I walked out of Planet Fitness in Roseville on a late March night in 2015, jumped into my car and headed home. I was ready for a shower and a good night sleep after pulling a 14-hour day.
I turned left onto Frontage Road, which leads me straight into Cleveland Ave after a few miles.
My music blaring and my windows open with my led foot on the pedal.
I passed the CenturyLink parking lot and saw the cop sitting there lurking and immediately thought to myself, “crap.”
Although I took my foot off the pedal and tried to slow down, he didn’t hesitate to follow me.
He turned on his red and blue lights just as I pulled into my driveway.
I opened my car door and the cop walked up next to me.
“Do you live here?”
“Why would I pull into some random driveway…” I thought to myself.
“Yes, I do,” I responded politely.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?
Scared and stupid, I shrugged saying, “I’m not really sure.”
“The speed limit is 35 through here. You were going 55. I’ll need your driver’s license and insurance.”
I handed him both and as he walked back to his car I slammed my head back onto my driver seat head rest, my mind racing with thoughts.
This is the first time I’ve ever been pulled over, most people get just a warning right?
He has to let me off with a warning, my record is clean.
I reworded this sentence in my head as many times as I could to convince myself everything would be fine.
I also prayed and hoped my mom was sound asleep so she wouldn’t see the flashing lights right outside her bedroom window.
After sitting for a few minutes the cop finally stepped back outside his car and headed towards me.
He handed back my drivers license and insurance, but also a white sheet of paper. A ticket.
He told me that since this was my first offense he lowered the speed down to make it less expensive for me.
He also told me that going 20 miles over is considered a felony and I need to slow down.
I walked into my house to find my mom waiting to find out what happened.
“I just got a ticket,” I said as I started to cry.
No parking sign
I’ve never been pulled over.
I generally consider myself to be a good driver. Other than occasionally getting distracted at night by the moon shining through my sunroof, I pay attention. I don’t text and drive like a lot of people I know and I use my signals.
The other day, I drove to Maxfield Elementary with some fellow classmates to help film a student project. I parked my car on the side road by the school where I parked the last few times we went to Maxfield. We grabbed our camera kits and strolled over to the sidewalk across the street. We looked back to find a truck pulling up to my car.
What happened next sounds too ironic to be true, but this for real happened: A man jumps out of the truck and places a “No Parking” sign next to my car.
“Of course!” I thought. “Why wouldn’t this happen? This is a metaphor for my life!”
We walked into the school and gathered the film we needed. I crossed my fingers and hoped my car didn’t get towed. But when we got back, my car was still there and there was no ticket to be found.
“Probably just a prank,” I thought.
Another night fall semester, I was driving with my friend to go walk across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. We circled around the block for a couple minutes looking for parking, eventually settling for a dimly lit street behind another car.
We walked over and under the bridge, exploring to our heart’s content. But when we returned to my car, a parking ticket greeted me. My friend kind-heartedly helped pay a portion of the ticket fine, and I learned my lesson: always look for no parking signs, even if everyone else is parking there and you think it’s okay. Especially in Minneapolis.