Alternate Title: Conversations with a Cop.

Once upon a time, I had parking tickets. Quite a few parking tickets. Because maybe I didn’t understand that “improper display of license plates” had zero to do with the fact that my front license place was crooked and more to do with the fact my tabs had expired.
But I PAID those tickets.
Once upon a more recent time, sort of a Saturday night time, like 4 days ago time, I was driving to pick up some fellow M4ers for our festivities. My Douchetooth had died so I was talking to Linds via speakerphone while she was in my lap. Totally hands-free and law-abiding.
And yet.
I’m driving along, happily shouting to Linds-in-my-lap (I AM WEARING RED LIPSTICK! AND IT ISN’T MAKING MY TEETH LOOK YELLOW. YOU SHOULD SEE THIS STUFF!) when suddenly red and blue lights start flashing behind me. I begin to pull over, confused because I was hands-free, not speeding, and have zero tail lights out. So I shouted to Linds-in-my-lap, “I HAVE TO GO. I AM BEING PULLED OVER. I WILL CALL YOU WHEN I’M FINISHED BEING PULLED OVER,” and stopped my car, throwing my cell phone under my seat because just in case.
The officer (a very nice lady) came and knocked on my window and told me my tabs had expired (AGAIN. Did you guys know they do that every year??) and I would need to have them renewed by May 10th in order to avoid a ticket. I thanked her for letting me know, totally expecting to be on my way. First though, she just had to run my license but not to worry! It would only take her a second.
Twenty. Minutes. Later.

Guys, I’m really nervous by this point. I was taught in drivers’ ed that you should always keep your hands on the steering wheel when you’ve been pulled over, so for 20 minutes my hands had not moved from the 10 and 2 position. My right pinky was cramping and my back was rigid. She finally came back to my car and I rolled down my window again.
Her: So did you know you’re driving with a suspended license?
Me: WHAT?!?
Her: Yeah, I thought maybe you didn’t know. You didn’t seem very nervous. Your license has been suspended.
Me: Holy shit!! What did I DO?
Her: It looks like you have some unpaid parking tickets.
Me: No I don’t!! I did but then I paid them and I was in Canada visiting my ex-boyfriend’s family, although he was still my boyfriend but I was sitting at the kitchen table and I paid them over the phone and wrote down the payment confirmation numbers which are in my email and I can pull up my email for you on my phone which is under my seat please don’t ask also I have them written down and they are in an envelope where I keep important things! THE ENVELOPE IS LABLED ‘IMPORTANT THINGS.’
Her: Try not to panic. It’s probably just a bookkeeping error. Or maybe a ticket got lost in the shuffle.
Me: Are you going to arrest me now? Because I am driving! With a suspended license!
Her: No, I don’t have to arrest you. I do have to issue you a criminal citation WHICH SOUNDS SCARIER THAN IT IS PLEASE DON’T PANIC.
Me: hyperventilating
Her: Really really don’t worry. You just have to go to court on this date and find out what’s going on and take care of it then. It’s going to be okay.
Me: But what about right now? I’m in my car! And I’m far from home!
Her: I’ll tell you what I know. I know that when I leave this parking lot, I will not be watching to see if you drive yourself out of here. I am NOT going to tell you that you could probably continue to drive your car (but replace your tabs first). I AM going to tell you that you should go straight home and not drive again. I am NOT going to tell you that you probably won’t get in trouble if you do have to drive between now and your court date, provided that you show your criminal citation in the event you are pulled over again. I am also NOT going to tell you to have fun doing whatever it is you are so dressed up for tonight.
Me: Wow.
Her: Have a good night, ma’am.
A couple of things. One, I was pulled over by the coolest police officer in all of Seattle. Two, I continued with my responsibilities as designated driver that night. Three, my tabs have been renewed. And four? I have been criminally cited. My friends took a vote that night and it was decided that a criminally cited girl is a sexier girl. I’ll get this sorted out and hopefully get my license unsuspended (respended? Hmm, red underline says no. H8R.). But I will still have been criminally cited. I feel like a bad ass.
Thank you for visiting Pantsless in Seattle. Now with more felony.
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