I got pulled over the other day, for speeding in a place where I always drive, and I always speed. The officer was so quick and polite and had the kindest eyes, so when he “let me off” with “just a” ticket for impeding traffic or starting a riot or some such, I thought I’d gotten away with something. That we had made a real connection. He got me. He knew my life was hard enough.
So, he gave me, not a full speeding ticket, but just a loving reminder ticket. A “rest assured, ma’am, there won’t be any points on your license” ticket.
That till cost me $180.
The only thing I learned (besides possibly a reminder of my white privilege) is that I’m not anymore young enough or cute enough to squeak out of a ticket with my eyelashes or bosom full of remorse, and not yet old enough and frail enough to sneak out of one with fresh baked car cookies or charm.
In an animated film, I’m in that gap between nubile wood fairy and wise old tree.
Probably my citizen’s perspective that any of that can influences an officer doing his/her job is offensive to police officers. I broke the law, there are dollar-dollar-bill-y’all consequences of that. That is all.
But, still. I used to get out of way more tickets.
I do find it interesting how my encounters with strangers are changing as I age. I think I’m teetering on the edge of reminding men in their 20s more of their moms than of their penises. I’m OK with that. But it’s different.
Ten years ago, if a stranger said something to me, about me, I would feel offended and threatened. It happens so rarely now, I’m caught off guard and am like, “Thanks! Do you really think so? I just slipped it into a size 12 jeans. Hollah!” The other day, when I was told I had pretty eyes, I got out of my car and mouth-kissed the cashier at the Jimmy John’s drive-through.
That’s the last time she’ll compliment a stranger.
Change happens. Aging happens. I feel great about how I look. I’m on a path toward silver streaks in my hair and playful crow’s feet, strength of body, and grace and wisdom. I love all of that and think it’s very attractive and positive. Working hard on minding over matter.
Ah, well. I’ll pay that speeding ticket. I’m moving forward in life, and I’m doing it quickly.