I’ve never been pulled over by a cop before.
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.
WHAT DID I DO?
“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.