Friday, February 18, 2011

Public Service Announcement: I Was A Victim of Racial Profiling or I Might Have Just Broken A Law

I got pulled over on the way back from dropping the boys off at preschool yesterday.  I have not been pulled over since I moved to Texas, over 10 years ago.  It was traumatic for me. I am weak.

Apparently the local police have a "campaign" going about pulling over into the furthest possible lane if you see a police officer has pulled over another car in front of you.  If you can't pull into the far lane, you have to reduce your speed to 20 mph under the posted limit.  I know this now. 

I'm being your best friend by telling you.  Please mail me a check for $50 because I just might have saved you hundreds.

First, let me say I think this is a fantastic law.  I fully support the safety of the officers that serve and protect us.  I have all the respect in the world for those that serve as police, fire, etc....except for the cute guy that pulled me over.  I want to punch his face in at his earliest convenience.

See, I tried to get in the other lane, but there were too many cars for me to wedge in, so I started to brake and carefully watch the police car and the car that was pulled over.  I always do that.  I had no clue that the masses of cars pulled over that I had been seeing recently were due to this "campaign" for a law that I didn't know the specifics of until yesterday. 

I assumed everyone being pulled over were speeding, or were simply evil of course. 

Anyway, I reduced my speed to apparently 8 mph under the speed limit when the officer clocked me. I believe him, I have no clue what it was, but I know I wasn't going over the speed limit so I'll believe his 8.

I immediately start shaking because I am chicken shit for anyone in authority. I get this from my Mother.  It's a fun quirk in our otherwise sparkling personalities.  I am instantly slightly scared if I feel I might be in trouble.  I really didn't know what I had done though so I tried to stay calm.

As the officer popped his head into my window I noticed he was really cute.  I instantly thought, of course he is going to be nice to me. I'm nice.  I have a dirty diaper sitting on the seat next to me.  I forgot to brush my teeth this morning.  I have a crying baby in the back and 3 other car seats in the car.  I'm driving a minivan.  Clearly I look like I'm being punished enough.  Besides, I still had no clue what I could have done wrong. 

I tried to make light of things and tell him my boys were going to be devastated that the one time I get pulled over, they aren't in the car.  Ha Ha Ha....oh, he isn't laughing.  Officer Cuteness is not amused by me.  Perhaps his cuteness has overridden is ability to understand humor.  Surely he would have at least smiled if he were a normal person.  Maybe he has too much metal on him?  I think my Mom sent me an article on how that damages your brain.  I'll look it up later.

I handed him my license and car insurance and he informs me of my violation. He hands me a bright orange flier about the law regarding moving to the other lane or reducing by 20 mph and mentions that this is a "campaign" they are doing right now to inform people.  I apologized, informed him I didn't know that it had to be 20 mph below the limit and thanked him for letting me know. 

See, I genuinely like knowing the rules.  I love the rules.  Rules give a sense of order and safety so that I can feel confident knowing I am not going to get in trouble because I won't be breaking them. Also, again, really love officer safety, no complaints from me on trying to protect their lives.  I'm totally on board!  Thank you Officer Cuteness, you are attractive and helpful!

He walks back to his car with my license for what I assume will be a routine check to make sure I'm not wanted for robbing a convenience store or stabbing my boyfriend, (or I was thinking he might just want a copy of my license picture because I look so good in that photo,) and I try to calm Stella down.  He had informed me that I wasn't to leave the car, so I didn't go retrieve her pacifier like I wanted to....see how good I am at following rules when I KNOW them.

He walks back to my window and hands me two stickers for the boys and then informs me he has written me a ticket for my violation and I have to sign here.  WHAT?!?!?  Thanks for the stickers Cuteness but surely you are confused.  Stop wearing all that damn metal, it is jacking with your head!  What the hell kind of an campaign is this? 
(I secretly think I was part of racial profiling.  I hear Caucasian, suburban housewives are being victimized by lots of police officers. Really, it's true.)

Perhaps your "campaign" should have included signs and distributing bright orange fliers to people's doors or posting them at Starbucks and Target where us normal people spend all our time.  Perhaps writing a boatload of warnings would be more campaign like.  You don't screw the Mom with the screaming baby in the back seat just trying to get home to her few hours of silence before she goes back to pick up her additional screamers.  A campaign implies there is a distribution of information, not a sabotage. See, you are running a fundraiser, not a campaign.
In fairness to the police there is one flashing sign I saw that says to move over or reduce your speed when encountering an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.  This is bare bones helpful when you plan on being sticklers on the 20 mph aspect of the slow down rule. 

Please give more information and don't just post it on a flashing sign on a road with a speed limit of 55 mph.  I basically read two words at a time the last 10 times I drove by it.  I can't begin to tell you how much brain power that took me to recall the last two words and piece it all together.  I'm not that smart anymore.

So, I signed my name.  I took the stickers.  I told him I'd give the boys the stickers the week I paid the ticket since I wouldn't be able to afford to FEED them after I gave the police department our grocery budget for that week.  I'm sure the satisfaction of having a stick on silver badge will sustain them all week though.  Thanks Officer Cuteness, you're really helping out here!  Then I flipped him the bird, told him he had metal brain damage and drove off.  I was such a bad ass.

OK, I really just signed my name, took the stickers, fought back tears, apologized again and then slowly drove home crying.  I'm pathetic.

The truth is, I do love rules and I believe you are responsible for the consequences of your actions. I am constantly preaching to the boys that regardless of whether they do something on purpose or on accident, they are in charge of what happens as a result of their behavior.  You pay when you do something wrong, whether you meant to or not.  Crap! 

I do still want to punch Officer Cuteness in the face. I really wish I would have had the guts to tell him in a respectful and polite manner that I think there should be a better manner in which to increase awareness of this law than to slap housewives in minivans with large fines.  But overall, a rule is a rule and I am responsible for my actions.

If only he could have just put me in timeout instead.  I'm assuming you actually periodically do get some bad guys Cuteness so thanks for that, I look forward to paying for all the additional metal you are going to have to carry around in the future. 

Protect and Serve people.


Nick Riviera said...

The social welfare system has a public service institution for traumatic experiences. This is similar to the therapy nottingham that we conduct for patients with semi PTSD.

Olya Olegovna said...
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