unseasoned travelers

I sometimes like to show up at my company’s Charlotte, NC office uninvited. So that’s what I did on Friday.

But let’s take a step back.

Brian wanted to go see comedian Doug Stanhope perform at the Chop House in Charlotte on Saturday, but I wasn’t totally sold on the idea. Seven hours was a lot to drive for a 48 hour trip, and I never seem to have much PTO stored up despite the fact that I’m too broke for a real vacation.

But at the end of the day, homeboy offered to drive and get the hotel, and even agreed to put us up for two nights in NC if we could find a cheap enough hotel.

Man oh man did he ever find a cheap hotel.

I should have known after our experience planning our weekend in NYC that B couldn’t be trusted picking hotels (when I googled the hotel he recommended, the first suggested searches included hotel murder, hotel bed bugs, and hotel haunted. Now lay your weary head to rest, tourist.).

We got to Charlotte around 4 p.m. and I had a blast surprising my unsuspecting coworkers.

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Yes. I was so excited that my one eyeball decided to go cross-eyed. Weird.

When they asked where I was staying, my response was met with trepidation, to say the least.

“Well if you want to buy drugs or hookers, that’s the place to do it,” my coworker Ryan told me. He later compared that area of Charlotte to the NE area of D.C. No bruno–which is of course what my Mac autocorrects “no bueno” to.

Nonetheless, we checked into the hotel, which clearly some people choose to live in because it’s cheaper than paying rent. The first thing I noticed was the smell of smoke, which isn’t a particular turn off for me in most scenarios because it reminds me of my Grammy’s house. The difference being Grammy’s house doesn’t usually have blood and other questionable bodily secretions on the wall.

Whatever, I thought. It’s not like we’ll be in the room much this weekend anyway.

We headed to Which Wich for dinner, because I’ve been obsessed with it ever since reading about it on Hungry Runner Girl–thank you Janae. Too bad there are no Which Wich near me.

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Oh Which Wich. I never really cared until I met you.

After a few $3 sangrias from Brazwell’s, my 8 hours on the road caught up to me and we called it a night relatively early.

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As I crawled into the bed at my 2.5 star hotel, I started to…itch.

“Brian, are you itchy?”

“No it’s in your head.”

“Are you sure?”

We checked the bed for bugs, but didn’t find anything. He covered my pillow with his tshirt, and I managed to fall asleep for about a half hour. My $40-a-night hotel slumber was forcefully disrupted by a loud slamming of the door to the room beside us.

“Ohhhhh helllllllll naw,” the neighbor next door yelled down the highway.

“Aaaaaaron!!! Aaaaaaron!!!” she called.

“We aint stayin’ here,” she told Aaron. “There’s bugs ‘n’ shit. Aw hell no. We’ll go stay down the street.”

Let me tell you, no words have ever spawned more fear in me than that simple proclamation. If the hotel wasn’t good enough for her, it certainly wasn’t good enough for me.

Brian and I managed to pack all of our stuff in 10 minutes and left the hotel, the Rodeway Inn, around 1:30 a.m. We were checked into the Holiday Inn 30 minutes later. I showered for what felt like an hour and strongly considered burning my clothes and my luggage.

While I don’t think the hotel actually had bed bugs, I did see some reviews that mentioned cockroaches. Either way, I’m pretty sure Brian learned that budget shopping for hotels isn’t always worth it. In this situation, it ended up costing him $90 and will probably cost me years of therapy.

And by therapy, I do mean bacon bloody marys from Terrace Cafe.

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Is it a bad sign when your brunch costs more than your hotel? Probably. Even if your brunch consists of eggs benedict, where the ham is replaced with filet.

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Southern food–you get me. You truly get me.

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After last weekend’s shenanigans, I’ve been taking it easy on the old drinking frontier. Nonetheless, I agreed to make an appearance at Blackfinn in Bethesda since the manfriend’s brother was in town for the night for his spring break.

