Originally published Feb. 14, 2013
When I think of the color to represent Valentine’s Day, red is the first to come to mind. Big red, ooey gooey hearts and Cupid and Cupid’s arrows and all that good stuff.
Not the cherry red color of cop car lights!
I have to admit being in a state of shock since I couldn't really believe I was getting pulled over.
The facts stacked up like this though. We got a fresh blanket of snow last night and traffic was backed up a lot more than usual. Even our local paper, The Star Tribune, says:
"A heartbreaker of a commute on Valentine's Day"
yes, and then the article goes on to say:
Twin Cities motorists were feeling no love this Valentine's Day as even modest snowfall overnight bogged down the morning commute from one side of the metro to the other.
Tell me about it.
I was about a half a block away from needing to take a right turn, and since it was all backed up, I got in the turn lane a little before the turn lane actually started. I think. The problem was you couldn't see the turn lane because the entire road, turn lane included, was all covered in snow. So, I figured oh, what the heck. I'm just going to sneak along the side here and make my turn.
Now, if I had seen a cop car ahead of me sitting in the right lane of traffic at the stop light I might have waited a little longer. But I didn't see him and so I proceeded to crawl up the right side of the road, also known to cops and the rest of the driving public as "the shoulder" of the road. Then, out of nowhere, straight from the sheriff's department, there's a cop car. My thought process went something like this:
"Oh crap, there's a cop car. Should I drive past him? I have to drive past him, I can't just stop here. He won't pull me over. You can't even see the turn lane. Oh crap, he just turned on his lights (and siren!). He's pulling over behind me. Maybe he wants to get around me. Just keep driving. Turn your blinker on. QUICK. He's still behind me. Take a right turn. Don't stop here, it's the street. Pull into the library parking lot. For safety. Maybe he's going somewhere else. Oh crap, he's pulling into the library behind me. Did he stop? Maybe he has a book to return. Nope, he's right behind me."
Now I hope somebody out there is going to at least give me some credit for being optimistic right up to the last second.
I roll the window down and get out my wallet. My heart is racing so fast I don't even need a work out anymore. Here he comes.
The cop: "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
Me: "To Wish me a Happy Valentine's Day?"
Just kidding, I'm not that dumb. I used my intelligence and said "Cause I was taking a right turn?"
Cop: "Because you were driving on the shoulder of the road. Can I see your driver's license?" He looks at the license.
Cop: "C'mon Lisa, you're from around here, I know there's a lot of snow but you know the turn lane hadn't started."
Me, continuing to play dumb: "I know but I was going to take a right turn, really, I'm just going to the club."
Cop: "I know the traffic is backed up today but if you start driving on the shoulder of the road then a third lane of traffic will start because other people will see you doing it and they'll follow you. That creates a hazard for emergency vehicles that need to use the shoulder. Can I see your insurance card?"
Cop: "That's expired."
Unsure of whether or not to correct an Officer of the Law, I sheepishly point to the expiration date which says Sept. 24, 2013, hoping to save myself from another violation.
Cop: "Oh, ok. Just a minute."
He goes back to his car. I don't know if I should cry or laugh. I have tears about to well up in my eye, but I kind of feel like laughing too. I mean, who has this kind of luck on Valentine's Day? This is not exactly what I had in mind when I imagined what kind of great things might happen on February 14.
Cop: "Lisa, I'm going to let you off with a warning today, but I made a note in the computer."
Me, continuing to plead my innocence: "I really was just trying to go to the club." I start wondering if I should pull out my club card and show it to him for proof that I at least am a member there.
Cop: "I know but you need to stay off the shoulder of the road." He starts to walk away.
Since it's not really clear to me what's going to happen at this point, I have to open my mouth again.
Me: "Can I go then?"
Cop: "Yes, you can go."
Me: "Thank you."
I know, I know, I should have wished him a Happy Valentine's Day. He was too far back to his car though and I figured I could only make things worse the more I said.
I figure it's either good luck or bad luck, but I'm going to look at it as some kind of good fortune. I have to admit feeling kind of hesitant about driving anywhere else today though. No one can get pulled over twice in one day though. Right?
Well the day is only half over, so on that note I truly wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day and I hope your day has all the right colors of red in it.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.