Thursday, January 29, 2009

'Course, I'm an EXCELLENT driver.

My sister-in-law is getting married in October. I got married in October, too (in 2000). I started wedding planning at the end of August. My sister-in-law started in August, too...August of last year. She's quite mad, you know. Every time I see her, she wants my opinion on something. One day, it was a series of centerpieces she'd made after finding an article on handmade decorations in some bridal magazine. Another day, it was a selection of invitations...nearly all five were identical; our choices were vellum or no vellum? White or cream? Black ribbon or pink? These decisions shouldn't be left in the hands of a woman whose wedding planning was limited to booking a restaurant for the reception dinner (it was mother-in-law was boycotting the wedding due to my pronounced lack of Korean-ness so we just invited my immediate family and a few friends) and then abdicating all responsibility for any decisions regarding said reception dinner. When the events manager started calling me three times a day asking me about napkin colors, and texture and thickness of menu cards, and type of flowers for the tables, I just told her that I'd be happy with whatever she selected. My then-fiance had to remind me to start shopping for a dress. Sister-in-law remembers all of this, yet she continues to earnestly seek my opinion.

Early this month, my phone rang at 5:20 on a Saturday afternoon. I'd been sick the day before, and had taken a very rare nap, so I was still a little groggy. "Hello?"
SIL--"It's me. Do you have any time?"
Me--(rubbing my eyes) "As in Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and...?" (SIL has been conducting quite a few murky cooking experiments, so it was a reasonable question.)
SIL--"No. As in that whose passage is measured by a clock."
Me--"Sure. When?"
SIL--"Now. Can you get here by 6?"

"Here" was a bridal shop about 30 minutes from my house. She and her best friend were there, and they were sure they'd found THE DRESS. The bridal shop was closing at six, and she needed me to get there, right then, to approve the selection.

I whined and complained about having to shop for my own wedding dress, so I didn't care which dress she picked. I'll see it at the wedding, right? But I love my sister-in-law. She wants me to come and ooh and aah over a dress? OK, then, I'm on my way.

I changed into decent leave-the-house clothes, grabbed my coat and keys, told my husband where I was going (he rolled his eyes and said "she knows that you almost forgot to get a dress for your own wedding, right?") and ran out the door. It was 5:32 or so.

I'm a pretty careful driver. Well, now I am. A long time ago, I was a noted leadfoot, but I've been reformed by motherhood and a few speeding tickets. Still, I had 28 minutes to get to a destination that was 30 minutes away, so I stepped on it and within five minutes, was nearly blinded by the flash of the cursed speed camera. I slowed down and wondered if maybe I'd get a warning? It's my first violation in Maryland! (Does anyone remember a story about a guy who received a $50 ticket with a photgraph of his car running a red light, and he responded with a photograph of a $50 bill? According to this story, which might or might not have been apocryphal, he received a photograph of handcuffs a few days later, and he wisely decided to just pay the fine. This story is apropos of nothing in my story, except that I thought that it would be funny to do the same thing if I ended up with a ticket.) Three weeks later, though, I hadn't heard a thing, so I forgot about it.

Today, I took my four-year-old to preschool. I backed out of my parking space, and CRUNCH. I'm not sure how I missed a bright green GMC Sonoma, but there it was, and I'd inserted my car firmly into its rear bumper. The car belongs to a very nice lady who works at the church where the preschool is located. She was very gracious, accepted my insurance information, and we agreed that we'd talk later. My car has a bit of a scratch, but is otherwise fine.

Back to the dress: As soon as I arrived at the bridal shop, with five minutes to spare, I could see that my sister-in-law was crazy about the dress. She was still wearing it, beaming from every pore. I enthusiastically approved, she bought the dress, and we're all happy.

Except for just one thing, of course. Four hours after I’d plowed into the back of a Presbyterian’s truck, my mail included a $40 ticket with a stunningly clear picture of the back of my car sailing past the speed camera. But of course, I’m an excellent driver.


Lisa said...

Perhaps you should stay in the driveway?

susan said...

That was a wonderful story full of entertaining digressions but always returning to the point.

I'm wondering if she was dressed in a traditional Korean costume (which I just looked up having no clue beforehand):

The women's attire includes a chogori (short jacket with long sleeves) with 2 long ribbons which are tied to form the otkorum. A chima, a full length, high waisted wrap around skirt is worn. Boat shaped shoes make of silk, are worn with white cotton socks

I sounds kind of cool and since she's you SIL, she must be Korean, no?

3carnations said...

I wasn't excited about shopping for my own dress, either. I was, however, excited when I found one off the rack, discontinued for a great price. Even for a wedding, I'm a bargain hunter.

In your mailbox...A bill for repairs?

themom said...

Maybe a picture should be sent of you under newspapers in a cardboard box...maybe they'd be sympathetic with the homeless...or not!

dguzman said...

Aw, fu....

Shit. I'm sorry. I know how it can all seem to pile up on you at once. Sheesh.

And I believe you about the excellent driver thing. I'm sure you are. Except for when you're not, or when someone else who isn't excellent gets in your way. I hear ya.

Sauntering Soul said...

Aw man. That sucks. Isn't your hubby a police officer or am I thinking of someone else? If so, can he pull some strings?

BeckEye said...

Here is my dream wedding:

Perfect Man I Haven't Met Yet: "Wanna get married?"

Me: "Yep."

Man: "Awesome."


Me: "So, can we go do this now? I'd like to get home in time for Rock of Love 5: Managed Care Home.

CDP said...

Lisa--I have to go outside to get to the's probably not safe.

Susan--no, not a hambok! I wore one once...long story. It's beautiful, but NOT something you want to wear on a hot day.

3carn--No...a $40 speeding ticket.

themom--ha ha! Excellent idea!

dguzman--that's my official explanation now...I'm an excellent driver, except when I'm not.

SS--Ha. He got one of those robo tickets two years ago. He went to his sergeant and said "what can I do about this?" Answer: "You can get out your checkbook".

Beck--"Managed Care Home"---ha ha ha!

3carnations said...

You receive a speeding ticket in your mailbox? Is it from one of those cameras?

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that you weren't in a hurry in a few months as they are going to stop delivering mail one less day a week. A bummer...all around.

pidomon said...

i hate those damn cameras. i've been lucky the stat hasn't caught me with one yet.

and I have heard that story. maybe it's just a maryland tale

WendyB said...

Just tell the judge this story and it will all be okay!

Saunar Buboy said...

Nice article. very interesting, thanks for sharing.


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