Friday, June 03, 2005

Guilty, Your Honor

I did something today I've never done before. I went to court for a speeding ticket!! When I was stopped a few weeks ago, I was not a happy camper. But the day had been so long (was coming home from Vitt's eye appt....2 hours away), that all I wanted was to get home. Ya know? So he said I was going 60 in a 45. No I wasn't. Ask any of my friends, they'll be glad to tell you I am the slowest driver ever. I actually have one friend who almost refuses to ride with me (mostly because I drive a mini-van and she's too cool for that). When she does that rare thing of riding, I am constantly reminded that I need to go faster. Longevity (27 years of friendship) gives me the right to flip her off and keep doing what I want.

Being the stay at home Mom that I am, I decide that the girls need to go with me. Might be educational. No, Vitt did not go. I did not need my 14 month old to be put in jail for disturbing the peace this young. I mostly took Makenna because she has a virus and Des's house did not need any more sickness added to it. I secretly thought maybe she would breathe next the officer's way who stopped me....give him a few days off from work to let people drive freely. ANYWAY...we arrive and Paige (who loves to send her axiety level higher than Jupiter) asks me if I am nervous. Makenna is behind me preparing to get out of the van ..talking in a voice full of mourning...."Here goes the pool money (Insert BIG sigh here)" I notice a young lady getting out of her car next to me.

We cross the road to go in and I make small talk with the young lady. We both agree not to drive through this town again and pay for their parks. She is nice..friendly smile. So, we enter this metal building. We're talking bare bones here, folks. Metal folding chairs...concrete air conditioning vents above hanging out of ceiling. HELLO? We're paying for ugrades here, people. Allott your dollars the right way, ok?

Guess what? The whole process was very interesting. I totally listened in what the charges were for each person going up there. They made no move to be quiet about it. And it wasn't all for speeding. There was disorderly conduct....loitering...etc etc. (Did I mention that before we went in I had a serious discussion with the girls on how if they did not behave- they would be put in jail? and Paige better not hit her sister or she'll be arrested for assault and battery?) Had to mention that in order to tell this. During the judicial process a prisoner was brought in complete with orange jumpsuit, white socks and orange flip flops. OH, don't forget the handcuffs with hands behind his back. You should have seen Paige's eyes. How big did they get? I leaned forward to whisper in her ear...."That could be you." She turns to look at me in horror. I nod my head and say.."Keep up with that nasty attitude and it will get you right where he is" She shakes her head emphatically and says...."Not me. Uh uh. No way." My parenting success story for the day there.

Remember the young lady? She went before me and after her fine was stated, she proceeded to tell the judge pretty much how it sucked in that town. That the signs needed to be put in better places and how the town was just sucking in poor unsuspecting souls to pay huge fines in order to keep from having points taken from their license. THEN...she says...I was discussing this with someone (pointing behind her now) as we walked in. During this, I was looking at my ticket because I knew I was coming up. As I hear this, my head shoots up and this look of "OMG...don't look at me...don't point at me" flew across my face. Right then and there I decided to listen to my Daddy ( I am Southern and therefore allowed to call the man who sired me that until the day I die) for the first time in a very long time. He told me to go in, plead guilty, keep my mouth shut, pay the fine, and leave. And people, I did just that. I called the judge "Ma'am" and smiled and she was right pleasant with me. In fact, I got that fine reduced just a little bit more I think by being polite.

I walked out that place knowing I had done something that probably most of America has done. Get caught speeding. I was grown up just a little bit more.

Besides, how cool is this? When Paige goes back to school and they tell her to write a paper on the most exciting thing she did this summer I can see the title now..."When I went to Court with My Mom".......

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