When I was in my early 20's, my mushy little brain got one degree firmer when I realized one day the way to stay out of trouble is to follow the rules. I had gotten a speeding ticket and it finally clicked with me that it wasn't the cop's fault or the road's fault. It was my fault. I had got a speeding ticket because I was speeding. It sounds simple, but you do a lot of reasoning and blaming when you're an idiot kid with a sports car. The grand mystery of why I rubbed authority figures the wrong way finally had a clear answer, at least when it came to me and speeding tickets. So, I decided not to speed anymore.
Magically, I never got another speeding ticket. Until today.
I'll save you the long, boring story that involves me getting confusing directions from a severely ill person who insists my nav is wrong, looking for an exit that was behind me in an effort to avoid construction delays that appeared anyway, two kids who had to pee, a baby singing angry opera and a large expanse of Wisconsin I hope to never see again. (By "save you a long boring story" I meant "shove it down your throat quickly". Typo.)
So there I was, lost in random Wisconsin when an unmarked cop popped out from behind some trees. I saw him point at me through his windshield. He pointed! Like a gym teacher making me line up for laps. I said to my kids, "mommy's getting a ticket."
Why do cops even ask where you are going? It doesn't matter. In my 20's when I had that CLK, I would have whipped up some tears in this scenario. Part of it would have been authentic, part of it a (usually) successful attempt to get the cop to feel sorry for little ole me. Not now. I've got real shit to cry about and I'm not wasting it on this dude. Irony, no? If I were a time-traveling cop and had 2004 me and 2014 me pitch their life cases to get out of a speeding ticket, 2014 would win. I'd say "oh honey, you go paint your mother-in-law's toenails on this bright, beautiful day. Hospice ain't gonna do it. Go on. Your kids need to pee." I'd laugh in 2004 me's face. Girl, go swing your hair somewhere.
I wish I could tell you I behaved in an exemplary manner with the cop. He asked me where I was going and I gave a curt answer. To Lake Geneva. He showed me his little speed gun thing. I said, "oh". As he walked back to his car to write up my ticket, I muttered, "have a nice day yourself" and then I got out, gave him a dirty look and retrieved my screaming baby for a nice, long nursing session on the shoulder of the road as the police car stood guard, lights flashing.
It's not the cop's fault. It's not the road's fault. I was speeding and so I got a speeding ticket. Now my kids know the rules apply to all of us . . . and this old mom wagon can burn some rubber.
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Filed under: Field Trips