, in the tag place, ticket number 60 in my hand, seated right in front of the line-less information desk. Might as well find out what's in store when they call my number.

I told the woman my story, she held out her hand for the license plate and typed the number in.

Name?” she asked.

I told her.

Okay, thank you,” she said with an air of finality.

I stared at her, then pulled the papers out of the manilla envelope. “You don't need these?”

She shook her head.

My emotions as I left the tag agency were a mixture of fortune and shame. Four years, this issue had taken up residence in some obscure corner of my brain and handling it took less than 60 seconds. Fact is I didn't know the process and we tend to fear and avoid what we don't know.

The big lesson in this small incident? Oftentimes, the head scratching, sighing, eye rolling, complaining, analysis, and beating around the bush require way more energy than taking care of whatever it is you're putting off.

In other words, just do it.