The sun was starting to peak over the tops of the tall pine trees that flooded the sides of those windy country roads. The music was turned up so loud that my coffee danced with me to the beat. It’s pretty normal for me to speed, but that day I was going a little faster than I usually push. The kids were at home safely driving someone else crazy for a change, and I was free. Sure, I was heading off to work, but I was free. I could drive, and dance, and sing with no interruption. If I wanted to, I could stop for more coffee and walk into the building without having to unbuckle three tiny humans whose arms just won’t bend. I could grab a donut and not only eat the whole thing without sharing, but I could start eating and continue eating until the donut was gone… the way God always intended a donut be eaten.
Then the fuzz ruined it all.
In my relatively short driving life span of ten years I have been pulled over twice before this. The week I got my license at 16 I left a family holiday party pissed and sped off down one of my hometown roads. Radar clocked me going 57 in a 35. The cop shared very little sympathy for how hard my teenage life was and issued me a pretty sky blue ticket. Exactly two weeks later, I was pulled over on the highway near my job going 78 in a 60. Cops must undergo some sort of situational training that instructs them to kick sad teenagers when they’re down because he too issued me another powder blue ticket. I thought for a few days that I had enough now to make a scrapbook page, but instead decided to ignore the second one. I had already told my dad about the first one and after he finished laughing at me, I decided I was old enough to handle things on my own from there on out.
Well, I guess the state disagrees with my new found sense of responsibility and thought it was a better option to take my license away. A few weeks later, dad by my side, I sat down in a small court room before a jolly old judge wearing a Santa Claus tie. Keep in mind, it was only the beginning of November at this point, and I had an uncontrollable teenage illness to mock such premature celebration of the Christmas holiday. This judge either thought he was Santa, or still believed he was going to get his new shiny red bike this year. Either way, the second you know someone is this full of fairy dust, you have all the power.
“Wow, Your Honor, that’s a lovely tie,” I said to the judge all wide eyed and innocent. “I’m very excited for the holidays this year as well.”
My dad literally spit out his coffee and looked towards me with eyes filled of both rage and pride. I learned from the best growing up; watching my dad with our police force was like watching Jack Nicholson unravel in The Shining.
I lost count of how many times my dad threw his hands in the air yelling “Well thank God you were here, such an upstanding police force; What ever would we do without you officer…”
I stuck my tongue out at my dad and continued making doe eyes at the judge. When he started questioning why I was going so fast I shared a sad story about how I thought I was being followed. My dad’s eyes rolled so often that day I thought he might’ve been having a stroke; but deep down he was proud to have raised a mini-him.
The judge gave me some tips about how to properly get away from any future stalkers, and gently squeezed my hand, wishing for my future safety on the road.
I had to buy the city some canned food, and went on my way.
Now, I learned a very important lesson that day. Speeding is a dangerous game. The police are everywhere, and if you are stupid enough to speed like I was you’re going to get caught. I learned never to speed again.
No, I can’t even lie in written form.
I learned how to be a better speeder; to look for brake lights; to watch around turns for the assholes in the bushes.
Ten years people, ten years since I was last pulled over and this mo-fo pulled me over on my morning of freedom. Radar clocked me at 65 in a 45, and sure enough I was going at least that. All I could hear was my husband rambling on in my head about how he “told me so”, and “it was only a matter of time” wah wah wah. Sure, he had told me over and over since we met that I drive like a maniac and that they will just throw me in jail when they catch me. If it weren’t for my kids and the fact that I drive a god damn minivan everywhere I go, I’m sure I would have been caught sooner. You can only get those vans to a certain speed and you’ll burn through a tank of gas faster than a diesel engine. Plus, Trollz soundtrack isn’t exactly the most exciting speeding music. Minivan’s are a part of this unwritten rule in the police force. No cop wants to pull over a sleep deprived mom with a van full of yelling kids. I’ve driven around with this false sense of security blowing past cops, waving directly to them. You know that cops thinking, “Oh hell no I’m not messing with that, have a nice day ma’am.”
But of course, my husband and I just recently bought a third vehicle, because we have so many offspring and he’s forcing me to work. (Not really, I’m forcing me to work so I don’t kill my kids). A Jeep Patriot, which we found out at the BMV is technically classified as a Station Wagon; so we now own two mini-vans and a station wagon. We are the epitome of cool. I decided to take out the new wagon for work that day, and forgot my invisibility shield on the minivan at home. Not even ten minutes away from home and those flashing lights are in my back mirror.
The cop didn’t buy my story; I don’t think she even believed I have kids. Apparently, she doesn’t have kids either because any other parent would let me off the hook; and tell me to enjoy my freedom. They would also give me a little something from their hidden flask. We all know every parent has one. The only thing worse than an emotional teenager, is a burnt out mom. Even worse, because I was going 20 over, the fine upstanding officer REQUIRED I appear in court. When I asked her if I could just mail in my check she shook her finger at me like my grade school principal used to do. She wouldn’t even take my $10 bribe… that bitch.
Court was scheduled for a week later on one of the busiest work days I’ve ever had. I decided it was a good idea to add to my already insanely chaotic life and expand my business. So I had a long day of training next week, but now had to go visit the judicial system in Barberton, Ohio; lucky me. Over the years, my carefree demeanor has started to dissipate and this new OCD control freak has appeared. See, when you have three kids under the age of 5 and a husband who acts 5 some days; you learn to control every part of your life you can. From schedules, to who wears what, who eats what, and what the proper way to unload a dishwasher is. (And there most certainly is a proper way!) This control freak me doesn’t like not knowing what this judge is going to say. Will he see through my innocent mom exterior and know that I’m lying when “I swear I never speed like that”. Will he and my husband exchange glances and know that I speed every time I turn the car on. Will I have to start driving like my husband who pisses off the 90-year-old man who has to pass him on the highway?
Lucky for me, the man in front of me in court was clocked going 105 in a 55. I sighed a breath of relief and approached the judge with confidence.
“What are you doing here, this is a waste of my time.” I nodded my head in agreement with the judge. “Why were you going so fast?”
“Well your honor, I didn’t have any kids with me; and I got a little carried away,” I explained.
He smirked and titled his head slightly to the right, acknowledging that he understood.
“The cop should’ve just marked you down one mile per hour lower so you could mail in your check, this is a waste of my time and yours.”
He gave me a $30 fine, and no points.
I’m also 100% positive he would have given me a sip of that flask hidden in his robe and a fist pump if we weren’t in a court room full of people he was planning to destroy with his judicial power.
My mom game is strong.