And that, dear reader, is when I found out what I'm made of. They broke me; hunger and exhaustion were enough. They said, "Do you think you were speeding?" And I said, "Yes, but not as much as the ticket says." They said, "Do you want to appeal," (which would mean another trip to Brighton, another missed morning, in all likelihood another 3 hour stint albeit better prepared) "since by your own admission you were actually speeding?" I sighed and said "No,"and they reduced the ticket by half--$100. God help me if I ever actually end up in an interrogation room or Guantanamo, especially if I am at all guilty of anything.
Because, here is the truth of it. I do have a lead foot, but this is my first speeding ticket. This is Boston after all. I didn't know that that stretch of the Mass Pike was 55 (since the rest is 65 and the point of a Turnpike is to be speedy without having to worry about merging traffic! Just MHO). I was passing someone. It is very likely that I was speeding. It's actually possible that I was doing 70 since I thought the highway was 65 but I only admitted to 60 today since I know that ignorance of the law is no excuse--in my mind I was only 5 miles over the speed limit. It is also true that other cars were passing me--which I did tell the magistrate to no avail. It's also true that in my tiny Yaris once one gets beyond 70 mph one starts to feel it, so I wasn't lying when I said I didn't think I was going the 76 mph the ticket said.
I don't know whether to be happy or sad that I was unable to lie to get away scot free. When I finally got to work, one of my bosses said, "That wasn't the time to be entirely truthful." But she's in sales. After all I still fudged the truth. A few years ago a $100 ticket would have been crippling. I once drove for a year with an expired inspection sticker (and only got a warning!) because I got the inspection but couldn't afford the repairs that caused me to fail. Even $200 would not have been crippling. Inconvenient, yes. Annoying, certainly. And back debt would have been paid down more slowly, but not a reason to sit and sob. $100 is annoying and inconvenient. I'm lucky to be in such a place, and lucky to have never gotten a ticket before. In contrast when I fought the parking ticket (there have been several I didn't fight--because not seeing the sign that said, no parking on every other Tuesday is not a defense--this is Boston after all) I knew I was in the right. I had checked the time in my car and on my watch because I was going to an audition. I knew precisely when I put money in the meter and a full hour had NOT passed when I came back to the car and saw the very rude officer slipping the ticket under the windshield wiper--faulty meter. Justified. I never felt fully justified about this, and it fell out under pressure.
I remember when I was in high school my mother and I were attending an obnoxious Fundamental Church and on Sunday nights people would "testify" to God moving in their lives. A man I truly hated, (and pretty much still do) stood up and told how he was flying down the highway at 80 miles an hour and God told him to think of his family and slow down, and so, praise Jesus, he had slowed down to 70. Wasn't that wonderful? And I thought, "So, God said it wasn't ok to break the law by 25 miles per hour," remember in the 80's most highways were still 55, "but it was ok to break the law by 15?"
I will say, this has been a deterrent for me. I still speed, but I don't move out beyond traffic. :P But at least I don't say God gives me permission! I've definitely driven more carefully in the last two months. I do thank God for the fact that I am in a position to roll with this and for that matter to have a phone with cool features and an Mp3 player to miss.
One last frustration. When I left the courthouse I had to roll back and forth to get out of the iced parking spot. I did curse a bit.
On the way to work--by now starving--I decided to be decadent and have McD's. And then I remembered that I could pick up some change of address postcards for one boss. I had only the vaguest memory of where the copy shop was. I drove up the street it's on and didn't see it. Clearly I was going to have to go to work, get the number and go back. I turned around and pulled into McD's, looked across the street, and saw the copy place! It required crossing one of those streets where the traffic never stops, but other than that it was a triumph! Boxes got packed, and bizarrely one of my bosses gave me an old but working Blackberry (?!) So if anyone really needs a Blackberry, let me know. It means I now have three handheld devices that do similar things--because I love my phone way too much to give it up for the awkward and ugly Blackberry (the phone was an obscenely decadent gift from eBay for my husband who decided it was lovely but the buttons too small so it became mine!). I could listen to three different radio stations at once if I had three sets of ears. What I do like about the Blackberry and intend to use (because it works w/out Sim card) is the notepad and keyboard. I can blog as I think it and then upload it!
Mood: weirdly optimistic. I'm wearing a small black rubber band that was on a phone cord on my finger as a ring.