Friday, December 17, 2010

The One Where I Get Pulled Over

I’ve never been pulled over by a cop before.

Until yesterday.

There I was minding my own business, with my visiting mother in the car and my son in the backseat and then....

....a cop car with the lights flashing behind me.

The funny thing was, I had spotted the car sitting down the street from where I turned off and even made a comment to my mother that they were there.

And then the lights swirled behind me.

“What did I do?” I shrieked to my Mom. My mind raced. Did I use my turn signal? Yes, of course, because it bugs me when people don’t use their turn signal. Did I come to a complete stop at the stop sign? Yes, I remember placing my foot on the brake and waiting.

“Don’t panic,” Mom said calmly.

My first time being pulled over and of course my Mom was there to witness it. I mean, how embarrassing. It didn’t help that Tommy kept saying, “Are you going to be arrested?”

WAS I going to be arrested?

No, of course not, I didn’t DO anything…

Or DID I? Maybe I smacked into an antelope? You can get into a lot of trouble for hitting an antelope that roams the base. But…but…but…the car didn’t shudder as though I hit one.


“Calm down,” Mom said. She could tell I was close to losing it. I don’t know how people go through this multiple times. And how do those women flirt with the cops? There was no way I could possibly flirt in the state I was in. What I wanted to do was scream, “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!” which would NOT be appropriate to bellow at a police officer.

It didn’t help that the cops were taking forever in getting out of their vehicle.

“What’s going on?” I asked my Mom. “Why aren’t they coming? What did I DO?”

“I can’t recall you doing anything wrong,” Mom answered.

Oh, God. I started to chew on my lower lip. This was cruel, making me wait like this, wondering what I did wrong. Maybe this was part of the punishment.

“My registration. I’ll need it and I don’t know where it is exactly.” I reached over and opened the dashboard. A bunch of paper popped out. “It’s somewhere in all of this.” I started to dig through it. And you know, the ironic thing is, Tom has always complained to me that he HATES when people aren’t organized and don’t know exactly where their information is.

Sorry, Tom. Since he’s been gone, I find that I’m unorganized. I do try to be organized, like my mother, who would probably have all the information neatly encased in a folder labeled REGISTRATION.

“They’re coming,” Mom said.

“I can’t find my registration. And my insurance! Oh my GOD, I don’t know where my proof of insurance is. I may have to call them and—”

“Hello ma’am. Do you know why I pulled you over?”

The cop was talking to me.

Asking me a question that I had NO IDEA what the answer was to. I had a flashback to my high school French class when my scary old gimlet of a teacher banged her wrinkled hand on my desk, demanding a question to me in French. I had stared at her blankly, with wide eyes, as she screamed, “VITE, VITE, Mademoiselle, VITE, VITE!”

“I have no idea what I did,” I answered, and hoped that it didn’t come out snarky. I didn’t mean to be snarky, I really had NO IDEA.

“You were going 24, and the speed limit is 15.”



It’s just, going 15 is hard.

“I’m sorry,” I said meekly.

“I’ll need to see your ID, license, registration and proof of insurance.”

I looked at my Mom. “Any luck?”

She was going through everything. “Amber, you have papers from 2003 in here.”

The cop snorted with laughter.

“I’m sorry,” I said again. “Normally I’m more organized, my husband helps me out but he’s in Korea.”

“It’s okay,” the cop said, smiling. At least he was a friendly cop.

I handed over my ID and license. I found the registration paper I needed and gave him that. But the insurance paper was still missing.

“It’s here, somewhere…” I mumbled.

“This insurance is from 2008. You really need to clean this out,” Mom said.

I finally found what I needed and the cop looked it all over. “Your last name sounds familiar.”

“My husband was…well, still is a cop.”

“Ahh, okay, I think I worked with him.” The cop handed my stuff back. “Look, I’ll let you go with a warning this time. Us cops, we take care of our own. But just make sure you mind the speed limits, okay?”

I nodded. “Of course. Yes.”

“You have a good night.”

“You too. Thank you. I appreciate it.”

And then that was it. My first experience being pulled over.

“You need to be careful, Mommy,” Tommy said from the backseat. He had been observing all of this with saucer sized eyes.

“I will,” I promised.