The weather was nice, so the occasion called for some open toe shoes. To be specific, it called for some open toed black sequin platform Steve Madden wedges.

Side note: When I was leaving the bar, a rather drunk guy told me he was “tryna see butt naked in just dem heels.” I let out a loud Fran Drescher laugh because I don’t always know how to handle compliments. 

Blackfinn was rather hot and sticky on Friday night, and at one point I needed to use the restroom. With only two stalls, it was taking a long ass time and I just wanted to get the fuck out of that hot and smelly bathroom. I did my business and got out of there as fast as I could.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about the top floor at Blackfinn before, but there’s always a group of (older) men who just line the perimeter of the dance floor. They stand there and observe, presumably, until someone on the dance floor looks wasted enough to approach.

When I returned to B’s group of friends, I felt a tap on my shoulder several moments later. One of the men from the perimeter was on attack.

Admittedly, I thought it was weird. I was standing with another guy and I had only had one beer.

That’s when the man pointed down at my shoes.

Well that makes sense, I thought. People tell me all the time how hot these shoes are. In fact, you know how Steve Madden makes up silly names for their shoes? I’m pretty sure those ones are called WOWW.

But back to my story.

I look down at my shoes, and brightly juxtaposed against the black sequins is what seems like a foot long piece of white toilet paper.

The perimeter man stood on it so I could pull away, but only about half of it came off. So in 6-inch platform wedges, I had to squat down and tear it off in my hands.

So then instead of having toilet paper on my shoe, I had it in my hand. Lovely. I shoved it down into my almost-empty Miller Light bottle, set the bottle on a nearby ledge, and left the bar without saying goodbye.

I don’t get embarrassed a lot, but let’s just say leaving a bathroom with a trail of toilet paper stuck to your shoe was something that only happened in movies. Not something that happens to fabulous me in fabulous shoes at a bar in fabulous Bethesda, Maryland.

Alas.

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the fight

Natasha said that my last blog post wasn’t funny and that I have to start being funny again.

So I suppose I’ll tell you about “the fight.”

But first a little background. When it comes to what I find attractive in the opposite sex, I find that I don’t really discriminate. Except there is something that I really like–a little bit of fur. Hairy arms/legs/chest/stomach and beards? Swoon. There’s just something about it that’s so manly.

I made this clear to my man friend very early on. He’s been nice about letting his stubble grow out pretty fully between shaves, which is very much appreciated.

He decided to buy one of those electric razors to trim up his beard and well, I guess he got a little shave happy. The next time I saw him, he had no beard, no chest hair, and no stomach hair.

I took it very personally.

“WHY MUST YOU DESTROY EVERYTHING I LOVE?! YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE.”

“Relax. It’ll grow back.”

“That’s not even a good argument. If I shaved my eyebrows, you’d be mad even though they’d grow back!”

“That’d be a good look. You should shave your eyebrows.”

“I WILL!”

The next day on my lunch break, I asked Chase, who oversees our Web team, if he could let me know what I’d look like with no eyebrows. I expected him to say no, but to my surprise, he took a copy of my photo from the “Meet the Team” page and photoshopped my eyebrows off.

I emailed it to Brian and said “No eyebrows–get excited.”

His response was amazing.

“Probably photoshopped.”

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Um, ya think?

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i’d be lying if i said i didn’t miss it

Ahoy.

I just got done filing my taxes because I’m having a “pretending to be an adult” type of evening. I wish I could say my refund is fantastic and I’m booking my trip to Vegas as we speak with my refund money, but alas my refund was pretty puny. And by puny I mean I couldn’t even get a grocery cart full of food at Whole Foods with it. I guess that’s why they call it Whole Paycheck though.

