Horrible traffic. It took over an hour to get to Emanuel Hospital, in Portland, where the class is held, because tonight was also the last game of the season for the Blazers (Portland basketball team), and their arena is just a few blocks south of the hospital. Every intersection took about 5 minutes. Lots of yoga breathing. I was afraid the doors would lock promptly at 7:00, and they wouldn't let me in!
Found a parking space at 7:02 and hurried in. Went to the table marked "G-J" for registration. The lady asked for my name, and I thought Gee, that's quite a system--they must pull the names off the tickets and get them through the computer system.
"Haynie," I said. "Kathy Haynie."
She looked at her list. I wasn't on it. I spelled it for her. Still no Haynie. Hmmmmm.
"Did you call ahead to preregister?" she asked.
"It says right here on the class information the officer gave you," she said, as she underlined the must call to preregister at least 24 hours in advance with her sharp yellow pencil.
I told her it had taken me over an hour to get there. I told her I hadn't realized I needed to preregister. She couldn't have been more than 25 years old, but the fact that I was middle-aged didn't matter, either. No preregistration, no entrance, no class. Period.
I drove home, feeling numb. And dumb. (At least the traffic wasn't so bad going out of town.) I tried to figure out why I was so upset. I really don't want to pay for this ticket, but it's more than that. It's about feeling like the system is big and impersonal and I think I'm in some kind of denial about the whole thing. I really didn't want to go to the class tonight, and now the whole process will become even more complicated, and I'll still have to go to this class.
After an hour of sitting at home, I finally dragged the class information and the ticket out of my purse, and actually read them, all the way through, for the first time. Why hadn't I done that before? I'm the literacy specialist at a high school with over 2,000 students, and I hadn't even read all the fine print?!?! I can just see the look of amused superiority I would have bestowed upon a student who would do such a thing.
And suddenly I have a picture of myself and how ridiculous my pouty-party is. This is such a little thing in the grand scheme of life. As stupid as I feel about getting a ticket, and not reading the paperwork, and showing up for a class I hadn't registered for, that's all small stuff.
So I have to mail in the ticket with a plea of not guilty and get a new court date. And call ahead to preregister for the class. This too will pass. It's a little inconvenient, but the worst that can happen is that I would have to pay for the whole ticket, and I think there's still a chance to forestall that outcome.
In the meantime, I'm going to try real hard to stop being so pressured and stressed that I don't even give myself time to sit down and read something important. And I'm going to try to stop feeling like I'm so much better than all the rest of those careless drivers that get tickets. And I'm going to try to just stop and laugh at myself a little more often. Because I sure am a doofus sometimes!
If you've read all the way to the end, you must be a real friend. I hope you have a great day! I'm so excited about just two more days of training, and then I get to race in the Goat Mountain Gallop!