Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feeling Sooooooo Stoopid

Had a long, busy (but productive) day. Hurried home with about 15 minutes of down time before I had to scramble into Portland for the "Sharing the Road" traffic class, so I won't have to pay for my ticket.

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!


Dorothy said...

Doofus is such a funny word. I'll bet just writing it made you smile. :)

It's going to be okay, Kathy! Every single one of us could tell stories about a time when we felt just like a...."Doofus"!

I'm glad about that. Have a good evening!

JuliaKoponick said...

I think after the last two days I have been through, all I can tell you is that sometimes things happen.

It is great when we do things right, but even then there is no guarantee that we will get the outcome we want. We are human though, so we will make mistakes.

If paying a ticket is the worst thing you have on your plate, I would say you live a pretty charmed life. ;-) I am glad to have you as my mom, Doofus Days and all!

Mike said...

After the last month or so, I can only say that I'm glad that I didn't get a ticket for any reason. I feel bad that you got the ticket and get to go through this trial.

When you think about it, it such a minor thing. A parking ticket, a job loss, a sick friend or child. All of these things are put in front of us for a reason. Why? Good question. Someone once told me it was the Lord's way of teaching us lessons. Its all how we walk on the trail. We can not walk on it and be totally safe. We could also walk the trail with hesitation and never get to the end. Or, we can learn how to walk the trail safely and get to the end. Enjoying the scenery and the fresh air.

I typically use baseball analogies for something like this, however after driving over Mt. Hood yesterday and today I thought a lot about how beautiful it was and was thinking how it was all made for our enjoyment.

grovegirl said...

Oh, Kathy. . .let it be, girl. Part of the joy of aging is in laughing at our own frailties. All of us forgive you so you get to forgive yourself now!

Good energy to you (as our friend Jim Grabill says),

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

So sorry, Mom! Glad you can laugh at it. Love you!

Katie Lewis said...

Sad day, Mom. Sad, sad day. :)

Annemarie said...

"You have to laugh at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't."

~Emily Saliers from The Indigo Girls

Holly Mayer said...

Kathy, when I was a new driver police would pull me over all the time b/c they thought I was too young to be driving. It was always so embarasseing, never actually got a ticket though.
I hope you can find time to relax, you are so busy.

David Mayer said...

That sounds like a crummy situation. Part of the frustration I'm sure came not only from all the hassle of getting there, but the embarrassment once you found out. I love you Mom, and I'm sure you've had a chance to laugh about it by now.

(And yes, I read the post to the end.)