Anyway the reason for my text on my WordPress tonight is because I read a quote from the could-definitely-turn-me-lez Olivia Wilde:

“Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don’t go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I’ll slap you. Hard.” -Olivia Wilde on turning 30

This quote reminded me that it’s been an entire year since I’ve used a tanning bed. Looking back, I was pretty damn obnoxious about it:

Tanning beds: Yes, they are controversial. And yes, I know I shouldn’t be using them. But I do. It’s my thing. Deal with it. Unlimited tanning comes free with my black card membership to Planet Fitness. I use a tanning bed anytime I go to the gym, which ranges from 0-5 days a week. The reason I looked especially tan was because I happened to go to the gym three days in a row, so I tanned three days in a row. (from this post 1/30/12)

First of all, I loved that I went to the gym between 0-5 days a week. Consistency at its finest. Second of all, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my tan.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–my decision to give up tanning was completely financial. And now that I’m living life with rent and balling on a budget, it’s not exactly within my means to start tanning again. Let’s face it; I’m broke as a joke.

But I’m also really glad that I’ve gone this year (and will continue to go) without tanning beds.

For one thing, I know it’s way healthier. But obviously health wasn’t my main concern.

My main concern was being able to feel confident about the way I look, and not going to the tanning bed has forced me to do that in other ways.

Most noticeably, I started taking Body Pump classes. I’ve never been a huge cardio fan, so a weight lifting class was perfect for making sure I get into the gym more consistently than 0-5 times a week. I usually go to a Monday and Wednesday Body Pump class and try to throw in another cardio session or two a week if I can.

The biggest thing I can say about my results are that lifting weights changes your body in ways that cardio simply can’t. For one thing, I now have an ass. I used to have a definite case of pancake butt, but that is most certainly no longer the case. My shoulders and back definition have improved as well, and it’s even helped my posture in my opinion.

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Is that a quadricep I see, Miss Bond?

And although I’ve always been self conscious about being a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, lifting weights has definitely given the ol’ booberinos a nicer shape and a little extra lift.

In addition to improving my confidence through weight lifting, I’ve also taken more of an interest in fashion and makeup. Maybe it’s shallow, but at least it doesn’t cause cancer–yet.

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The mustache helps me not feel like a complete tool when I take outfit photos. 

So that’s where I am a year post-tanning bed. You can also check out my HuffPost Live video for some more of my thoughts on tanning addictions.

Goodnight babes.

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fatniss everdeen

What a weekend.

On Friday I was drunk and eating pizza and kept referring to myself as Fatniss Everdeen.

I woke up around 5 a.m. with the worst hangover of my life. Remember when I used to say that I didn’t get hangovers? Well. Game over for me I guess.

The worst part? I was supposed to meet Monica in Baltimore for a bar crawl at noon.

Needless to say, after one giant Powerade and some delicious Wendy’s, B and I showed up to the bar crawl a fashionable three and a half hours later.

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Alright now it’s time for a few random thoughts:

  1. I still have my clarinet from my days in high school marching band. It’s behind my bed and I absolutely never do anything with it. But lately I’ve been listening to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me” and I totally have myself convinced that it would be amazing to learn how to play it on clarinet. Once a band nerd always a band nerd?
  2. I’ve noticed in a lot of the rap songs I listen to that there’s a really mumbled producer tag that pretty much just sounds like “muzzaoddabeee” at the beginning of the song. It finally bothered me enough that I did some research and figured out it says, “mustard on the beat, ho.” It’s Dijon McFarlane aka DJ Mustard’s producer tag. Mystery solved.
  3. Hot rollers are making a comeback. I use them whenever I want giant Texas hair–which is always.
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    I thought about giving up selfies for lent but then I remembered I’m not religious.
  4. I successfully poached my first eggs. And that’s a grape tomato and sweet potato hash on the side. Wife skills all over the place.
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  5. Speaking of tomatoes, I don’t know when I started liking them. I started eating them because I heard they were good for your skin and they just grew on me. Another favorite recipe of mine is this mozzarella, cucumber, and grape tomato salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. IMG_0833
  6. I saw Excedrin back on the shelves today at Target and got really excited. Apparently it’s been back for quite some time but I guess I never noticed. A lot of people report that the formula has changed and it doesn’t work as well. Boo.
  7. I took out my nose ring about a month ago. I’ve had my nose pierced twice in my life. I’m turning 25 next month and was more comfortable without it, so out it came. Looking back, I kind of already miss it… fuck.
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  8. And just so you know, this happened when I was home. I forgot to tell you. And it totally wasn’t an accident.IMG_0762
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itinerary

I get overwhelmed when a lot of people text me and call me. I really am not a big phone person. I know. It’s weird.

