Friday, August 19, 2011

It Finally Happened

I got pulled over.
And the officer was extremely rude.  I know, I know, he has to follow a certain script in order to protect himself and so on and so forth.  but really, he was rude.

I had never been pulled over before, so I didn't know what I was supposed to do.  I racked my brain for the driver's ed lesson about what to do when you desert everything driver's ed has taught you and actually have to interact with the police, but sadly, I couldn't recall it.
And, let's face it.  Driver's ed was a long time ago.

So I pulled into a Pizza Hut parking lot with the police car behind me, and immediately proceeded to get out of the car.  The police-man put up one finger, motioning to me that I should hold on.  I guess he was running my license plates or something.
When he got out of his car, I got out of mine.  I have since been informed that this was the wrong decision as it could be perceived as a threat.  But really, do I look threatening?

I proceeded to inform the policeman that I had never been pulled over, so didn't really know what to do.
He simply said "You should have your window rolled down."  Which statement I took to mean I should be inside of my car with the window rolled down.

So I got in the car and rolled down the window.
He then walked up to my window and mumbled "License and insurance, I'm officer so-and-so with the such-and-such police department."  Without a "thank you for your cooperation" or any acknowledgement that we had interacted at all before this exact moment in time.
At this point, all I'm capable of doing is trying not to cry.  I think, if he'd been a little nicer, I would have been more composed, but as it was . . .
I could tell he would have hated me if I'd started crying, so I didn't.

But I couldn't think straight.

I started searching for the insurance, but I was in my Dad's car, so I didn't know where it was.  I kept trying to explain to him why I was digging around so much in the glove compartment, but I think he got a little nervous . . .
He said (rather gruffly) "Ma'am, just give me your license."
So I did, and he immediately asked me if the address was correct.
Of course it wasn't.  So then he asked me how long I'd lived at my current address.

I couldn't remember.

I could not remember how long I'd lived here.  In fact, I couldn't even remember my address.
That is the kind of state I'd worked myself into.  How pitiful.

He then asked me if I was aware that I had thirty days, after moving to a new address, to inform the DPS of my new address.  I may or may not have told a white lie here.  I said no, I was not aware of that.
He just shook his head and said (with a large dramatic sigh beforehand, the only bit of personality he showed the whole entire time) "Ma'am, could you please find your insurance?"

Then, of course, I found the insurance as soon as I looked into the glove compartment.  So I handed it to him.  He took it silently, and I stared straight out of my windshield in a last-ditch effort to compose myself.
As in, the tears were about to pour out of my eyes and I didn't know how much longer I could contain them.

Then I heard him say "Standby."
I was not at all sure whether he was directing that command at me or someone else.  For a moment I thought he was calling in the backup officers and was about to arrest me for who-knows-what.

But I turned to face him, and he said to me, with the least possible amount of expression in his voice,
"Well ma'am, it's your lucky day.  I've been called to another call, so I'll have to leave."

Then, do not ask me why, I looked him in the eye and said "Oh, I'm sorry," complete with a sad look on my face and the tears which were welling up anyway.
Yes, I said that, as if it was my party and he had to leave early or something.

He looked at me like I was crazy (which he probably had a right to do) and said "Ma'am, please just slow down," his voice finally expressing the frustration he must have felt with me all along.

And I'm pretty sure we both drove away extremely glad to have that experience behind us.

And I went to the DPS and changed the address on my license.
Just in case I forget again.

1 comment:

  1. Esther,
    I love your blog! I'm so sorry that the officer was rude to you :( poo
    - Kae


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