today i had to come to new jersey on a recruiting trip for regent university, which is where i work. i wasn't thrilled about the trip in the first place because i don't like leaving my husband, i don't like leaving my buster, and i don't like going places all by myself. despite all that, i decided i would try to make the best of it. i brought fun cds, the rental car was nicer than my car (sorry, attila), and i've always thought of road trips as an excellent excuse to eat lots of snacks.
i was having an okay time for the first hour or so, pumping the never been kissed soundtrack, which is totally my jam and munching on a lovely chocolate chip muffin from wawa. i was being careful not to go too far over the speed limit - in not california, i firmly stay within 10 mph over the speed limit. i drove through a bunch of podunk towns: tomtom wasn't getting a signalsignal (hi, chad!), but i had printed out directions from google, and all was going fine.
i noticed that there was a traffic light coming up at one point, so i slowed a bit. then i noticed a police officer step into the road wearing a reflector jacket and holding a stop sign. he proceeded to stand in front of my lane. i honestly had no idea i was in any kind of trouble. i stopped in front of him and thought he was going to wave me on or something, but then he motioned for me to pull forward and roll down my window. he then informed me that i was going 64 (which i knew) in a 45 zone (which i did not know). i said a very demure "oh, my!" and he asked for my license and registration. he had me pull onto the next street, where he and his partner had cones set up so they could direct suckers like me to wait for their tickets.
things that made me mad:
1. i wasn't asleep at the wheel, people. i was alert. and i saw no 45 mph signs. i'm certain there was one. there must have been one. but i'm guessing there was just one, and i'm thinking about going back and stealing it because it's going to cost me about $175, and i should get something out of the deal.
2. i am on a work trip. i did not choose to drive through that speed trap. i will now basically be working for two and a half days straight without pay, once you deduct that ticket from my expenses.
3. i've never had a ticket before. i've never had a warning before. i would have thoroughly enjoyed some mercy.
4. the officer took his sweet time writing up the ticket. i seriously thought he forgot about me for a few minutes. rude.
5. virginia. it happened in virginia. freaking virginia.
as the officer handed me my ticket, i was calm, cordial, totally sane. and then, after he walked away, i lost it. it wasn't a dmv-worthy temper tantrum - instead, it was like someone had died. there were many tears, lots of snot, some body-racking sobs - i yelled "why?" at one point and "emily, it's not even a big deal" at several points. i think i was mourning the loss of my perfect record. or i was just super tired. either way, it wasn't pretty. i could not stop weeping, so poor husband had to talk me down over the phone. he's good at that.
in the end, i pulled myself together and drove the final five hours and made it to new jersey relatively unscathed. of course, i thought of a million things i wish i would have said to the officer as soon as i drove away, namely, "nice costume. are you a crossing guard on the side?" but i guess i'm glad i didn't. the guy was just doing his job.
in related news, the car rental place wrote down my name as "emily sazacherly," so if i had driven off and fled the scene, do you think they would have traced the rental back to me? also, if i had signed "minnie mouse" on the ticket, would i still be responsible for it? these are the things i'll be thinking about tonight, folks.