The time had come. After a few years of awkward isolation I took the family to Ohio for a visit with “my side” … the mom and dad, the sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and family friends. It was a wild ride.
Here’s how it started …
Thursday came quickly and without warning I was slammed with a migraine of epic proportions. I left work early, tried all the magical fixers to little help. I dread the 8 hour drive on a good day. This day it seemed like an extra dose of torture. We had planned for this trip weeks in advance. I was about to scrap it and make a new plan.
I booked a room for half way, I figured if I could break up the ride and sleep it would be better than 8 full hours of migraine misery. It worked out pretty well, she drove the first half way and we slept a few hours. In the morning I felt like a new woman.
I was ready.
I was pumped.
I was driving the rest of the way.
It started off great, we left in time to beat big city morning traffic jams and we were on our way.
I was flying.
We crossed the destination state line and traffic seemed to cone into a 2 lane slow down. I noticed the state trooper facing the south bound lane and carefully watched my speed as we passed. When we were clear I tore out of my choked lane and took that open 3rd. After all we had passed the trooper car, we were in the clear.
Except that, no, we were not.
It took maybe 10 seconds before I realized the gray sedan coming up quick in my rear view had a light bar. Damn. I got out of his way to the middle lane. He followed. The lights came on. My stomach sank. Damn.
I said “he got me” out loud. Like in an old western where somebody gets shots and falls dramatically to the ground. Except the only thing falling was my hope to get to the destination anytime soon. I pulled over and waited. Embarrassed yes but mostly curious to know what he clocked me at. We just bought this car in May and I have yet to stick the gauge to the point it bounces. Not that I would do that. (I would totally do that)
The nice man in uniform and spiffy matching hat with dark shades greets my open window with a “good morning.” It really was a beautiful day till he showed like a ninja behind me. He says the reason he pulled me over was for speed. He asks me if I even saw him. I reply I did not.
Let’s be honest, if I had we wouldn’t have been having that conversation on the side of the interstate.
He asks for the required documentation and it takes an alarmingly long time for my partner in crime to locate it. The dog is barking, the teenagers in the back seat are being awfully judgemental and nobody is pleased with my antics. The officer fills the time with unecessaty chitchat. He tells me he clocked me after I passed him at 90 and the speed limit is 70. He asks me if I knew that. I say yes. Then corrected myself that I knew the speed limit but didn’t know how fast I was going. I really didn’t but I knew I wasn’t doing 70. This was a bad time to admit it so I kept it to myself. He tells me I am definetly getting a citation and it should just take a few minutes before I can be on my way again.
We sat waiting. I took the opportunity to tell the kids speeding was bad. All the while I couldn’t look at the passenger seat. She was gonna burn me down with the fire coming out of her eyes. She was wearing sunglasses but I knew she wanted to burn me to ash because there was steam coming out her ears. She was not pleased we were going to be paying for my poor vision and lead foot. My bad.
I got my paperwork. Man in the uniform and spiffy hat tells me I can come back for court (not a chance in hell) or pay the fine (it’s how much?!) and it had to be done by such date and can be sent to said address. Alrighty. Fine. Got it.
Lesson learned? Don’t get caught speeding. Don’t trust there is only one cruiser. Break your long trips up but still expect delays. Finally … you will not be allowed to drive the rest of the weekend if you get a $200 citation on the way there.