Unexpected Turn of Events

Everyone responds to kindness. Richard Gere

I knew the day was going to be weird because I woke up fully rested and without my usual assortment of arthritic pains.

The plan was for me to follow my husband to the Chrysler dealership, drop off my car, get into his car and go out to breakfast.

We were halfway to the dealership when I noticed flashing lights of a police car behind me. I couldn't imagine what I'd done wrong. I pulled over and was relieved when the police car passed me. My joy was short lived when my husband was pulled over, instead. I drove to the front of his car and parked.

Within seconds one of the two officers appeared at my passenger window. I was shaken. "What'd I do?" I asked.

One look at his gorgeous face and I turned stupid. The fact that I may have broken a law no longer mattered. I was happy to just sit there and gaze at him.

"Roll down your window," he said.

He was about 32, with teal-blue eyes that twinkled, blonde curly hair, and a crooked, roguish smile that shot right through me. He was breathtaking, and I wanted to please him.

I looked at the selection of window buttons on my door and pushed one.

The rear left window opened.

"This window," he said, tapping on the passenger window. So, I pressed another button and the rear right window rolled down.

"No," he said. "This window."

I was flustered and humiliated. "It's a brand new car," I blurted out. "I still haven't read the owner's manual." Did I just tell him I didn't know how to open my windows? What a friggin' idiot I am.

This time I pressed a button and the driver's side window opened. He shook his head in -- I'm pretty sure -- disbelief. If he had doubt before, he now knew with certainty that I should not be allowed to operate anything with an engine and wheels, because I was either drunk or suffering from dementia.

There was only one button left. I pressed it. Finally, the correct one.

"What'd I do?" I asked again.

"You were driving twelve miles over the speed limit, through a residential area," he said.

"I was? Really?"

"We saw you were driving at the same pace as the car in front of you and assumed you were following him. Is he your husband?"

Who? Him? No, no no. I'm not married. "Yes. I can't believe we were driving that fast."

I've had three unsuccessful surgeries to open tear ducts that have mysteriously seared closed and won't allow my tears to pass through; tears that are necessary to keep my eyes moist. With no open tear ducts to pass through, they run down my cheeks whenever they damn well feel like, and It's usually a nuisance. But this time it was useful.

"Don't cry," he said, when tears suddenly rolled down my cheeks. "I'm not going to give you a ticket. I don't imagine you're a repeat offender. He winked and smiled impishly, and I forgot how to breathe. "Just let me see your license and registration."

I reached into my glove box, shuffled things around but couldn't focus on what I was looking for. He had to repeat, "Registration, and license."

I took a deep breath, found what I needed, and handed everything to him.

"Your license expired three months ago," he said.

"What? That's impossible. I did receive a notice in the mail, but I thought I had until September to renew it. I wanted to lose a few pounds before having a new photo taken for my license." The look on his face told me I may have offered too much information.

It was then that his partner, who had been talking to my husband, walked up behind him, leaned into the window and said, "Because your husband is a veteran, we're not giving either of you tickets."

"That's wonderful,"I said, "but I'm afraid your partner may have other ideas about that."

They looked at each other. "Her license is expired," said my blue-eyed hunk. Then they looked at me, and paused a few seconds. "If you promise to go to the Motor Vehicle Agency right from the dealership, we'll let you off without tickets," said the man of my dreams.

"I promise. Thank you so, so much."

"You're welcome. Have a great day," and they drove off, into the sunset.

My emotions were scrambled. I was grateful to have escaped getting expensive tickets and points, but delighted to have had the opportunity to gaze into the eyes of that magnificent creature, if only for a few awkward, embarrassing moments.

When we reached the dealership, Marc told me that the officer who came to his window had asked if he was a veteran. When he answered, "Yes," the officer asked, "What branch?"

"Air Force. Korea."

"I was in the Army," the officer said, "Nam."

"War is hell," my husband had offered.

"Yes, it is. I'm not going to give you a ticket," he said. Then he reached for my husband's hand and shook it.

It seemed to me that these two young men had decided even before they pulled us over, not to give us tickets. Maybe it was because they saw we were old. Maybe it was because it was Fourth of July weekend. Maybe it was because they were incredibly kindhearted officers, out to do something lovely and memorable.

In any case, I knew the day was going to be weird. I just knew.