July 19, 2009

on breaking the law...

Two days ago, I got a ticket. Lame, right? I know, I know. I didn't completely stop at that stop sign, and I should have. Dude, I get it. But whatever happened to a good old-fashioned warning? And in any case, I'm totally a law abiding citizen. Not to mention the fact that I'm the daughter of a man who worked in the state patrol for half his life. Growing up with a police cruiser in your driveway leaves a lasting impression, believe you me.

I am a totally good person. I have nothing on my record, unless you want to count street-sweeping tickets (which are, by the way, evil). For the most part, the very thought of doing something that would result in me getting in trouble makes me break into a cold sweat. I follow the rules. Often, if not always. I swear.

So, anyway, two days ago, as I'm barely surviving the short drive from our ridiculously hot duplex to the ridiculously hot laundromat (in my ridiculously hot car) I glance in my rear view mirror. I am two blocks from home. I see flashing lights peeking above the heaping laundry pile behind me, and I borderline pee my pants.

"IS THIS GUY FOR REALSIES? AM I SERIOUSLY BEING PULLED OVER RIGHT NOW? Do I have time to fake-cry real quick?"

I become quite bitter when I realize I'm not the girl who can cry on cue, and also when I realize I'm in an area where there isn't anywhere to pull over without being completely in the way. I have to cruise along down the street, flashing lights behind me, until I find a parking area. It was delightful, to say the least.

Once I'm parked, the cop (who is young-ish and slightly awkward) meanders over to me, and I kind of don't know how to handle the situation. You always think there is a certain way to act, or that one magic thing you can say that will trick the cop's brain into thinking you are awesome and don't deserve a ticket. I've only been pulled over once, six years ago, and at least that time I had the awkwardness of being dressed like a Victorian-era Christmas caroler (don't ask) to mask any of the general awkwardness of the situation. Unfortunately, in this case, I didn't have that luxury. Instead, I was the trembling girl, clad in laundry-day clothes with sweat dripping off her body. Simply stated, I was a hot mess.

cop: "Licence, registration and insurance, please."
me: "Oh, hi! Um, here you go."
cop: "And your registration, please."
me: "Okay, here."
cop: "And your insurance, please."
me: "Oh! Right. Sorry."

You'd think at this point he's appreciate the fact that I was obviously not someone who made a habit of being pulled over. I was also apologetic when he explained he had seen me not fully stop at the stop sign. I was totally nice. I figured a smile, a genuine apology and a clean record would make up for being sweaty beyond all decency and and apparently failing to follow simple rules of the road.

Um, no. I think this guy had something to prove. Or thought he did.

He looks at my information, and wanders back to his car. He sits there and proceeds to take a ridiculous amount of time doing whatever it is cops do with your license and registration, which led me only to assume that I must have a criminal record up to par with the Green River Killer. I mean, really? I was dying without the air conditioning, and after a few minutes I started rummaging through my purse for something to fan myself with. (But then I worried that he'd think I was reaching for a gun, and immediately stopped. Because I'm not down with being frisked.)

He comes back, and tells me that he is going to have to cite me. I couldn't believe it. The thing is, I get it. I did something wrong, I didn't stop all the way, but really? All things considered, it would have been quite fair to give me a warning. I wanted to tell him to be a decent human being and not a jerk-face, and to just give me a mother-loving warning - but, again, I don't like being frisked and I had a feeling that was coming next if I gave him any lip.

So, lesson learned. I'll be the person coming to a full and complete stop for a couple seconds at every stop sign, even when there is nobody in sight. Bleh.

Anyway, things have been nice except for that huge blemish on the face of my days off. I've been on a decorating spree, and spent a good two hours meticulously arranging framed photos on my adorable new teal shelf (photos coming soon!). I've also been making a few more changes around the duplex, and it's making me really fall in love with it again. I'm realizing that the process of making a house a home never really stops. There are always things you can change around or add - things that make you walk in the front door and feel happy and cozy and wonderful.

(That is, until you notice your husband has left you his toenail clippings on the coffee table. But, I guess that's a given.)

42 comments :

  1. I've been pulled over 4 times - all for speeding - but have only gotten tickets for 2 of them. Apparently telling the cop that you were just enjoying the beautiful weather with the windows down and the Beatles turned up (or Lynyrd Skynyrd - I am in Alabama after all) is a woderful excuse and they only give you a warning. . . who knew?!

