Early this morning I received my first ticket for a traffic violation. I can’t believe it! I have been driving just weeks shy of 22 years! I’ve only been pulled over once for speeding (coming up 85th in Kirkland) but for some reason I did not get a ticket. I think it was because I lived in Redmond at the time, at least that’s the only thing I can think of because he specifically asked if my ID had my current address — out of his jurisdiction perhaps? No idea why that would matter. I’m clueless when it comes to these things. Anyway, it’s 6:35 in the morning and I’m rushing home to get ready for work – wanted to be to work by 7 am. I’m zipping down the residential street in the blue stealth bomber and all of a sudden I see lights behind me, no siren. I pull over thinking the cop car will pass. Nope. I’m wracking my brain trying to think why I’d be getting pulled over. There wasn’t enough room for him to get behind me so I turned right and parked. Okay, what do I need to do? Oh yes, shut off the engine, kill the radio, get my insurance card. The Officer of the Law is young. I’m handing him my license and proof of insurance as he gets to the car with his Big flashlight in my face. Registration? Oh yeah. The one I grab from the glove box is expired. Okay, there is another one in there somewhere – eureka! I’m calm, not really nervous, just annoyed because I really had a focus of getting to work on time. The officer asks me if I know why I was pulled over and I replied no. He said failure to stop at the stop sign. Oooooh yeah – my “slow down – brake for a moment – no one else at the 4-way – GO!” stop. I thought it was good enough! Work with me, Officer! Of course I didn’t say that. So, he says he’ll be back and goes to his car. Lights still shining in mine, blue lights still flashing – sorry neighbor people that are trying to sleep! But wait — I always said that when I got my first ticket I was going to put it in my Journal! I thought it would be quite a monumental day since I’d be around 73 years old! Oh well, the day came a little early. It just so happened that I had my journal with me in my backpack! I whip it out and begin my entry: 19 January 2007 Friday: Today I am getting my first traffic ticket after nearly 22 years of driving!… I give details of the incident and then leave a place for the name, badge number and years of service of the Officer. I want him to sign my journal! I’m excited! Posterity will love this! Heck, I was getting quite a kick out of it myself! The officer comes back and shows me my ticket and explains the options that I have. I hold up my Journal and proceed to tell him that this is my first traffic ticket in almost 22 years of driving and I want him to write his name, badge number and years of service in it. I’m possibly a babbling idiot, but it’s the Journal! Everything goes in the Journal! He shakes his head and says that no, he can’t. What? Why not? He says it is against the rules and it’s being too social. What? Fine! I see his name on his shirt “Officer R. King” and then he points to the ticket and tells me all the information I need is right there. Badge #349. I ask how long he’s been a cop and he says 6 years in California and 2 years here. Okay, that is 8 total. I write it down. Take the ticket, put it in the journal. He tells me to have a nice day and I say thank you while wondering why a cop who spent 6 years in California is such a stickler about the “California Stop”!
On the rest of the drive home I’m still in shock. I was also annoyed – it was 6:56 am now – late for work. Even listening to Saturday Night Fever did not cheer me up. I mean c’mon, it’s me, Miss Follow all the Rules. I’m especially conscientious while driving. So, how did this happen!?!? What is this experience telling me – to slow down and come to a complete stop in my life? To take a Different route (I almost did!)? I’m not sure. Maybe it was just one of those things.
I was still mulling it over as I got ready for work. I wasn’t going to but I finally looked at the ticket. $101 bucks! Are you kidding me? That is ridiculous! I should have at least gotten my first ticket for something like going 95 in a 65 or something!
Anyway, a mere traffic violation leads me to new discoveries about myself. I am no longer on my own “never gotten a ticket neener neener” pedestal. I am just like the rest of the People and I think that is what bothers me the most!! First beer, now the ticket… what will be next … coffee?!?