I am really paranoid about getting pulled over when driving. This is not because I’m a bad driver. The worst I do is speed, and I’m usually within 5 mph of the limit. But every time I’ve ever been pulled over, I’ve gotten a $100+ ticket. Thus, the paranoia. I’m seriously terrified of getting pulled over.
Sometimes, to temper that fear, my brain tells me: “Oh, don’t worry! If you get pulled over, it’s just because some sweet young cop wants to ask you out on a date.” And then I have a daydream sequence where said situation transpires. It’s different every time, although lately it’s always me turning down the sweet young cop because of the boyfriend I’m in love with.
I’ve been reading How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran lately (which is an excellent book that you all should read) and feminism has been on my mind. So all these things converged to create this little exchange in my head, and I thought I’d share it with you readers.
The side of a major highway. COP pulls GIRL over, exits squad car, and approaches her vehicle, gesturing for her to roll her window down. She complies.
GIRL: Yes, officer?
COP: [trying to play it cool] Are you aware that you…are really pretty?
COP: I think you’re really pretty. I was wondering–
GIRL: You can’t be serious.
GIRL: [curt and frustrated] So you’ve made me more late to work and added to my stress just to ask me out? No, I understand you didn’t know all that, but really, what made you think this was a good idea?
COP: I just saw you drive past and I didn’t want to lose you. I thought you’d think it was sweet.
GIRL: And on a different day, I probably would. But today, I’m late to work. Besides, I have a boyfriend with whom I am deeply in love, so I’m afraid I’m not available in any sense of the word. I’m very flattered that you thought I was so pretty you had to pull me over, but I really need to get going. Please go away now.
COP: Well…fine. You don’t have to be a bitch about it.
GIRL: Whoooaaaa. Hold on there. I am not being a bitch. I am understandably annoyed. How would you feel if you’re already late to work and someone pulls you over, which is usually a bad thing. Then you find out that they pulled you over, not because they had a legal reason to do so, but because they thought you were good-looking and decided to abuse the privilege of their squad car by basically forcing you to pull over–lest you initiate a car chase and get in worse trouble–and give them an audience. And the romantic comedy charm is totally lost on you, because you have a significant other with whom you’re very happy. So all of this has just been a gigantic hijacking of your time when you’re, again, late to work. How would you feel?
COP: [beat] You’re right. I’d probably be pissed.
GIRL: Yes, you would. And though I understand that you’ve just been rejected and that’s never fun, it’s incredibly rude of you to jump to calling me a bitch. As you’ve just admitted, I’m not being a bitch. I’m reacting with annoyance the same way you would. You’re probably calling me a bitch specifically because I rejected you. Now, you couldn’t have known that I wasn’t single. Hoping that I’m single, however, and getting mad at me when I’m not are two totally different things. One is okay, one is not. Want to guess which one’s not? I’m not in a relationship just so I can hurt you by rejecting you. I didn’t plan things this way. There’s no one to blame. And since we don’t know each other at all, you can’t even know whether we would have actually gotten along. There might be no loss here whatsoever. You’re mad because you counted your chickens wrong, except your chickens are still eggs and the eggs are Schrodinger’s.
GIRL: Are we good?
GIRL: Thank you. Goodbye.
If only we could actually explain stuff in that way and have it be accepted! If only we could share our perspective and open someone else’s mind!
Anyway, this was just one of those little daydreams we all have where we say the perfect thing and everything turns out well. A very slightly sexist cop saw the error of his ways, and the world was a better place. If only it was so easy to fight small, every-day instances of sexism.