Last night I drove our daughter to her play rehearsal. We made good time, but as we approached the turn into the parking lot, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw flashing lights behind us. A police car. With flashing lights. Maybe he needed to get around us? I turned and he turned right behind me. I parked and he pulled up and stopped, blocking my car.
Emma got out, saying "Bye! Good luck!"
Apparently, I had made better time than I'd thought and the nice young policeman seemed to think I could've gone a wee bit slower. He asked to see my ID, registration, and proof of insurance. I resisted the urge to give him my Medicare card. He took the info and disappeared into his patrol car, which was still blocking me from going anywhere.
Several thoughts went through my mind. Would there, could there be any chance of getting off with just a warning? Yeah, right. I told myself there was no way in hell I'd be that lucky. You see, I remember very well which friends got warnings and which of us got tickets. The ones who were let off the hook were almost always very attractive females. Never happened to me. I sat, waiting and wondering how I was going to tell my husband about this and how much mileage he'd get out of it. And how were we going to pay the fine? Another fine mess I've gotten myself into, Ollie.
The policeman (did I tell you he was young?) eventually came back and, miracle of miracles! he gave me a warning! It was a very gentle warning, too. He understood. It was the hill. It was so easy to get going too fast. He said it knowingly as if he was admitting it had happened to him more than once. But, just be careful, he said, because the fine is pretty steep.
I realized how privileged I was in that moment. Not only am I white, and female (occasionally it's a help), but I don't think he expected to see a grandmother when he pulled me over. All the way home, I basked in the wonder and privilege of being an elder. I didn't even have to be gorgeous. I just had to be grandma.
And today, I went to the thrift store and got my senior discount, without even asking. Life is good!