Who woulda known that my little ole license plate would stir up such a buzz??!!
But here we are. It’s just about two weeks after I received my letter from the Supervisor at the Division of Motor Vehicles of New Hampshire…the Live Free or Die state (insert eye roll).
I was on my way out the door to go to work on a Friday afternoon in my usual hurried fashion. Mail was on the kitchen table…as it is typically is…dropped off by one of the two kids that still reside full time in the home (one is away going to a local university, one lives not too far from my home with his wife and child). There was a letter from the DMV on the table. If anyone has been to my home…they know I am not really on top of opening my mail. I do most everything on-line, and I am doing my best to go completely paperless, but…there is usually a stack of mail on the far corner of the table in addition to random magazines and sales flyers. This letter stood out, though. DMV? I just got my license renewed last month…my registration is good until November…I haven’t gotten any tickets (knocking on wood as I type this)…I grabbed it and opened it as I was yelling good-bye again to the kids and trying not to trip over the dogs.
I sat in my car and read this letter. Then I read it again. And again.
Oh, Hells No! Uh-uh. Nope.
I read it again at every stop sign and stop light on the three mile drive to work.
I got to the restaurant and showed my dear boyfriend the letter, I was in disbelief (He’s the executive chef, I am the bartender)!! I carried the letter into my bar area and read it again…and I talked about it with just about every patron and co-worker throughout the night (after I executed orders in a timely fashion lol…and my apologies to those that were my sounding board that night…I was like a broken record!).
My vanity plate was being recalled and I had to surrender my PB4WEGO plates to the local DMV within ten days. …because it included sexual or excretory (that’s a new word I have added to my vocabulary) acts or functions. For real??!! Peeing is now somehow offensive! Especially when you are telling your child that so you don’t have to stop at the gas station two miles down the road…a phrase I said commonly starting 25 years ago and on…hence the plate I got 15 years ago (when NH expanded license plates to 7 characters).
It was a few hours into the weekend at this point, so I had to wait until Monday morning to call the DMV and get some answers. I talked to a few nice ladies there who let me know that my letter was one of many that were sent and sorry, but I had to turn in my plates.
I then (after voicing my feelings on this decision) asked how to appeal this letter. I was advised to write a letter to the supervisor of the bureau of registration at the DMV and was given the email so they could get it right to him. I though a bit about how to word what I wanted to say. I thought about saying the “P” stood for something else, but out principal…I wanted to stand my ground that it DID stand for “pee”…and please go now so I don’t have to stop later! Nothing offensive about that. I thought about using the argument “everyone does it”. But, let’s face it. There’s a lot of things people do all the time that we don’t want to talk about or put on a plate. Moving on from that subject…
I decided to just ask to keep my plate. Because it’s not offensive and it’s my right.
I received a letter from the supervisor the following day and was informed that it was in with the legal department and my registration would remain valid during this time while a decision was being reached.
I felt this recall was so absurd and uncalled for. After a few days with no word I contacted the local newspaper and asked if they were interested in hearing about the story. They were. And evidently a lot more were than I ever anticipated! Holy Smokes! It has blown up all over the media! Since then, the governor heard about it in a roundabout way, if not directly seeing all over social media, and decided to make a phone call to the DMV. After that, it was decided I could keep my plates! Thanks, Gov’nah!
So, after the governor stepped in and the decision was made, the media blew up a bit more. A lot more. I’ve done interviews with so many radio stations, newspapers and news stations, I can’t even keep track of who I have spoken to! It’s all pretty surreal.
After what I believe are the last interviews this morning that I will give on this subject, Inside Edition and CNN (ya, I know!!), I started to read some of the comments on the various publications. All through this process over the past few weeks, I have had nothing but support. From friends, family and strangers alike. It’s been fun chatting with people I am just meeting and being exposed to new TV and radio stations. I have definitely been feeling the love and positive energy around me (thank you!). I also didn’t realize how much I hate being filmed and I discovered new anxieties that I never knew I had!! Thanks to my guy for talking me off a cliff before a few of the interviews! Also, we both decided that we are thankful we are not celebrities!!
As I was reading through some of the comments, it was disheartening to read so many negative people out there who are ridiculing the whole situation and poking fun at how much media this story has gotten. Then poking at the governor because he has more pressing things to deal with.
In the grand scheme of things, a license plate is not a big deal. I, of all people, know this. Life is much bigger than that and there are far more serious issues out there to find solutions for (I said to my guy just yesterday that I wished this publicity was for a greater cause). It wasn’t just about a license plate, though. It was the about a right. It was about the government coming to me and taking something that was mine, that I paid for legally, and snatching it away from me. For no reason. They passed some law and somehow I fit into that category and now something that I own, that has been the cause of so many innocent laughs and genuine smiles, is being deemed offensive or vulgar and now I can’t have it.
I wasn’t going to let that happen.
And even if the governor didn’t step in, I hope that I would have had the same outcome.
So, all of you that have messaged me, called me, interviewed me, shared my story…thank you. Thanks for getting my little story out there and making it big and helping me keep my vanity plate. And helping me keep my rights.
And to the haters and pessimists and political ranters, lighten up. And go pee…
Live pee or die ❤