Years ago, I thought about writing a book about the strange things that happened in my life. The title wasn’t original. You Can’t Make This $*%& Up. I think it’s a phrase most of us have used. I never wrote that book, but I did set up one of the categories of this blog with that title. I have been very hesitant writing about my unique and unusual stories. That is until yesterday.
I was driving with a friend to an appointment. I told her I drove like a granny. She said “I know”. I asked why she didn’t make fun of me. She said “you may be slow, but I felt safe”. Phew, that was a relief. I told her there was a reason why I drove slow. I told her a story. She thought it was hysterical. Something that would only happen to me. She said I should share it. It was time. I had to agree. So, here it is.
I was driving to the cardiologist because I had been having chest pains. My primary doctor thought it was a good idea to check it out. I knew it was a “grieving heart”, but doctor knows best. Anyhow, I was driving down the freeway to my appointment when a police officer pulled up behind me. He quickly turned his lights on. I shrugged my shoulders and thought “can’t be me…I’m only going 40 mph”.
Not only was I driving like a granny, but there was an accident on the side of the road. His lights were on so that traffic would slow so he could navigate four lanes of traffic. Duh! That’s why I was driving 40 in a 60. Made sense to me. I don’t think anyone else would beg to differ. Well, there was one person who would. The officer who turned on his sirens and pulled me to the side of the freeway.
Visual. 40-something-year-old mom of three teenagers in a minivan from suburbia. You can see it. Right? Now, I was shaking in my boots. The 20-something year old police officer, who could have been my son, told me that he originally was pulling me over for expired tags. Well, now, instead of a complimentary warning. I was getting a ticket. All I could think of was “now I’m really going to have a heart attack.”
I thanked and apologized to him profusely. Tick. Tick. Tick. I’m going to be late. After 15 minutes, I slowly pull away. Imagine. Slower than I had before. Plus, paranoid to do anything wrong. Perfect timing for a cardiology appointment. When I arrived, I ran to the doctor’s office to check in. I hadn’t even glanced at my ticket yet. I filled out all the paperwork then pulled the ticket out of my purse to see what the damages where.
Damages?! I was charged with fleeing and alluding a police officer in my mini-van. I was having heart palpitations. The doctor was running late so I told his staff I was stepping into the hall. I was hyperventilating by this time. Fleeing and alluding an officer is a felony. A felony where I live is a hefty fine, plus six months jail time and community service. It was a “WTF” moment.
I’m in the hallway pacing back and forth waiting for Mr. Attorney to pick up his phone. I’m having hot sweats and trembling. He finally picks up. He listens to my whole story and bursts out laughing. Not funny ha-ha. Laughing hysterically. He told me to picture it. Forty-something-year-old soccer mom from suburbia driving in her minivan charged with fleeing and alluding. He couldn’t breathe. Well, neither could I.
Mr. Attorney told me not to worry. The charges would never stick. Blah. Blah. Blah. He wasn’t charged with fleeing and alluding. Nope. Nah. Nada. He could laugh all he wanted. I was losing years in minutes. A heart attack was imminent. Suddenly, the cardiologist came out to get me and immediately said “I wasn’t going to do this, but I think it would be a great time for you to have a stress test.” No s*(? Sherlock!
Amazingly, my stress test came out normal. Really? Machine must have been faulty. Since my attorney thought the story was so funny, I decided to seek out a friend who worked in the city police department. I called her. She and her husband were my angels for the next few months. I told her my story. She was dumbfounded. Her husband had been listening in and interrupted after a few minutes.
I had forgotten that her husband was the Chief of Police, Traffic of the city where I was “detained”. He inquired about the officer and then asked for his badge number. Well, apparently, my police officer had a reputation for charging people with ridiculous offenses. Thank God for friends. Letters were written on my behalf to let the courts know about my good character. Yes, “the courts”.
Six weeks later, I stood in front of the traffic court judge and approximately 100 other traffic violators. When the judge read the charges filed against me, he laughed. Yes. I said he laughed. Again, not a funny ha-ha, but hysterically. I dimly smiled and let out a small, strained giggle and pleaded “not guilty, sir”. Through his tears of laughter, he managed to tell the court that “I’m sorry. I do not try felons in my court. Next!”
My friend and her husband were with me the whole time for support. Thank God or I would have passed out. Next stop. Criminal court. This judge was a bit more stern. If he thought my story was funny, he didn’t show it at all. I pleaded “not guilty” again. I truly wanted to vomit. The court officer was chuckling. I was dying. I had all my charges dropped, paid my court fees, and am now a felon-free citizen.
I can laugh now when I tell my “fleeing and alluding” story. Admittedly, it took a while before I thought it was funny at all. Now, I look back and think “I should have laughed my way through it, too.” It is pretty funny I must say. The most ironic thing about it is that I am one of the most careful, slow, grandma-like drivers that I know. I’m afraid to go more than 10 miles over the speed limit.
As cliché as this may sound, the biggest lesson that I’ve learned from this experience and have been reminded of on numerous occasions is that “this too shall pass”. It is all about timing. Not my time, but God’s time. I allowed this incident to stress me out more than it should have. It was being taken care of. My friends, my family, and God were all there laughing all the way. I should have been too. Laugh more. Fear less.
God makes everything happen at the right time.