Oftentimes the boyfriend and I do not have days off that coincide, so I am left to my own awkward devices…and things like this happen.
The week started off strong. On Monday I visited my Grandma with my mom and aunt and afterwards I was all fa-la-la-la-la let’s run some errands!
I headed out to my Jeep so that I could finish all the last minute shopping and buy some groceries for our very bare cupboard.
The Jeep started right up, which is always a great thing, because sometimes the Jeep doesn’t start right up. That’s not what happened today though.
I threw the Jeep in reverse, put my foot on the pedal…. And I went nowhere. To explain a little bit, our driveway is gravel and I generally park to the side of the gravel so some of my tires are occasionally in the grass of the front yard.
Perplexed, but not yet sure what was happening, I stepped on the pedal once more, but, again, I went nowhere. I hopped out of the Jeep to evaluate the situation. Aha. My right back tire was spinning out, in a large mud pile. Thanks, constant rain. Thanks.
After some thinking, I decided to pull the Jeep forward and attempt to back out with all the tires on the gravel. I had to Austin Powers the Jeep to get situated on the gravel so it was a lot of slight reverse, get stuck, slight forward, slight reverse again, and so forth.
I was pretty proud of myself for problem solving the issue, until I attempted to back out of the driveway, again, and both my back tires began spinning out. A hazy cloud of gravel dust engulfed me as I crouched down to inspect my wheels. Yep. Both were deep in a gravel hole.
Accordingly, I decided to give up and text the boyfriend and let him know I was stuck at the house. I turned off the Jeep and walked to the front steps, when I decided to check the mail. I headed back to the street to the mailbox where I noticed a younger looking kid walking down the road, with no jacket on. I stopped and watched the kid, wondering if maybe they needed a jacket, or if they were just a rebel without a (jacket) cause.
Because I was contemplating the kid with no jacket, I noticed an unmarked police car at the end of our street. Not moving. Car running. Just parked at the end of the street. (I knew it was an unmarked police car because, in the past, I had a job where I had to sometimes work with police officers.) That’s strange, I thought to myself, and I hoped that nothing had happened to any of our neighbors.
I stood there for far too long, staring down a the cop car, lost in thought, before I realized I must look somewhat ridiculous standing in the middle of the road, clutching a stack of mail, zoned in on a car with a cop inside.
I quickly turned to walk back to the house and got to the top of the steps when I heard the unmistakable sound of a car zooming down our road. The unmarked police car slammed to a stop in front of our house. The car turned off. I was standing awkwardly at the top of our steps, and I began to panic.
What if this isn’t really a cop? What if something happened to someone? What if I’m being set-up? What if they tracked me down because my tail light is out? Should I run? Should I call someone? Should I dial 911?
I settled for situating my keys in my hand the way all women should when alone and feeling panicked – with one key between my fingers so that if I made a fist I could punch someone with that key. (In the eye.)
The policeman slowly got out of his car. His head was turned sideways and he was talking into the radio on his shoulder, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I noted that the inside of the car did actually look like a cop car.
He held a giant metal clipboard in his hands and he slowly approached the steps of my house. He was mumbling something, either to himself, or the radio, I couldn’t tell.
Finally, after what felt like 7.5 hours, he made it to the steps, looked me dead in the face, and said, “What do you know about a hit-and-run that occurred last Thursday?”
And, guys, he said it really accusatory, like I was wearing a shirt that said “I love to hit-and-run!” or like I was running a hit-and-run workshop out of my house and he busted me while I was teaching the basics.
He then informed me that he noticed my car was on and running, and now it wasn’t, and it just so happens he was investigating a hit-and-run involving my type of Jeep. He gave me that side-eyed look that people give you when they feel like they’ve caught you in something. Like when the boyfriend asks me if I used his towel, again, and I say no, because I know he hates that, but the towel is wet and he knows I’m lying. It was that kind of look.
I felt irritated which helped me shake the anxiety and I very firmly informed the police officer that I knew nothing of a hit-and-run, and that he was welcome to look at my Jeep, but that I couldn’t move it or anything because I was stuck in my own driveway.
He turned, inspected the wheels shoved deep down in the gravel, and then his whole demeanor changed. He laughed a little and walked to the front of the Jeep, looked for a few seconds, and walked back to the steps. He informed me that the Jeep in question left behind a bit of its taillight at the scene of the crime, but that obviously it wasn’t my Jeep.
He held up his clipboard and complained about all the places he had to go to track down Jeeps. I stood awkwardly, staring, while he kept talking to me like what I wanted to do on that day was stand in my front yard and talk to a random cop about his job.
Finally, after offering to help me get the Jeep unstuck (I declined – please leave, policeman, your tiny car cannot tow my Jeep), he bid me adieu, and let me know that he would be crossing my name off his list.
I realized, after the fact, that it probably did indeed look suspicious that I was backing in and out of my driveway (albeit unsuccessfully), then got out of the Jeep, then stared down the cop car, the quickly began walking to my house. To be fair, though, I do feel like this guy could have identified himself a little better, and then I wouldn’t have felt like I was smack dab in the middle of an episode of Law and Order.
For the record, the boyfriend did have to tow my Jeep out of the driveway (twice, we thought it was unstuck and then, surprise, it was still stuck) and I no longer park in the yard.