As I've reported elsewhere, I had a little run-in with the law last week, an unexpected one. Not that I'm always Dora Do-Bee: after all, my mother was the woman who explained to the Glenview Police that she was really "just making two consecutive left turns, Officer"... and let us say the bad apple didn't fall far from that particular tree. However, while this particular infraction was, in fact, made in ignorance of the law, my normally silver tongue (thank you, Mom, and years of advertising) got me nowhere. So now, fair or not, I've got potential points on my license pending, which changes things. Considerably.
Yes, I'll pay the ginormous fine and yes, I'll go to traffic school (on the web, of course) but what's really, really, REALLY irksome is the notion that for the first time in my life, I really cannot afford to speed. Anywhere.
Time and I have always been uneasy companions. I went through a Stepford-like, aggressively punctual phase (the first 35 years of my life) because dear old Dad, who had never in his 45+ years of insane business travel missed a flight like I had never, until now, gotten a mover, put the fear of G-O-D in me. After a brief rebellion where I was late a lot, I settled into a kind of a groove that went something like this: I like you/it, I'm there on time or even early; I don't, I show my ambivalence with tardiness.
Fine and dandy. Only sometimes, the old Colleen would war with the new. Rebellious, hear-me-roar Colleen, resentful of having to drive, last-minute, across town during rush hour to audition for a job she doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting because some casting director/production company/client trifecta could not be bothered to give Colleen (and legions of other casual moms who might have actual children to nanny up) a chance to PLAN said audition into her day. Old Colleen, ever-mindful of Daddy's expections (and the rent), told beeyotch Colleen where to get off...and STEP ON IT!!!!
Through some miracle of grace and timing, I was able to stay out of my car entirely for the past three days, but the winning streak ended today: a callback (you can't blow those off, folks) for a McDonald's commercial (reeeeally can't blow those off, even if you are being called in for your resemblance to a chicken) at (oh, it makes my teeth hurt!) 6:20...in Santa Monica!!! That's 10 miles away, on a road with construction, during rush hour, Los Angeles rush hour.
At about 10 on Monday morning, I started psyching myself up to leave at 5:10. I had hourly (mental) pep talks (because I am mental) right up until my run, during which I drew (mental) pictures of myself leaving in a timely fashion and driving/arriving in a sensible one.
Which I did. All of which, oddly enough, I enjoyed immensely. It was so strange to ride in the AARP lane, not worrying about zipping in and out of lanes to make up a precious minute, letting people enter the flow of traffic, yes, even the rude ones riding the gutter who didn't deserve it, just "because." I felt empowered. I felt like an old person. I felt...great.
I arrived at my audition relaxed and happy, and, while I did not exactly kick any chicken ass at my big, fat, Class-A, Network callback, neither did I feel like kicking myself before, during or after my time in The Room. So my non-chicken ass and me took the long way home, too, making a couple of pit stops, enjoying the scenery, exploring a road less-traveled (which, unlike this other, I will not share).
It seems I have been served up this lesson of patience again and again, far more times than could possibly be fair or even necessary.
Then again, a wise person once told me, "You will be given the same lesson again and again in different forms until you choose to learn it."
I choose. I choose, I choose.
And whaddya know, it ain't even all that bad...