About two months ago I stuck my new registration sticker for my Honda in my center console, and forgot about it. I mean, I had it. Good enough, right? I still had a month to put the thing on the windshield.
It wasn't until I saw the flashing lights behind me that I thought to check the date on it. Fuck. That I was not worried about. It is in the car. No officer is going to give me a ticket. But I can't remember the last time I put an insurance card in that car. And my driver's license? Well, it has the wrong last name, wrong address (moved FOUR times since then), and it expired in March. Fucking great.
"Ma'am, you realize your registration is expired?" The officer drawls as he walks up to the window.
"Well, you see sir, I actually have it right here. Silly me, I thought both the inspection and registration expired in the same month, so I hadn't changed it yet." I smile my sweetest smile and hope that he will just let me go without checking for my insurance card or driver's license.
"No problem, ma'am. Now, can I just see insurance and ID."
Crap. The glove compartment is packed full of old insurance cards, kiddie drawings, napkins, extra straws, stickers, and random toys. I flip through, pulling out insurance card after insurance card. Expired. Expired. Expired. "I am sure it is in here somewhere." I smile, and keep looking. In the back seat, the kids start singing. Loudly.
The officer shifts from one foot to the other. "How about you just give me one of those. Is it the same insurance still?" I nod. Oh thank you Gods of the Messy Glove Compartment. "Now your driver's license."
There is no getting out of this one. I am just going to have to tell him the truth. The whole truth. I lean as far out the window as I can and lower my voice. "Sir, my license is expired. See I went to renew it, but I needed my name changed." I mouth the word, "DIVORCE." "But I had a file copy, not a certified copy. I had to order the correct copy and it took several months to get in." The officer gives me a knowing smile. The singing in the back gets louder. French fries fly across the car. Normally, I would kill my kids for acting this way. But today? I grin as I say, "And I just can't imagine having to go to the DMV with these two."
The officer writes a warning and runs as quickly as he can from the car, narrowly avoiding a french fry in the side of the head. I wave as he drives off. And I wonder if maybe, oops, I left out the part where I got divorced six years ago.