“How come you didn’t get a ticket?” He almost sounded disappointed.

“Because I lucked out since your Daddy is a cop.”

“Are you going to get under arrest next time?”

“No. I’d probably just get a ticket if it happens again.”

Tommy gasped. “And then you could go to jail?”

What was with him wanting me to go to jail? I mean, how rude!

“No, Tommy.” I drove along for a few minutes.

“Make sure you’re going the speed limit. Be careful,” Tommy warned.

“I am , Tommy.”

I have a feeling that he’s not going to drop the whole being pulled over thing for quite some time.

And I can only imagine what he’s going to tell his teachers.


  1. Does anyone actually go 15? I don't think so. I've been pulled over 3 times and each time I sobbed like a baby. I'm ticket-free to this day. I will say I didn't cry to get out of a ticket, it's an uncontrollable reaction :)

  2. At least it was your first time being pulled over. I've been pulled over so many times its hard to keep track. Luckily, my husband knows a lot of the police officers in our town and now I'm more likely to get a warning. I do know that tears and cleavage do not get you out of a ticket. (The cleavage wasn't mine, but that of a passenger in a very low-cut top.)

  3. How lovely to have 2 generations bear witness to your first time. 15 is for school zones. Anywhere else and it's a punishment for having a driver's license. Word.

  4. I can't believe you got pulled over for doing 24! The two times I got a ticket, I was doing 60 in a 45.

  5. i have a friend who lives on a road where the speed limit is 7. SEVEN. really? why not 5? or 10? why split the difference at 7? my point is that anything under 30 is just ridiculous. and i'm one of the ones who's been pulled over more times than i care to count. but i'm STILL unorganized. you'd think after the 10th or so time, i'd have my registration and insurance card taped to the window next to my driver's license so i could skip the whole "roll down the window" portion of the deal. i have a lead's a problem.

  6. My car would probably die if I ever went that slow.

    It idles at 35.

  7. I'd have to have the brakes on to go 15. At least you got out of a ticket and didn't get arrested.

  8. Tommy will remember (and re-tell) this FOREVER!

  9. so glad you got a warning. and it should be illegal to go that slow.

  10. My car coasts faster than 20 MPH. I hate that the speed limit on my street is 20 because I have to ride the breaks the whole way and my van is 8 years old and the breaks are kind of bad and I'm sure riding them down a hill is not helping the situation.

  11. Glad you didn't get a ticket. I got pulled over for going 26 in a 15mph zone. it is really hard to go 15.

  12. I'm so gald you didn't get a ticket! Poor Tommy thinking you are going to jail! :)

  13. thanks goodness for a cop husband.. lol...

    glad you didn't get a ticket!!

  14. It never gets un-scary. I've been pulled over 8 times (don't judge lol) and have gotten 5 speeding tickets. I haven't gotten any for two years though! lol

  15. I don't think my car even does 15. I think it just starts up and goes right to 25

  16. You'll probably read about it in his school diary at parents' evenings. That's what always used to happen to us.

  17. Haha! Oh how funny. Yeah I haven't been pulled over but maybe once and it was frightening! Thank goodness for nice cops who give warnings!

  18. I think they take so long to get to your car because they're running your tags to make sure everything's in order with that. And calling it in - "Yeah, I just pulled over this chick and she is fah-reeking out. It's hysterical."

    I only cried once, and it was AFTER the cop gave me a WARNING. She said, "Ma'am, Ma'am, it's okay. I gave you a warning, not a ticket. It's okay." I wailed, "I'm sorry, I'm just having a VERY BAD DAY!!" And I was. Felt like an ass about losing it, but I couldn't help it.

    And all of you who can't go 15 need to start driving in my neighborhood that has no sidewalks and people walking and kids playing EVERYWHERE in the road, and you'll LEARN to go that slow.

  19. Wow, glad you didn't get arrested. I wouldn't want to hear of Tommy having to drive the car home.

  20. UGH 15mph zones should be illegal. My first car almost idled at 15mph, I was *constantly* speeding at school in that car.

    You poor thing.

  21. My husband was pulled over once for not having the right tags on the car, and our youngest announced to everyone at school that Daddy had been arrested over the weekend and taken to jail.

