STOP in the name of the law.

That's me on the right...always eager to drive. Lucky for me, sorry for you, my first driver's liscence is hiding somewhere in my parent's house in Michigan.

So it’s kind of a funny story (well my mom doesn’t think so).  I got pulled over last April.  Yes, April, as in 7 months ago. Like blue and red lights flashing in my rear view, a police officer with the uniform and all acting real serious like.  You see what happened was, at the bottom of the hill coming from the Wal-Mart parking lot there’s this STOP sign. If you know anything about the Wal-Mart in Midlothian, then you might know how frustrating it is that someone had the bright idea to build this super store jungle on the top of a hill. Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but I unfortunately spend a LOT of time there trying to prevent my cart full of groceries from rolling down the hill or from smashing into surrounding cars.

::Little tangent- Once I saw a lady chasing after her cart that was rolling down the hill picking up speed with her toddler daughter in the basket screaming her head off.  I proceeded to laugh my head off. Oh, sorry not funny::

So as I was saying, at the bottom of this hill is the STOP sign.  I may or may not have come to a complete stop at said sign. Ok, so most likely it was may not have. I did slow down, I did look both ways, I did see the stop sign.  I just hate getting stuck there waiting for the cars entering onto the highway entrance ramp. I know, no excuse.  So sure enough an officer pulled me over and issued me a traffic violation.

Let me take you back a few years now. Let’s say it’s the year 1997. Melissa is an eager 15 year old with crazy hair and a learner’s permit chomping at the bit to get her driver’s license.  Got a mental picture? Ok, now forget it:). One day, I was out driving with my dad trying to accumulate as many driving hours as possible (I really really wanted to drive), when we came upon a STOP sign on a deserted back road. I remember stopping (in my opinion) at the stop sign and then making a left turn. I’m going on my way, when my dad starts making a big deal about it and tells me that I didn’t stop at the stop sign and that I needed to back up, come to a COMPLETE stop and then make my turn. I informed him that I did stop and backing up would not be necessary.  He didn’t agree and sure enough, I backed ALL the way up.  I just remember being really frustrated and somewhat embarrassed about being called out about it.  After all, I did learn all of my driving skills from my father:).

Fast forward to yesterday. My mom called me freaking out to inform me that the Ellis County Police Department had issued a warrant for my arrest. You see for some reason I decided that I was going to ignore this ticket and not pay it because I didn’t have the money. I don’t know why in my right mind I would think that something like this would just disappear and all go away.  I knew it wouldn’t, but I think maybe that’s part of my non-confrontational personality.  That maybe if I just ignore the problem long enough it will go away or something will change.  Yeah, that doesn’t happen when it comes to the government collecting their money.  Still, the thought of getting arrested and going to jail didn’t really even motivate me to check on the ticket. I just expected that the fine would be outrageously expensive. Not gonna lie, I even contemplated turning myself in and doing jail time rather then shelling out the cold hard cash.  Jail almost sounded like a vacation to me, three meals a day…nothing to do, time to just sit and be. I’m crazy I know.  Needless to say, my mom made me promise that I would get the issue taken care of because worrying about me going to jail wouldn’t be good for her blood pressure.

Begrudgingly I drove to the court house to pay my fine, which actually was much less than I had anticipated (this only makes the whole thing worse).  As I walked up the side walk to the court building, at that moment my entire driving experience came full circle. From that afternoon at the STOP sign on Lincoln Street, where my dad tried to teach me a valuable lesson…to this moment in Ellis county as I painfully parted with a couple of hundred dollars because I guess I hadn’t learned that lesson well enough.  If only I had listened.

Let’s just say, I now always usually come to a complete stop at the bottom of the hill (I at least check the Pizza Inn parking lot for hiding police, some old habits never truly die).

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