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  2. HOW mean! Some people just want to prove they have power over you. Remember you are lovely!

    We have lived in our flat for 3 years now, and I'm still constantly changing little things. Even with big things, I will adjust regularly!

    My husbands is that he ALWAYS leaves a smattering of coffee grounds on the counter when he makes it! All husbands must have a thing!

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  3. This same scenario happened to me in April. First time EVER being pulled over. Apparently, I was going above the speed limit by 10. I disagree. But yah, I was terrified, and I felt I should have gotten off on a warning, but the cop had an agenda. When I got out of there, I proceeded to bawl for 20 minutes. It sucks big time.

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  4. I have been pulled over twice, both for my back lights being out, and I didn't get any kind of ticket. Irregardless, I pretty much almost cried both times.
    I know that if and when I get pulled over and get a real ticket, I will sit in the same spot that I was pulled over at for about 15 minutes and bawl my eyes out.

    And I go back to college, to an apartment, in less than two months. Needless to say, I cannot wait to start decorating; I love decorating. Looking forward to pictures!!!

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  5. you have SUCH a way of telling a story, I love it! I always feel like i'm right there with you :D
    Sorry the cop was a douche...If it makes you feel any better, if I was a cop, i would've TOTALLY let you off with a warning ;)

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  6. I've only gotten one ticket (I was 17) and I cried like a baby. The cop was so distracted by my crying that he forgot to give me my license and registration back. So he followed me home. Pulled in my driveway with me. My dad just happened to be in the garage and saw it. I didn't get in trouble, though...he saw how upset I was and knew that I had learned my lesson.

    Anyway, that story was to illustrate that I am also TERRIFIED of cops and hate getting in trouble. Hate hate hate.

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  7. I pretty much break into a cold sweat anytime I see a cop anywhere near me. I've pulled over I think three times in my life, and those times have scarred me forever.

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  8. So sorry to hear about being pulled over! Why does that happen to the good people?

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  9. Really, he pulled you over for not stopping all the way at a stop sign, talk about lame. He must have been having a really SLOW day. Sorry, that sucks!

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  10. boo for getting a ticket :( I was pulled over once for an out-of-date inspection, but somehow was lucky enough to get out of it... a sob story of how it was my first car and I didn't realize and I was getting married in 3 weeks and we were in the middle of wedding planning and OMG I'm so sorry officer! Amazingly enough, it worked. heh You can bet I make sure I'm not late anymore!

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  11. stupid po-po! he should've given you a warning :) now his name's being dragged all over the internet! if only he knew your stats! ha! ;)

    p to the s. can't wait to see pics of your new shelf! sounds super cute! i'm a sucker for anything teal!

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  12. sounds like the officer was either bored or needed to make his quota.

    is reaching a quota even a legit thing amongst cops? my mother always says that whenever someone she knows gets ticketed by a cop.

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  13. Stupid cop! Sorry about your ticket.

    I've ALSO been on a decorating fix... I've finally gotten some furniture that I needed in a bad way and am needing to post about it as well.

    And toe nail clippings left FOR YOU on the coffee table? No!!!

    ;-)

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  14. Okay so I'm going to tell you something here... I definitely know what you are talking about, about GETTING IT but still be all like 'what the?' when you get the ticket. I read in Cosmo or Glamour or something a while ago that if you are trying to get out of a speeding ticket or failing to stop ticket the crying thing usually doesn't work (I've never done the crying thing myself), but what apparently DOES work? Saying you were in a rush because you had to go to the bathroom. Seriously. Apparently if you lie and say that you didn't stop or are speeding because you are searching for a bathroom, cops are more likely to have mercy on you. I have definitely filed this piece of info in the 'remember this forever' folder of my brain.

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  15. I really hate getting pulled over. and getting pulled over for not coming to a complete stop seems stupid. Maybe he thought you were someone else he was on the lookout for but than felt he wanted to save face by issuing the ticket?

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  16. I totally know the terrified, sweating feeling. My best friend and I were pulled over the summer after our first year of college and we are both like you: doing anything that would get us in trouble basically makes us want to crawl in a hole and hide.

