I was sitting in the van with five other people on our way to the airport in Phoenix. It was sunny outside, and not to mention deliciously warm. We were talking about this and that and just about everything in between when, as is hardly ever to be avoided, the conversation drifted towards the traffic, police cars, and eventually we ended up trading ticket stories.
My great uncle told a story about his mother, who was speeding, and talked her way out of a ticket. I don't believe I'd ever heard as many stories about my great-grandmother as I had during our stay in Arizona, and this one just added to the hilarity of the previous stories making me wish once again that I had known her better.
My mother has been pulled over, but being the wonderful soul that she is, has never received a ticket. She's nearing 50 people (but don't spread that around, she likes to believe she's still young), and she's never been the recipient of a speeding ticket. If only I could have been so lucky.
Since everyone else was sharing their various escapades, I thought it only fair that I contributed to the conversation instead of just soaking in all of my relatives words. I'd done a lot of listening this weekend, and it was finally time that I could share.
You see, I've been pulled over two times in my life. Both times Prince Charming was with me, and only one time did I land a citation. But, the first time I was pulled over was the funniest, although at the time my heart was pounding and laughter was the furthest thought from my mind.
It was late at night, dark, and clear skied. The moon was brilliantly shining, and also very big. I was driving Princey back home for the night, and we were headed down an extremely familiar and very empty road. We were both deeply contemplating the moon instead of focusing on driving, and before I'd traveled very far I glanced in my rear view mirror to see a riot of red and blue flashing lights.
My hands started to shake, my breathing was irregular, I quickly racked my brain for what I could have done wrong as I pulled my mother's Yukon XL to the side of the road. Had I been speeding? I didn't think so. Was a tail light burnt out? Who knew!
The cop came up to the car as I rolled down my window and stared at her, shocked and frightened. She reeled back a little, as if I was not the person she had been expecting to see behind the wheel of the vehicle. At the time I had thought her reaction strange, but as the events unfolded I realized why she did that.
"Ma'am, have you had anything to drink tonight?" She asked, in a tone typical of traffic cops.
I looked at Prince Charming to see if he would offer help as I thought about her question. I didn't know what she meant, or why she would want to know what I had had to drink. I thought quickly about all that I had consumed prior to our departure from my house.
"I...I had some milk," I answered honestly, unsure if that was the correct response.
Her face relaxed, and she asked for my license and registration and then told me why she had pulled me over. Apparently while moon gazing, I had drifted over the center line of the road. I guess this is typical of drunk drivers, but having never been one or been around one I didn't know this. Which was also why I was totally perplexed by her opening question.
She gave me a warning and told me to have a good night and pay better attention to the road. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief as Prince replaced the registration and insurance back into their respective locations and the rest of our drive was uneventful.
My story got a good laugh and we traded more memories in the warmth of the sunshine on our beautiful last remaining hours surrounded by family.