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On Thursday morning, I woke up nervous.

1. I had to go to court for talking on my cell phone while driving (something I rarely do but my Bluetooth wasn’t working that day). I had plead not-guilty and was hoping to get the ticket dismissed. The only little hiccup in that plan was that I was totally guilty. I hadn’t yet worked out a strategy for that minor obstacle.

2. In order to make it to court on time, I had to drop Dylan and Summer at a friend’s house and then the family’s nanny would walk them to school.  Since my daughter Dylan is very shy and does not like a change in her routine, I knew there was a very good chance she would veto this scenario and have a complete meltdown.

3. I had just read in the newspaper that women who marry much younger men actually reduce their life span. So now I was suddenly worried about the health and future of Mrs. Ashton Kutcher.

But I knew I needed to put these concerns aside and focus on my children.

I didn’t mention anything to the girls about dropping them off at a friend’s house until we were basically pulling into their driveway. And then I laid it on them in my super casual, Bob Marley inspired voice.

“You know what girls? I have an appointment this morning and it’s a little too early to drop you off at school so I’m going to bring you to Sarah and Jake’s house and you’ll walk to school with their nanny. And then, of course, I’ll pick you up! In fact, here we are. Have a great day!”

Then I held my breath.

“Ok,” they both said.

Wow. That was EASY.

Now time to fight the oppressive powers of government. I was really counting on my enormous pregnant belly to work its magic and get my ticket dismissed. Because I certainly wasn’t going to seduce the judge with my sex appeal.

Apparently my belly took the morning off because an hour later, I was coughing up 150 bucks. Maybe I should have flipped my hair more. Or worn a half shirt. Or explained that I have one baby’s head practically jammed under my ribs and another baby is stomping on my vagina. And that I can’t sleep at night and everyone keeps saying, “Get your rest now!”

I had the option of going to trial which sounded very exciting, like an episode of “The Good Wife,” but I realized that I’d rather just go home and watch “The Good Wife.”

When I got this ticket a few weeks ago, I ended up going online and reading all about Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge and the dangers of distracted driving. The videos are heart breaking. Since then I’ve really limited the calls on my Bluetooth and I no longer text while stopped at lights. I’ve never texted while actually driving. I don’t even understand how people pull that off. How can you type while driving?! Can these people cook up turkey meatballs while driving too?

I’m more aware and present when I’m in the car now. In fact, I’m very aware of all the people who sit at green lights because they are busy texting and don’t even know the light has turned. So I honk at them. It’s a nice honk, not a “stop texting jackass” honk. Unless I’m very tired.

And now I have plenty of time to think while I drive. Like basking in the joy that “Friday Night Lights” is back on and most of the high school kids have graduated now but somehow the writers managed to keep Tim Riggins and his abs on the show. Damn, I really heart those writers.

mama bird notes:

Contributing Mama Karen Palmer Bland treated herself to a yoga class on her birthday. But I would be way too intimidated to attempt this class. Click on contributing mamas to read more.

28 Responses to i gave up distracted driving

  • Momcat says:

    The money spent on the fine will be well worth it if it prevents you from being in an accident while talking on the phone. It took a fine for me to start wearing my seatbelt.

  • Ali says:

    One of my NYC friends saw Kelly from Real Housewives of NYC slowing up traffic the other day on the LIE in her big black Mercedes because she was busy texting away while driving. Really? Doesn’t she have a driver???

  • Cherie says:

    I signed the no phone/text pledge last month – and truly it has changed my driving experience. Especially since i have a 15 year old daughter sitting next to me – who will do as i do not as i say…
    Go Oprah!

  • Coma Girl says:

    I too have gotten a talking on the phone while driving ticket. My defense – “but I was in traffic, barely moving”. Nope, didn’t work.

    Sorry the twins couldn’t get you out of your ticket.

  • red pen mama says:

    I can barely talk on the phone while I’m driving — I avoid it at all costs. Unless I’m having a panic attack in completely stopped traffic, and then I call my husband so he can be frustrated with me. that’s always fun.

    I like the analogy of texting while driving and cooking turkey meatballs. I think if more people thought about it like that, it would give them pause.

  • I’ve always believed that an oppressive governemtn should make it mandatory that mobile phones are implanted in our brains.

    Sure, it would make changing number an awkward, painful and expensive process, but at least you could make calls while driving, simply with a thought.

  • so sorry about the 150 bucks, but if it helps at all, I’m married to a man seven years younger than me, so now I’m really going to stop texting at red lights, because I’ve got two strikes against me.

    So, thanks for the help. My longevity applauds you.

  • hokgardner says:

    I’d gotten fairly relaxed about talking on the phone in the car. But then I lost my cellphone and now I can’t talk on it anymore. I’ve been disconnected for three weeks (still waiting for my husband to buy me an iphone and add me to his plan), and I’m actually enjoying it.

  • Liesl says:

    I had a friend accuse me of getting so much done because I knitted in the shower!
    Maybe I’ll try the meatballs while driving, no wait, I’m a vegetarian!
    Sorry about the cash, but at least nobody got hurt (save for those retailers who would have loved that $150).

  • Jen says:

    I got pulled over on Long Island last week (I was getting directions, stupid me should have just pulled over to talk!) and the officer let me off since I had a ‘Texas’ license (you can talk on your cell while driving in Texas as well as browse the gun shop next to the frozen yogurt store). One of the only perks about having a TX license, ha ha…

  • E says:

    Thanks for sharing your mistake to encourage the rest of us to do better. I mentally took the pledge a while ago but now I really took it. And posted to FB. Thanks.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Here in California it’s illegal to drive and hold phone. On way home from Reno, we encountered fully 1/3 of the drivers on the Freeway with a phone in their hands…California could balance their budget if they’d start handing out hefty fines. And I almost shoved a phone up some girl’s ass when she was on it, and almost ran me over in the Mall parking lot.

  • Two points: I can’t be on my hands free phone in order to pay attention to the other yahoos are completely not looking. And two: my kids are watching me. And they will be driving in years to come and that completely scares me.

  • We still let people talk on their phone and drive around here. But it’s Georgia. They JUST got rid of a law that said you don’t have to wear a seat belt in a truck. Yeah, I don’t know either…

  • I hate when pregnancy can’t deliver you convenience and favoritism. What’s the point??

    I got nicked for talking while driving. I tried to defend myself by saying that if ‘talking on a phone’ is the crime, then headsets shouldn’t be allowed. And so if talking isn’t the crime, and holding something with one hand is, then I’d like to see everyone who drinks coffee, smokes, or hands toys to a baby arrested, too. He was unimpressed with my powers of persuasion, which I’d learned from Ally McBeal.

  • anymommy says:

    The judge had no sympathy for a 32 week pregnant woman carrying twins?? That is “tough on distracted driving.” Sorry you had to pay the ticket; awesome that you are getting so much time to think in the car. I’m so distracted by my screaming children, a phone call would IMPROVE my driving.

  • lindsey says:

    I can’t wait until that is outlawed here. It is a major problem. I’m glad it didn’t take a major accident or something equally scary to bring your attention back to the road…now if only the driving while texters would get a clue. 32 weeks with twins?! shame on that judge.

kelcey kintner