The Story of a Setback: Stupid Cars and Stupid Me

Two stupid things happened to stupid me *right* before I moved to NJ.

ONE ENDED UP BEING PRETTY COSTLY

So there I am, just driving along, minding my own business.  I had stopped for some fries at McDonald’s (don’t judge me), and was back on my path, driving along the interstate, listening to an audiobook.  There are two lanes.  The guy in front of me is going kind of slow, so I put on my blinker, and pass him.  I get back over in the right lane.

Then, in slow motion, as I bring some fries to my mouth, I notice a cop is on my left, staring at me.  I munch on the fries and try to just drive along, minding my own business.  Well, don’t you know, he slows down and gets behind me, turns on his lights and his siren, and pulls me over.

I couldn’t believe it.  He asked me to get out of the car.  He gave me a ticket for eating while driving.  WHAT?!  He said, “I saw you eating, and who knows what else you were doing.”  It took everything in me to not be a smart-ass and say, “driving.  That’s what else I was doing.”

Guys.  Really.  I wasn’t on my phone.  I wasn’t speeding.  I used my blinker.  I wasn’t swerving.  He acknowledged and recognized all of these points and gave me the ticket.  “Careless Operation of a Vehicle.”  My first ticket ever.  EVER.

And of course, the court date is in Louisiana, on 9/1 (which is a Tuesday).  If I weren’t living on the other side of the country, I would certainly go contest it in person.  But, no way can I take time off of work and fly across the country for this.

I call in.  How much is the ticket?  $202.50.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  A round trip ticket home is about $260.  It’s almost worth it to fly home and contest it.  Almost.  If only the court date weren’t on a Tuesday.  And apparently there is absolutely no way to change the court date.  I’ve called and tried and pleaded.  Not happening.  They just want my money.

I’m really upset.

And then yesterday I get a letter in the mail saying that I can not go to my court date, and instead of paying the ticket, pay for some online safety class.  Get this: $125 for a 30 minute course.  I guess I’m going to do it, but, MAN!  I’m not happy about it.

THE OTHER WAS NOT COSTLY, JUST STRESSFUL

So that was about a week before I left for NJ.  Literally *the day before* driving across the country, Michael and I were running some last minute errands, and on a 3 lane highway, I’m in the left lane.  Out of the blue, a lady from the middle lane turns left.  Bam!  I saw it in slow motion and slammed my breaks and hit the horn.  It wasn’t enough.  I still hear the sound of our cars colliding.  My first wreck, ever.

No one is hurt but the entire front right of my bumper is smushed in and falling off.  To top it off, the lady is mad at me for being mad at her.  “It could have been worse,” she kept saying.  All I could think was, “it is worse.  For me.  Right now.  Worse than it was 2 minutes ago.  And I have to drive this car 22 hours tomorrow.”  I was so, so happy Michael was with me to handle everything because I was livid.

We traded insurance information and went on our way.  Michael called here and there and everywhere.  Fortunately, the lady immediately called her insurance, too, and admitted fault.  We ended up driving from Louisiana to New Jersey in a beat up, falling apart car.  We made it safely and my car didn’t fall to pieces along the way.

Upon arrival to NJ, Michael called her insurance again.  They sent out an adjuster.  He estimated the cost of repair.  Michael took the car to a Toyota dealership and left it with them for a week.  They gave us a rental.  They repaired my car perfectly (had to replace the entire front end and some internal stuff, too) and the dealership and the insurance company handled all the payments on the back end.  I didn’t have to come out of pocket a dime.  Thank God.  It was stressful and aggravating and dangerous, but in the end, yes.  It could have been worse.  Ugh.

Stupid cars and stupid me.  Have you had any expensive or stressful car incidents lately?

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17 thoughts on “The Story of a Setback: Stupid Cars and Stupid Me

  1. Ugh in Cali I would have ended up paying some for the collision because of the “no fault” rule. But glad you are OK. That ticket is absolutely ridiculous! God, was he bored that day? I hate cops like that. There are bigger problems in the world buddy. He probably had a donut in his car himself. 🙂

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  2. Oh my gosh!!! How stressful!!!!!!! (<– not too many exclamation points)

    I'm glad you are ok and the car is ok, but between the two incidents, I would have been bawling!

    About two months ago, I was speeding home from work. I'd picked up our eldest from daycare much too late. She was hungry and home was 30 minutes away. (The baby was home sick with dad). So yeah, I sped. I never speed. I totally got pulled over but I suppose my ultra clean record earned me a pass, so that was good 🙂

    Other car story: went out to start our older vehicle this morning. Will. Not. Turnover. It's not the battery – we've checked it out (and it's less than a year old). So this is going to mean towing it in and hoping it can be fixed before the relocation company comes for it on the 12th. I do not have high hopes. So it would seem like we will pay for it to be towed three times (once to the repair place, again to the drop off point, and again to be fixed).

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  3. Man, Chela, man oh man! I’d for sure have cried. We’ve had some crap happening lately where we just kept making one bad decision after another. Nothing with the car though. Thank God you guys are okay! And thank God that lady took the blame. Sounds like she could have made it much worse with her attitude and all.

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      • Your blog is beuuitfal! I couldn’t help but notice the little heart. Recently I visited a small cafe in our town and the owner had made these hearts and hung them on the back of every chair for comfort. I also loved the floral wire. Wishing you much relaxation with your tea and orange blossom water.

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  4. Ugh… that is awful. Congrats to you for refraining sarcasm with the first incident. I probably would’ve shot off my mouth because that is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve seen people flying down the freeway doing 80mph+ while applying their makeup. A few fries is no big deal. As for the second, I’ve been there and that is no fun. About three years ago I rear ended a reckless driver and I got a ticket for it, even though the other driver was at fault, because my car ran into his. Keep your chin up. While it stinks now and is stressful, it will make for some funny stories down the road. 🙂

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    • Ha! I’m definitely not yet to the point where I can laugh about these incidents, but as long as I don’t think about them I don’t get too worked up 🙂

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