Humility sure costs a lot

I got my driver's license when I was nearly seventeen, and I really didn't want it. For a number of years I was slow, cautious driver because driving totally freaked me out. It also didn't help that I was car-less for three years of college and the another nearly two years for a mission. In the past I would have characterized myself as a reluctant, law-abiding driver. Unfortunately my greater familiarity with driving over the last few years has given me a new level of confidence. I've become an impatient speed demon at times, especially when I am tired or stressed.

I also have an irrational phobia of running out of gas. Our car has a little light that comes on telling us to "check gages" when it hits empty. As Mr. Fob constantly reassures me, there are usually still at least three gallons left, but the little red light on the dashboard combined with the "E" sends me into a state of panic every time. Tonight the light came on shortly after I got on the highway to come home. I kept trying to reassure myself that I only had about 15 miles to go, so I would be fine. Plus the highway is not an easy one to get on and off of. I've made the mistake before of trying to get off for gas only to find myself wandering around lost somewhere in Bellevue in the dark. So I spent a long time debating with myself while trying to ignore the light on my dashboard. Finally the phobia got the best of me and I got off on the last exit before the bridge. It's really the bridge's fault; I have to cross a bridge that is very narrow and it would be horrible to run out of gas in the middle of the bridge. And my cell phone had died and was in the middle of being charged by the car. So I made the mistake of getting off the highway. Sure enough, I soon found myself on a dark street in a very hoity toity neighborhood with no signs of civilization anywhere nearby. The street was fairly wide and I started speeding up and down the hills. Yes, I allowed myself to go much faster than the posted limit of only 25 (which I think is totally stupid, by the way). And yes, I got pulled over.

The police officer was very nice, and I'm sort of glad he was able to help me out because otherwise I probably would have run out of gas while wandering around in the dark. But I really didn't not appreciate getting a ticket for $150 (he clocked me at 37). Like I have that kind of money just sitting around to throw at the traffic court. So now that I have a lovely moving violation on my record and an empty bank account I guess it's time to start being more humble about my driving.


two forks said…
foxyj - i know that exit and area well... in the future make sure and get off at the second to last exit. there is a gas station right there... as you found out the last exit does only have hoity toity houses (not the least of which is bill gates'!)
Lindsay said…
I also have an unexplainable fear of running out of gas. It's never actually happened to me before, but I'm convinced that it will if I don't start seriously thinking about refilling the tank when it's only a quarter full.

Sorry about the ticket!
Katya said…
Aww, sad. If you got a donation going, maybe you could get $150 of your closest friends to give a dollar!

I'm well aware of how much gas is in an "empty" tank because I once had to drive 50 highway miles with the gas light on because it was Thanksgiving and most of the gas stations in that part of rural Illinois were closed (and I didn't want to waste extra fuel by driving off each exit ramp to check).
Have you seen the Seinfeld episode where Kramer sees how far he can drive on an empty tank of gas? You can read about our gas adventure here:

My son STILL gets antsy when the gage shows anything less than a half tank of gas. =)

I'm so sorry about the ticket. I think that situation deserved a little mercy.

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