Anyway.

When I was planning my trip to Pittsburgh last month, I was very overwhelmed with all the people texting me asking me what my plan was. I’m not a phone person and I’m not a plan person. There was no plan.

But to get a few of them off my back (read–my sisters), I decide to send them the following tentative itinerary:

Friday: Leave Maryland around 11 a.m.
Get to the city and do some stuff–Station Square/Mt Washington.
Go to Burgatory for dinner. (If you two want to meet us there that could be niiiiiiice.)
No idea.
No idea.
Stay at Aunt Dotties.
Get drunk at Aunt Dotties or at the stupid Rivertown.
Have Lou proclaim “separate bedrooms.”
Worry that Lou will kill Brian in his sleep.
Saturday: Breakfast at mom’s?
Go shooting with Ryan and Maddie?
Hang out at Grammy’s for a little?
Check into our hotel room in the South Side.
Go to Haufbrahaus for dinner/drinks?
Go out in the bars in the South Side (I think we should still do our family outing!!)
Pass out in a gutter.
Sunday: Go to Peace Love & Little Donuts in the Strip District for Breakfast.
Hang out in the Strip District for a while.
Maybe go walk around the Point a little bit if it’s nice.
Buy drugs off of a homeless person.
Drive my smart car off a bridge.
Go home.
Poop in my bed.
Remember that my bed used to be dad and Carol’s bed.
Cry.
Most of those things happened.
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I don’t know if you ever noticed this, but when you click on your “messages” tab in Facebook, it defaults you to what’s called the “Inbox.” But there’s also another tab that I forget about called “Other.”

I happened to remember it today and I had a fun little surprise waiting from me from a guy from Illinois who sells pig semen for a living. Cool job. Can I get an internship?

I don’t know if you will find this funny or borderline creepy. BTW your blog cracked me up and you are a funny girl. A FB friend of mine posted a story about the federal government overspending on penis pumps for medicare patients…me being the smart ass that I am promptly did a google image search for “Austin Powers” to add to the thread. So I do an image search and this is what I come up with:

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 7.56.31 PMSo your picture pops up on my penis pump search. Of course I had to click it and I found your blog. I loved the OKcupid and online dating profile blogs you wrote. So anyway I typed in your name on FB to see if you had a fan page or allowed followers because I enjoyed your blog and thought you might be good for the occasional laugh in my dry dreary life.So if nothing else, you can have new material on a blog about a guy from Illinois who sells pig semen for a living who found your blog on a search for Austin powers penis pumps.

This cracks me up…hope you found the humor as well.

Jon

I responded to Jon and asked how much a gallon of pig semen is…or whatever the standard of measurement is. I’m hoping he’ll agree to a full interview.

As you know, emails with strangers are my favorite. At least this time I came up in search results for “Austin Powers penis pump” instead of “Secret Internet Fatty.”

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a new squeeze and my old stomping grounds

It’s probably a good sign you desperately need to get a hair cut when you look in the mirror and the first thing that comes to mind is, “I bet this is what Carrie Bradshaw would look like if she got lost in the jungle for an extended period of time.”

And no you don’t get a picture.

I’ve been sick ever since I got back from Pittsburgh last weekend (more on that in a minute). I feel like I’ve done pretty much everything to expedite my recovery–well, everything except going to a doctor.

One thing I’ve been super into lately is oil pulling.

Oil pulling is basically when you put a few teaspoons of oil (preferably olive, sesame, or coconut) into your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes.

