April, 2023

Ok! I know, I know. You would not want to be driving behind my conspicuously yellow car, when I am at the wheel. So careful am I ! Cautious? Timid? All of the above? Isn’t that better than reckless?

Even ‘back in the day,’ people questioned my ability to drive, as when I was a youthful sixty year old en route to a visit a friend, while driving on the New York side of the  Merritt Parkway. Just before approaching my exit, I was tagged by a blue-suited officer of the law driving his vehicle which emitted the screech of a siren gone out of control. He signaled me to get out at the next exit— which actually was my plan.

He made me nervous. Was I speeding? I don’t check my speedometer while I am driving. Do you?

So, down the ramp and brake! Brake! And Brake!

Tall, chunky, fully credentialed blue-suited member of the Westchester County law enforcement team, he slow-lumbered towards me, as I rolled down my window in an attempt to be friendly. He stared in stony silence, eyes capturing a portrait of the innards of my car,  before spitting out, “License and registration.” No, “please”

“What’s this about?” I squeaked in my “I-could-barely-talk” voice as I dove into my purse.

Silence! He began writing – writing – writing.

Again, the squeak, “Why did you stop me?”

Finally, he looked at me eye to eye, “Do you know how fast you were going?” he asked, hostility coating his every word.

“No I don’t, but I don’t think I was speeding.” Could I have invented a weaker response?

“Listen Lady! It’s rush hour,” he began.

“So?” Incredulous.

“Do you realize that people want to get home from work? “

“What’s that got to do with anything?”   Naively, but oh!  I was beginning to catch up to him.

“Lady! You were driving in a 45mph zone.”

“And … ?”

“You were ticketed at 25 mph ! You were holding up the whole parkway”

Chagrined to the max, my face felt the fire as I phumphered, “You’re kidding!”

“Not kidding,” he said firmly as he handed me the ticket. “I hope you learn to drive before you’re  – “ and he gazed back at my driver’s license as he handed it to me, “you get to be 90”

So here I am, 96. I don’t “hold up” parkway drivers any more, simply because I prefer local roads. Wouldn’t you- at 96?

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