    We got pulled over for being stupid teenagers and trying to steal traffic cones to put on a boys front lawn (like toilet papering but WAY more sophisticated).

    Luckily he saw how completely terrified we were and never even asked for my license... instead he told us a long story about lying and stealing things to "teach us a lesson" and then let us go. We got lucky but I so know that feeling of breaking into a cold sweat. If I even think a cop might be coming up behind me, I immediately feel like vomiting!

    Oh ya, and I LOVE to rearrange things at home to make it feel fresh and new... its the best feeling!

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  17. Perhaps NZ cops are a little more skeezy or something, but the one time I got pulled over I was driving to the beach and was wearing a super short skirt and a bikini top, and he took one look, and gave me a warning (I hadn't indicated when turning down a lane that actually, can only go left). Gutted that your cop was a stinker, still, better than being leered at!

    And hurrah for good days off! Glad to hear the decorating is going well :)

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  18. No good!
    So, my hubby definitely leaves his toenails sitting around after his clips them, too. It is the grossest thing...ick.

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  19. I enjoyed this posting on your dangerous criminal activity!

    Same thing re your "On my Faith" posting. I can relate to leaving a major denom for the comforts & stimulation of a non-denom. Continue search & you'll find a place, but it won't be perfect, and it may not be by next Sunday.

    Nice blog.

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  20. I've been pulled over several times. Once for drinking one of those root beers that look like a beer, once for having a headlight out, and once for going 31 in a 25. I was shaking like crazy all three times. Luckily, I (knock on wood) didn't ever get a ticket.

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  21. You got pulled over on the way to a Christmas Quartets gig?? That is so awesome, my brain hurts.
    I got pulled over for the same thing. Not fully stopping at a stop sign. But come on. The stop sign at Hawthorne and Division is quite pointless since there is a light there also... he gave me a warning.

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  22. The toenail thing is hilarious. Been there!

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  23. i was pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign too, the day after my wedding when everything went wrong! i burst into tears when i got home and was sooo pissed off about it! everyone said that i should have cried and pleaded my case for the last few days but i just took it because it was my first time ever being pulled over. i was most concerned that if anything happened in the future that it would be on my record that i ran a stop sign and then automatically i would be in trouble even if it wasnt my fault... and what do they actually do when they go back to their car, i actually started cleaning mine heheh

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  24. Yeah, I would have been bawling. I dread being pulled over. Here's to hoping it never happens!

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  25. I've always been a 'Rearranger'. It started when I was a kid, I always loved rearranging my room. It bugged the ever living crud out of my mother when my room was a total disaster mid-move-cycle, and she never wanted to help. It was always "put that sh*t back where it was and leave it there".

    Then, when I was a teenager, my younger sister and I started doing it together to make it easier. We shared a room, and we rearranged it once every couple of months.

    Now I live with my older sister and I have the tiniest room. I can't move a thing, but I look forward to living in an actual house (she's looking into buying one later this year) and being able to help with the decorating and having a room big enough for me to make it my own every few months. :D

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  26. That sucks! I hate getting pulled over...most of the time my hands start shaking and my heart will start racing. I very rarely break any rules/laws either so it doesn't make sense to get so freaked out, but I just can't help it!

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  27. oh my goddd that sucks, I hate the fact he's being such a jackass and can't finish it with a simple warning, Of course when you said he's still young and awkward might explain everything. New ones are the ones who are totally enjoy their powers and take things way too seriously.

    ps. this is one of the reason I live in Jakarta. Bribable cops. I get pulled over a lot, maybe 10 times or so this year. I give them 10 to 20 bucks and I'm usually good to go.

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  28. oh no! I can relate... I was absolutely devastated the first and only time I've been pulled over *knock on wood*. It was the day after I got engaged. I was high on life and apparently speeding on my way into work (me? running late and speeding? never...)For me, my tears were genuine and I was sobbing all the way into work. I had to sit in my car for a good 15 minutes before I could go inside because my face was so red. The tears didn't help. He also had something to prove and didn't even look me in the eye. I was going 73 mph... really? I was going with the flow of traffic. He was also a very big meanie-face =P

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  29. I've never been pulled over *crossing my fingers!* but I can't imagine how upset and freaked out I would be if it happened. I HATE getting in trouble for any reason and having to pay money for it too? That's not cool at all!

