Friday, July 04, 2008

I'm a Weenie

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone is out picnicking and playing volleyball, eating too much and enjoying the summer. But, in case you’re bored enough to be reading this blog, I thought I’d share a little story with you.

A couple weeks ago I was in South Dakota with my husband. I was driving and we were getting a little late for an appointment, so when I saw a pickup truck rumbling along the shoulder, I speeded up to go around it. Not five seconds later a police car came up behind us, lights flashing.

My dear husband, always a problem solver, began suggesting ways to handle the situation; “Tell him you had to speed up. You didn’t have a choice. For safety reasons, you were forced to hurry around the truck because there were vehicles behind you…” Etc.

As the policeman was walking up to my window I was processing all this. However, my personality is a little different than my husband’s. In fact, I tend to thank any cop who stops me. I don’t know why exactly. I just do. So when the officer reached me I immediately apologized and said I hadn’t realized how fast I was going. That’s when DH cut in, launching into his spiel about how I didn’t have a choice. It was the right decision. He was babbling on, arguing, lecturing.

Believe me, if I had had a clean shot I would have kicked him hard enough to rattle his teeth, but there was a console between us…and I thought that perhaps abusing my DH might make the officer think less of me. So I suffered in martyrish silence… until we were alone.

Finally, after doing whatever police types do in their vehicles, the officer returned, gave me a fatherly nod, and said, “I’m just going to give you a warning, maam, but I’ll tell you what, if he had been driving, I’d be writing up a ticket.”

I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve rarely been happier. I mean really… not only was I avoiding a ticket, but he was scolding my husband. I know it’s cheap of me, but life just doesn’t get any better than that.

I offered my sincerest thanks. In fact, I may have said, “God bless you, Officer,” in that breathy tone I reserve for tasting really fine cheesecake or viewing minor miracles.

So, tell me the truth, do you thank policemen who stop you? Does anyone thank policemen who stop them? Are the men in your life more likely to argue with a officer than you are? Is it a gender difference? Or am I just a gigantic, sniveling weenie?


flchen1 said...

Oh, Lois! I think I tend to react more like you when stopped, but I have NEVER, EVER gotten off with just a warning... *sigh* So in my case, my gigantic, sniveling self is also a ticketed self. Oh well!

I'm glad it worked out so well for you though! That sounds like a very satisfying resolution! ;)

lois greiman said...

Oh good, I'm so glad you snivel. I swear the police in our area must know that I'm an apologizer and try to cut me some slack. DH was sure I got off with a warning because he (DH) was playing some strange version of good cop/bad cop (me being the good cop, I'm assuming) and the officer felt sorry for me. :)

JoAnna said...

I say it never hurts to be nice to them, they hold your fate in your hands. If they dont like you they can give you a ticket and if they like you they can give you a warning.

Really the idea is not different than being nice to the barista at Starbucks who is making your drink- you can be nice to her/him and get caffinated or be rude to them and oopps you got decaffinated coffee today (how did that happen?!).

It never hurts someone to be kind to the people serving you and usually you will get better sevice in return, even if it is a traffic stop, or just extra whip creme on your drink. I dont think it makes you a weenie.

Michele Hauf said...

My hubby would do the same, and like you, I would just want to hug the officer for admonishing the hubby like that. :-)

I've only been stopped once or twice, and I have learned that you never admit to anything. If the light was yellow but changed to red halfway through the intersection? Never tell the officer that. It was yellow!'s funny but I just posted a fireworks pic at my blog, then I click over here and you put up the same one!

Helen Brenna said...

LOL, Lois!

I'm like flchen. I apologize and never get a warning. Course it might have something to do with the fact then on the times I've been pulled over, I wasn't reasonably speeding.

What did your dh do?

Lori T said...


I am just like you...I apologize and then after it is all over I do thank them for pulling me over. It is crazy, but I do. I have gotten off with a warning several times myself and have been told that I am the "most pleasant person that they have pulled over." I am not making that up and I have been told this before actually more than once.

My husband does not really argue but his overall attitude is not the greatest which results in his getting a ticket.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.

Cindy Gerard said...

In the first place, my husband would never offer suggestions on how to get out of the ticket. He'd be right there beside me, shaking his head and saying, "I told you not to drive that fast."
I have a bit of a lead foot. Knowing this, I do try to curtail it but I always figure I have a ticket coming if I get one. So yeah, put me down for the sniveling route.

Michele P. said...

I actually get paranoid if the police are next to me, behind me, up the road, anywhere that I can see them. My son and hubby could care less, but I get really nervous. Hubby's had his share of tickets,another one no big deal to him. I've never had one and don't intend to. I did get a warning one time last summer, and get stopped, but that was because my taillight was out and I wasn't aware of it. I DID thank the officer for letting me know.

Keri Ford said...

I'm in the, I was speeding, I deserve it group. I don't argue, cry, or make up stories. Cop asks me why I'm in a hurry, I'm honest and say I was ready to get home (why is it always home?).


Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- One of the only 2 tickets I've ever gotten was when I was like 8 months pregnant, in a VW Beetle (original!) and going 35 mph. The guy felt real bad but it was some sort of saturation and they couldn't waive any ticket.

Like a week later he walks into my place of business because the company had had a vandalism incident. We both cracked up. Then he gave us really good service and attention for that vandalism.

Estella said...

I do not thank them, but am polite to them.
My husband is also polite to them.

Anna And Sean said...

If I ever get pulled over, as I am sure to be now that I said something, I swear I will burst into tears. I have an almost irrational fear of law enforcement. I'm sure that it dates back to the wild youth days but there you go.

I think the whole scene with your husband should be in a book-wives around the world can so identify with that. And I love what the cop said to him...had to giggle there!

Happy 4th of July all!!

Betina Krahn said...

I don't apologize, but I do shrink an dhunker and look pathetic. Only been stopped two or three times. . . gotten one ticket. . . and the ticket was probably because my car was distinctive and the cop saw me coming because he was looking at my CAR!

I sniveled, Lois. Looked greatly shamed. Accepted the ticket with much deference. It wasn't a high-dollar ticket-- $60 or so if I recall. But don'
t get me started about the state trooper in Wisconsin who scared the bejesus out of my young sons in the back seat. He had aviator shades and biceps the size of Volkswagens! Looked like he could bench press my front bumper. Got a warning that time, but I was sure I was dead. The boys didn't even razz me about it afterward. . . we were all just silent for about a hundred miles!

My secret weapon-- wholesomeness. Just smile miserably and look a little defenseless and (yeah, like Lois) very apologetic.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I think I've only gotten 2 tickets--one shortly after I got my license and I went through a red light. Not racing it or anything, just not thinking. It was at night. The cop was sitting on the other side of the light. I just pulled right over before he even turned the light on. He probably figured I needed the ticket to put the fear into me right off. He said, "Obviously you know what you did." I nodded. Couldn't say a word.

The other time was also SD. I was speeding because I had a crying 2-yr-old and a sick puppy in back. It was probably 50 miles to the vet, and the car reeked of puppy vomit. The cop ticketed me anyway--I was going pretty fast--but he apologized. He sympathized. But he was duty bound--reminded me that I had precious cargo on board. With the screaming and vomiting going on, precious wasn't the first word coming to mind.