The idea is, most germs and toxins enter your body through your mouth. The oil works to pull these toxins out. Apparently, it also helps remove plaque and whiten your teeth. I’ll let you know if I see a noticeable difference–we all know I can’t afford my beloved Crest White Strips (I almost typed Christ White Strips) now that I’m balling on a budget.

Anyway. After you’ve swished it around for 20 minutes, you spit it out in the garbage and rinse your mouth out with warm water. Then you brush your teeth REALLY well.

I think the true test of whether oil pulling works or not will be what my dentist says to me on Thursday. We all know my appointment six months ago didn’t go that well

Oh yes. Back to Pittsburgh.

I’ve been hanging out with my man friend for about six months at this point, so I decided that warranted a trip up to my old stomping grounds. He likes to travel anyway, and he’d never seen Pittsburgh before. Before you get mad at me, there were certain places I absolutely couldn’t take him (like Primantis) due to his elementary palette. But I tried to play a good hostess and show him a lot of other cool stuff that doesn’t involve coleslaw.

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I promise he likes it a lot more than he appears to.

The first thing we did was drive up to Mt. Washington. Tourist tip? It’s much cheaper to drive up to Mt. Washington than to pay to park in Station Square and take the incline up. Taking the incline is a lot less fun than it looks. It’s really no Kennywood ride (if we want to keep the Pittsburgh theme going).

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The last time I went to Mt. Washington, I was with my coworker Michelle and her boyfriend Jason. If you go with three people, it’s much easier to take prom-style photos on the overlooks with the skyline in the background. We had to settle for the goober-ific selfie above. I’ll add that to our goober-ific selfie collection. Number of photos = 2.

I had asked my sisters to join the two of us for dinner at Burgatory (homeboy eats five burgers a day so I wanted to take him to my fave burger joint in the area) and my sister let me know that we’d need a table for 9.

NINE?!

It ended up being my sisters and their boyfriends, my brother and his girlfriend, and my mom. You know. A low pressure dinner.

We talked a little bit about how B and I had met. He was friends with my coworker Alanna so we ended up at a birthday party together at a bar.”

“I asked if anyone wanted a Yeungling…”

“And I wasn’t about to turn down a free beer.”

I guess it’s important to tell you that this was during Power Hour at Union Jacks–where the drinks are only a dollar between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. I think I was already four vodka tonics in. This was my first time meeting Alanna’s friends, so I wanted the low down on who she had hooked up with and who was off limits. I won’t divulge that information of course, but I specifically remember pointing at B and saying “so not him?”

At this point, I was not even in the right state of mind to remember to close my tab before we headed to the next bar–Black Fin. Which is probably good because I had left with Alanna and her friends and completely forgotten about the friends I had come there with. I went back to UJ to close my tab and grabbed my friends when I bumped into them to go back to Black Fin.

Of course, I have this habit of running away and hiding from my friends when I’ve been drinking. Usually they are kind enough to find me, but I will admit that I was once abandoned on U Street after I ran all the way into DC9, paid $5 to get upstairs, and buried myself deep in the dance floor where they would never find me. I ended up laying down in a patch of grass near Howard University that night and called my friend Ryan to come get me. Poor guy hasn’t gone out with me since–he said he’s not a fan of babysitting.

Anywho.

I did a circle by myself of the dance floor at Black Fin to see if there was anyone I was interested in.

Nope.

So I sat on the bench to scout or to be scouted.

That’s when B sat down next to me.

“Where did everybody go?” he asked me. (That’s one of the few things I remember him saying.)

“How do you know Alanna?” I asked. (I don’t remember his answer. And I’m still not sure how they know each other. When I ask him these days he just says “We slept together.” and when I tell her that she says “He wishes.”)

And now for one of the only other things I remember saying, “Would she care if we hooked up?”

(At this point when I’m telling the story, Brian interrupts, looks at my mom, and says, “To which I replied, you gotta ask your mom first. I’m gonna need a note from your mom.” I thought it was a nice recovery to an extreme overshare–I’m prone to them if you haven’t noticed.)