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  30. Ugh, my first, and only ticket was a couple years ago. I had been camping with my family, and because of work, had to leave early. I was driving my mom's car, and was about 45 minutes into a 4 hour drive. The highway went through a small town, where the speed limit drastically reduced. Near the end of town, I saw a sign ahead with an increased speed limit, so I sped right back up - too early apparently. A police car pulled onto the highway behind me, lights flashing, and pulled me over. I, in my pajamas (because comfort is key for a long, solo car ride), immediately burst into tears. Not the pretty tears that might get you out of a ticket, but full on sobbing. To the point where I don't think I even formed sentences when the police officer issued me two tickets - one for speeding, and one for not displaying an "N" on the back of the car. ("N" = New Driver - British Columbia driving rules are strange). It was a HORRIBLE experience, and made the remaining 3 hours of driving absolutely awful. I feel your pain, in the fact that I just wanted to whine that 'I've never gotten a ticket before - why couldn't you just give me a waaaaaarninggg!'

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  31. Nail clippings are the grossest thing ever. I have a pair of nail clippers that have this little guard thingie that keeps the clippings in and then you just empty it into the trash.

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  32. Aw, sorry about the ticket!

    Personally, I've been pulled over multiple times for speeding. I never used to be able to cry on cue. Now I start bawling as soon as those lights come on. I've learned crying doesn't really work anyway. Almost having a panic attack seems to though.

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  33. Girl, I know how you feel. The same thing happened to me. I mostly stopped... like to the point that I stopped and the wheels immediately started moving so I could see how it didn't look like a real stop. Nonetheless, I had never gotten a ticket and I thought that a warning would have been sufficient when I'd never done anything wrong and this one didn't actually put anyone in danger (the roads were deserted). I think that in the end, it's that even the cities are having huge money issues and writing tickets is the way for them to increase revenue. I don't think anyone is getting a warning these days.

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  34. dont they get points or something for how many tickets they write. and ewww about the toe nail clippings

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  35. oh man how lame. i think a warning but have been plenty enough. ugh. at least it wasn't a speeding ticket though, those are even worse. oy.

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  36. LAME-O. :p

    I got a ticket last year. I was speeding in a school zone. Thank goodness he was nice enough to not write me up for being in a school zone...which would have doubled my fine. But I then thought...wait...why even write me the ticket at all sir if you're going to let me off the hook for part of my offense??

    I don't like cops. At all.

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  37. Ugh I've gotten two tickets in the last 2 years. Before that I got pulled over and only got a warning but since then.. tickets. But I hear ya, my experience went exactly like yours did... right down to the "what can I say to get me out of it?" but every time they seem determined to give me a ticket.

    Meanwhile, I've heard that it could be because of the economy, they need the money, hence the inclination to give tickets.

    Btw, don't you love that you have 2 "Ari"s commenting on your blog?!

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  38. Um, I think warnings have been nixed because CA is in so much debt. I just got a ticket for $250 (stopping in a bus zone to drop off a passenger) and I swear the cop laughed to himself when I asked if we couldn't just get a warning. I don't think any of us are getting a "free" pass anymore until the state can afford to pay its employees with something other than an IOU. (which makes me angry on another level because not only do I have to pay the ticket but I'm also getting IOU's!!!!) grrrrrr...

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  39. That definitely blows. Sometimes I wonder if it's because the cop's not having a good day and doesn't give a sh*t what the reason is or who it is.

    "But then I worried that he'd think I was reaching for a gun, and immediately stopped."
    That definitely made me laugh! Haha

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  40. I will always be the girl that stops at yellow lights no matter how close I am to it. I once got a ticket for it and it now scares the crap out of me.

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  41. Toe nails. Ick.

    But anyhow, you've mentioned your caroler-clad brush with the law before on your blog and it never ceases to crack me up. That is such a funny image. "Oh, cheerio, officer! Might you like a bit of wassail!?"

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  42. The worst kind of stop signs are the ones that just say "STOP" on the ground. Who looks down when they drive? Well, I suppose most people do. Or the stop signs that are covered by trees and bushes...and somehow the cops all know that they exist.

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