  22. Cars go faster than 15 when idling!!!!

  23. no one goes the speed limit. I think they need to raise em or make it a law that cars can't go fast. Because when those limits were put in place, cars SUCKED at speed.

  24. at least he was entertained by your side =) and you got off with a warning lol!
    I SHOULD have gotten pulled over by the motorcycle cop I ZOOMED by at 80 in a 55 yesterday. I had my invisibility cloak on I guess =)

  25. I can't believe this is the first time you've been pulled over, that is incredible. Good job, you must be an awesome driver

  26. I have the HARDEST time going 15.. especially when my cruise doesn't work that low. I'm terrified of security forces and their stupid speed limits. One day they'll get me just flying past them not paying attention.

  27. I can soooo relate with this post. My husband is a police officer and they really DO watch after their own. He sounded really nice! Tommy is going to be a backseat driver after that experience. My friend's son was in the car when she got pulled over and everywhere they went, he would announce "Mommy got arrested by a police man for going too fast". I'm glad you didnt get the ticket!

  28. I'm glad your first time being pulled over you didn't get a ticket!! I totally agree that it would be embarrassing to have your mom in the car, but at least she kinda kept you calm and found your paper for ya. I still have never been pulled over (knock on wood) and if I ever do I would probably have the exact same reaction as you. My husband is a MPD officer and he gets pulled over all the time and all I have to say is... thank goodness for "warnings"!!!!

  29. Like Corinne said, it's amazing that you haven't been pulled over before now...I have been pulled over twice ever but I'm still young!

  30. Your son is hilarious! It really sounded like he wanted you to go to jail, until the end of the post!

  31. How dare you go 24 You are right, your son will never let you live it down.

  32. So what you're telling me is, I need to marry a cop? Kidding. I hate that immediate feeling of thinking you did something wrong. Horrible.

  33. Glad you didn't get a ticket. Whew! It's great to "know" people! Tom will probably get a good laugh out of this!

  34. the first time my 5 year old is in the car when one of us gets pulled over is going to be just awful. i know we will never hear the end of it. she already is obsessed with the cops and the "bad guys." she'd totally think we were one of them.

  35. Who has a 15 mph speed limit?!?! Sheesh.

    I'm sure your ears will be burning the minute Tommy hits the classroom :-)

    WIshing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! jj

  36. Tommy will for sure have quite the tale to tell. I bet the boys will look at you with awe for months... Congrats on your first pull-over!

  37. So lucky!! Isn't it typical that your mum was in the car when you first get pulled over!!

    cool blog, pop over to bigwords if you ever get a chance x

  38. Well, it motivated you to clean out the glove box huh?


    15 mph is a retarded speed limit. I'm surprised they bothered to enforce it - they usually have donuts to tend to first.

  39. I only got ONE speeding ticket, but it was a whopper!!! I've never sped again!

    You're lucky you're a cop's wife!!!!

  40. heehee, Tommy cracks me up. I love him! I guess it'll be good to have a little backseat driver checking up on you from time to time ;)

  41. 15? Sheesh, it's quicker to jog! At least you had your documentation, if not handy, secreted in the glove compartment. I always have to trudge up to the cop shop within the week to produce it..

    Merry Chrismas!

  42. Its good sometimes to get those perks!

  43. He must pull over every car under the sun if he's stationed in a part of town with a 15mph limit!

  44. I would've loved to have had my mom in the passenger seat the first time I was pulled over.

    However, I was 16 and I got pulled over for HAVING MY BRIGHTS ON.


  45. Unfortunately, my first time getting pulled over was not as humorous. I wish it had been, though. I actually did get a ticket. It sucked...

  46. Oh, God, if that had been my mom, I never would have heard the end of it. Moochie would have been bad, but mom would be worse. She once gave me a set of directions to my brother's house blown up to 150%, with key phrases highlighted, with a map with the route drawn in, in duplicate, in an envelope with the word "Directions" on the front on a printed label. As a rebellious act, I'm chronically disorganized.

    Glad you got out of the speeding ticket. I've never gotten one either.

  47. I am sooooo glad you didn't get a ticket. it's nice that they were friendly. I've gotten a ticket every time I've been pulled over. No friendliness for me!


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