Looking back, I find my choice of words very interesting. I didn’t ask him if he wanted to hook up. I just assumed it was going to happen and wanted to know if our mutual friend would mind. I sure am a cocky SOB–even more so after a solid base of cocktails at Power Hour.

Either way. We kissed on that bench at Black Fin for quite some time (I never said I was classy) and at some point he gave me his phone so I could put my phone number in it. Which was fortunate because eventually I ran away from him, too.

The next morning he texted me to say that I should go out with their group again and that he owed me a few drinks.

I was still drunk and responded with something along the lines of,

“I’m still drunk and I’m at Panera. I have no bra on and there are hot soccer dads here. I’m sorry for the very public make out sesh and OTPHJ last night. I’m also sorry that I’m not positive how old you are or what your name is.”

I guess I never thought after that text message I’d be with him at my old stomping grounds introducing him to my mother.

Either way.

He ended up really liking Pittsburgh and described it as a “smaller but nicer Baltimore.” I’ll take it.

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Anyway I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to blog about it. I say “my life is an open blog” but really I haven’t been that personal on the blog lately. My friends were complaining last night that I don’t blog enough anymore, so here’s my attempt at getting more personal.

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my life is an open blog

Beyonce and Jay-Z be all night–love. Most nights I don’t even make it to the second episode of Family Guy on Cartoon Network at 11:30.

PS: How is it possible that homegirl sounds/looks better live than she does on track? Flawless.

Natasha made me go see “Endless Love” yesterday. Twice in the movie, I thought the main character was going to die. And both times I found myself rooting for his death. Obviously it was a great movie (sarcasm font). I thought the title was a bit deceiving though. As far as we know, their relationship only lasts about three months and then the movie promptly ends. I think they need to make at least three more of the movies at eight month, three year, and seven year increments. Then I’ll lose some of my skepticism about the endlessness of their love.

After the movie, Natasha took me out for a romantic dinner at Mussel Bar in Bethesda and I tried my first mussel. And then my second, third, fourth, and fifth. I’m so uncultured without her.

She turned 25 this month, you know.

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We celebrated with table service at Public and brunch at Boqueria, which featured my first bloody mary.

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I’m officially ruined on those suckers because I doubt any will ever be that good. It’s basically soup with vodka in it. What took me so long?

Blogging law says I’m allowed to complain about the snow at least once–especially if it involves 10+ inches. When you drive a smart car, obviously the weather is extremely limiting on your transportation capabilities. The past four days I didn’t have any issues, and today I got brave and took my driveway a little too fast. Spinning 180 degrees on ice in a smart car is a great recipe for shitting the Victoria Secret underwear your best friend let you borrow/keep because you shower at her house sometimes and that’s not weird at all.

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I get a lot of compliments on that jacket. Funny story–my dad picked it out at an antique store for my stepmom and she didn’t want it. He offered it to basically everyone in my family before I finally adopted it. Come to papa, you vintage leather beauty.

Man friend seems less than amused by my antics most of the time…

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Good thing I’m only dating him for his poodle.

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i’m not exactly proud of this…

…But I managed to cry my way out of a $1,700 MVA fine.

Back in April, I traded my 2008 smart car (George Bush) in for a 2013 smart car (Phillip Smartcar Hoffman–btw, yes I am devastated by PSH’s death and I’m extremely touched by all the people who texted me to either let me know or send their condolences. I didn’t know my love for PSH was so public, but I guess that’s what happens when you name your car after someone).

This was only my second car I’ve ever purchased, so I will admit that I’m not super savvy with all that’s involved in the new car process. However, I thought the benefit of working with a dealership (rather than say, buying a car on Craigslist) was that they took care of a lot if not most of the necessities for you.

Nearly nine months later, I realized one very important item got overlooked when I switched cars–my car insurance.

