Like a drive to cool country just for an elegant meal, or a relaxing day at the spa.
Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, I thought the BEST way to spend my Saturday was to go to traffic school. (See my confession here.)
So where do I start? Let's see...how about the fact that the closest traffic school that met my court date requirements was 45 minutes away...oh, and it started at 7:30 a.m.
Did you know that there was a 7:30 in the daytime? Dude...I thought the twilight one was it.
So being that I am the insomniac who stays up for a nightly infomercial fix (really), I knew that I would have to FORCE myself to bed by midnight. I know, it is just so early. So, I watched what I ate and drank, got into my jammies and brushed my teeth. I crawled into the nice cool sheets to soak up my 6 hours of sleep before I would be ripped from dreamville prematurely.
This is where I would love to tell you that I drifted off quickly and easily, had sugar plum visions, and woke rested to the sound of singing birds. Yep. Didn't happen.
I layed there. All. Night. Long.
I tried to sleep. I counted sheep, said hours of prayers, and even tried to go potty one last time.
I tossed. I turned. I itched. I scratched. I sighed. I moaned. I cried. I was SOOOOO frustrated...because I knew...KNEW...that I would be tired and cranky and so not into the fun and educational day of Defensive Driving Instruction. (Dripping with sarcasm.)
Well, dawn broke...as it does apparently every day while I am blissfully unaware...and the lighter it got, the more obvious it was that I was not going to get any sleep. So I did what any good student would do, I got up, showered, complained to my husband, got dressed up (yep...just in case I could persuade the instructor to let me go early), and kicked the dog on my way out the door...at 6:30 a.m. - A. M. - A. M. PEOPLE!
(Oh, and we don't even have a dog...so in retrospect, I'm wondering who I kicked?)
What is one inclined to do when traveling to an obligatory day of interaction with the socially inept? (I'll get into them later.)
You guessed it. Sonic. You have to drive through Sonic.
Breakfast burrito and Diet Coke with that amazing ice. I might even be able to stay awake until 10 with that stuff.
So I get my Sonic, painfully aware that I am sitting in the very stall that I slammed into with my Suburban months prior, when the happiest species of perky young female skates out with my goods. Wanna hear her words of wisdom? "Have a nice day." Yeah, I know. The nerve.
My thoughts begin to scream at her..."Do you know where I am going, dear carhop? Do you?"Traffic school. I think I would rather be rolling car to car delivering breakfast burritos and legal addictive stimulants. I was encouraged by her pluckiness, but not enough to actually tip her. I feel bad about that now, but give me a break, I was on NO sleep...okay? And pregnant. And hungry. And totally uncaffeinated at that point.
So as I pulled out of Sonic, probably muttering something pathetic, I was on my way. Well, my 45 minute drive took almost an hour...and I was stressed. I had been told to be there on time, because they might lock me out if I wasn't . Because that is the way the people who run these things work. They are of the "tough luck" mentality. You got busted, pay the fine. You are late, reschedule. We don't want your interruptions...just your money, right?
Just a quick question for you? Why is it that when you are in a rush...you hit EVERY red light? Every single one. Oh, and you don't see stuff...like the poor construction worker I nearly plowed over when I whipped a frantic right turn. I'm sorry dude, I didn't see you. (Gave him the sorry wave...Do you think he saw that?) Get off me. (He even stepped into the lane I was driving in to watch me drive away... I am convinced that another ticket is in the mail by now.) Sigh.
So I pull into the parking lot of the massive church that the instruction was being hosted at just in the nick of time. It was 7:28 a.m. (I still am so proud of myself that I got somewhere, showered, dressed, and make-upped...all before 7:30)
Sadly, it took me 10 minutes to find the dang classroom...there were a gazillion buildings and finally I found a campus map and walked through the classroom door.
I did not find an instructor speaking, teaching, and otherwise beginning a class...no I found about 60 people in a room...looking incredibly bored and pathetic as they waited for the lone Traffic School guy to check in and register every student. Yep. It was a classic case of hurry up and wait.
I stepped in line behind this tall guy...who was carrying his gym bag and was bragging that he had already been there for hours playing basketball. (Dude...shut up.) Like I was supposed to be impressed. (Okay, I was a little impressed, not about the basketball thing...but he was up...early. Apparently there is a whole world out there of people who actually wake up early. Puzzling.)
All the while that this guy is chatting with me, he is scanning the room. No doubt looking to see if his day wouldn't be a total waste of time...checking the room for babes. Seriously, could he make it any more obvious? And I know I am totally pregnant and married and everything, but what am I? Chopped liver?
So as we near the registration table, we begin to put a face with a voice (the one that has been shouting at us for 20 minutes to have our checks and our tickets ready along with our drivers license...oh, and make sure they are all facing the same way...yada yada yada). It is a skinny, greasy, retired face...who somehow thought he was a stand up comedian. I don't know what is worse, the fact that he thought he was funny, or the fact that he was a realtor and tried to sell us all a house. (Seriously...put in a plug for his business...nerd.) His catch phrase seemed to be "Work with me People," when he wouldn't get a laugh...he said it. I think I counted about 50 times.
Now as a mom and wife, I am no stranger to boredom. Let me clarify. I realize that there are things that have to be done...over and over and over. Things that don't exactly excite, but you just do them. Traffic school was one of those things. But can I just reiterate how incredibly boring it was to sit through one hour and 40 minutes of rules, introduction (of himself mainly), and the mundane reading of each and every ticket...outloud...to the class. Uh-huh. It went a little something like this:
"Oh, here we have a 42 in a 25...near Star Valley. Does everyone know where Star Valley is? You don't? Let me tell you...."
