When I was a new sixteen-year-old driver, both my parents loved to remind me that neither of them had ever had a ticket in their whole entire lives. My dad is 70 years old. That's a lot to live up to. I never asked if either of them had ever just been pulled over though...
Friday I was pulled over by a policeman for the first time in my driving history. To make matters worse, my mother was sitting in the passenger's seat. Oh, the shame. Here's how things went down:
Husband and I had just finished a lovely Friday night dining experience with my parents at a local restaurant (note: with an attached bar). We had picked up my car from the auto body shop right after work before meeting for dinner (finally having fixed the hood and grill damage caused by She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named). Therefore, Husband was driving separately, as were my parents. Mom and Dad were planning to follow us back to the in-laws' house for some post-dinner Husband shaving (his head...you dirty, dirty people). My mom decided to accompany me in my car.
I pulled away from the restaurant and was approaching the stoplight when a police car driving in the opposite direction did a U-turn in the middle of the street and began tailing me. I was a little nervous, but made my legal right turn on a green light. Then, the policeman turned on his flashing lights. I thought he might drive around me, racing off to capture some dastardly figure that was raping kittens or something. To my surprise, when I pulled into an empty parking lot, he pulled right behind me.
He asked for my license and where I was coming from and heading to. Then he asked if I knew why he had pulled me over. I was quite confused, figuring I had a taillight out or something. Instead, he pointed out that my headlights weren't on.
Although it was fully dark outside, the streets had been so well lit that I hadn't noticed my lack of headlights. There are two spots on the car's knob for headlights, one for small day lights and the other for actual headlights. I'd only made it to the first spot. The policeman was pretty nice about the situation, saying he didn't smell alcohol on my breath, but no headlights were an indicator of a drunk driver. I assured him with, "No, I'm not drunk. Just stupid."
Yes, I actually said this to him.
No, I don't know why.
Then he asked if my car was new. "No," I said. "But I just got it back from the body shop today." Realizing what this statement implied, I quickly followed with, "But it wasn't my fault!"
I was proud at least that I didn't cry, probably due to my extreme confusion. We were allowed to go on our merry little way, ticket free, and my mother thought the situation was hilarious, but I'm sure she won't let me forget anytime soon.