"Oh, and here is a red light ticket...in Peoria. Oh, and no proof of insurance."
"Do you guys realize that if you don't have your insurance or registration...you can get multiple tickets?" (I know, he is a genius. I learned so much.)
So it went on like that for over an hour. I never thought the trips to the restroom to go pee would be the most exciting parts of my day.
Being that I am in my third trimester of pregnancy, one of the issues I'm plagued with is hot flashes...I tend to get really hot and need air. So thankfully, we were in the Senior Aerobics room (not even joking) at this church...the blessing was that there were oscillating fans everywhere. Just one small glitch. They were not turned on.
So as I am dying of heat, I am scheming. "If I could just get one of those things to blow on me, I might survive this Traffic Survival School...or whatever it is called." So I discreetly get up and wander to the back of the room (which the instructor has given us all permission to do...get up walk around, stretch...just don't leave). Being the brilliant maid that I am, I see some stacked chairs at the back of the room and a fan. Oh yeah. Bring chair A to fan B and I am set. So I get all set up and then I do the brilliant part...plug in and turn on the fan. (Picture this, I am a good 15 feet back from the very last row of students...so I really am not disturbing anyone...yet.)
I say yet, because, apparently all of the fans in the room were from the paleolithic era. And, well, when the discreet maid tried to turn it on...well, if you can imagine the most annoying humming/buzzing sound of motor trying to start...oh yeah. I'm pretty sure that EVERYONE in the room turned and looked at me. Ordinarily I love attention. I pretty much would have rather taught the class than sit through it, but picture the type of people that were in the room with me:
- Young, old, fat, thin, nerdy, your typical narc, your rebel, and other social outcasts.
All of those people glancing back to see WHO was making such noise...and why.
Turn around people. I'm just trying not to pass out...wait a minute...maybe that would make this thing go by faster.
Well, as Mr. Know it all shared with us during the class (you all know the type...the type who has to interject something relevant and what he deems interesting at EVERY pause), at least we only had to endure a total of 5 hours and not 8 hours. The classes used to be 8 hours until some unlucky state legislator got a ticket and had to sit through the class. He vowed to write legislation to reduce our "time served" to a more reasonable punishment. Thank the Lord above for that guy's ticket and the beautiful legislative process (Hey, we may not be able to balance the state budget, but we can get those poor traffic survival school folks out of the pits of hell)...I mean we were there until almost 1:00 p.m. and I was foaming at the mouth.
So after all eyes were off me, I found myself in the interesting position of being able to watch everything. It was great. I had my private fan and seat at the back of the room...and a view to boot.
Here is what I saw:
*2 older ladies who got up every 15 minutes to stretch. I mean it was as if they were embarking on a jog...bend, touch your toes, reach over your head to the left, to the right...oh sit down already.
*Old guy with a pocket full of almonds...yep. Oh and apparently a bad sciatica...he was up and walking and stretching for almost the last two hours...eating his nuts. I mean the almonds. And if that wasn't bad enough, at one point he bent over...spilling those bad boys all over the floor. Did he pick them up? Nope. He just tried to discreetly kick them into a pile in the corner? What the heck? Dude, didn't yo mama ever teach you to pick up after yourself?
*Mr. Basketball, who plugged in his laptop (he wanted people to know that he was more than an athelete, I suppose) and his ipod to charge. He was constantly looking around trying to make eye contact with people and rolling his eyes out of boredom. He was making friends with body language...twas quite interesting.
*Mr. Know-It-All, who decided that he wanted to change his name to Mr. Narc. Yessir. He raised his pathetic hand to address Mr. Greasy and said this: "Um, will you tell this guy over here to get off his laptop and his ipod? He is really distracting those of us who are trying to pay attention."
Oh - yes - he - did.
The funny part is that I was the eye in the back of the room and as he and Mr. Basketball argued in front of the teacher over that...all I could think of was: "Ooooh, fight at recess."
And I know who would win...it would not be Mr. Narc. Seriously, for the last hour of the class, the songs from West Side Story began to run through my brain. I guess I was ready for a rumble.
*Mr. If I Wasn't Married. Okay, disclaimer: I am happily married to a handsome and wonderful loving guy, but this wasn't about me...this was about this guy. You know the type...if I hadn't been wearing a wedding ring and wasn't obviously pregnant, this was the guy that I know would have asked me out. Not because I am all that or anything, but because he gave me all the signals. Eye contact, smiles, more eye contact, watching me walk out of the back of the room, watching me walk back in, more smiles, and even a friendly exchange at the end of the class to see if I would bite. (After all, as I explained earlier...I had gotten dressed up...my toenails matched my shirt and my shoes...and I had full on hair and make-up that day...I probably was one of two women that day who showered! Note to self: next time wear sweats and a pony tail.)
So as the day came to a close, and Mr. Greasy Real Estate Agent/Instructor was handing out our certificates of completion (why is this necessary? It is not like we graduated or anything.), I found myself wishing only one thing...why couldn't I be an A. You know...in the alphabetical sense. My last name is unfortunately towards the end of the alphabet...and I was waiting...and waiting...for my stupid name to be called so I could go the heck home. Yep, we always want what we can't have...why couldn't I be an "Anderson?"
Better yet? Why couldn't I have avoided the darn ticket in the first place?
This was my day at traffic survival school...and that is exactly what I did...survived it. Be warned my friends, photo radars are here to stay. They are everywhere...so drive carefully, and if you happen to go to traffic school, take my advice and find a seat in the back, pull up a fan, bring a really big Diet Coke, and just watch, giggle, and learn.
I may not be any wiser on the road...but work with me people...I survived traffic school. (T-Shirts coming soon.)