My car insurance is something I don’t often think about. I see it come out of my bank account every month and I print out a new ID card for car twice a year. But other than that, it’s not really a high priority thing to me. This is probably because I’m a super defensive driver and assume if I get in a car accident in the smart car, death is probably certain (even though its name is Phillip Smartcar Hoffman, I also often call it my death carriage.).

I will admit that I got a notice in the mail from the MVA in November (I didn’t see it til December because I never open my mail) saying that they couldn’t prove my car was insured. Of course at this point, I had been driving the car for half a year and 10,000+ miles, so I’m not sure they waited so long to tell me. I checked my bank account to make sure all my car insurance payments went through–yep. I had only gotten one letter, so I kind of assumed it was an MVA error and didn’t think much else of it since I had proof that I paid my insurance.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. It was 12 degrees outside and I needed to drop Brian off at his house before work. I didn’t want to take Wisconsin Ave during rush hour, so we decided to take a back road. Unfortunately, a lot of the neighborhoods prohibit left hand turns during rush hour, and I ended up getting pulled over.

The officer was very nice, and told me that as long as I hadn’t been ticketed on that road before, he’d let me go with a warning. After about five minutes of waiting for him to run his scan, he returned to my car to let me know that my registration had been flagged, and that he had to take my tags and have my car towed.

“Are you kidding me?”

“The MVA has a flag on your tags. It’s an insurance issue.”

“I have insurance.”

“It’s out of my hands at this point. I already called the tow. You’re going to need to go sort this out at the MVA.”

At this point I started to cry.

“How do I get to the MVA if you tow my car?”

(In case you don’t know, I live 200+ miles away from my family. Sure I have friends, but we live in the D.C. area so a lot of them don’t have cars.)

“I’m done with this conversation.”

The only thing I could think to do was to call Jill and get her to drive me to work. Between sobs, I explained the situation to her. But in the meantime, another officer showed up. They felt guilty about towing me when it was so cold out, so they gave me a fine for driving with a suspended registration and for making an illegal left turn during rush hour and told me to go straight to the MVA with my proof of insurance.

“Don’t get pulled over by the state troopers,” they told me. “They won’t let you go like we did.”

The officer also let me know I could go to court to fight the first fine if everything ended up getting squared away with the MVA. He even offered to let them know that I have a good driving record and that I was very cooperative. What a sweetheart.

As I gathered my insurance information to take it to the MVA, I happened to glimpse at the year of the vehicle on the ID card.

Two thousand fucking eight.

I had been paying to insure the wrong car for over nine months.

I called Geico and had them update the information, though they said they couldn’t retroactively insure the car. This is when I started to get really nervous. In addition, since so much time had gone by since the car was purchased, Geico needed to inspect the car before they were willing to fully insure it.

I drove down to Chevy Chase for the inspection, where I explained my situation to yet another Geico worker. She said this happens more often than you’d think, and it’s usually because the dealerships offer to update the information and then never do. I asked her if she thought the MVA would be lenient about it. “The MVA can be tough,” she said. “But it’s better you found out this way than if you got in an accident and found out you didn’t have insurance.” My nerves were completely shot at this point.

I had a relatively short wait at the MVA. The representative let me know that I needed an F15 form that showed that my 2013 smart was insured between May 22, 2013 to present. I explained the situation and let her know that my insurance would not be able to offer that information.

“Oh. I would call them and talk to a supervisor. Because then you’re going to owe bounty.”

“How much?”

“Over $1,700.”

This is when the tears really started to fall. With mascara running down my cheeks in the middle of a semi-crowded MVA, I talked to a very sweet girl named Wendy for what seemed like hours.

“Wendy, I technically was paying you guys and I wasn’t even getting anything in return. And when I updated it I ended up having to pay less so you guys were getting even more than you were supposed to. And I didn’t get into any accidents whatsoever. Isn’t there a supervisor I can talk to?”

“Let me see what I can do.”

She faxed over an F15 and a new MVA representative let me know that I would indeed have to pay the $1700 unless they said I was insured from May 22, 2013.

Still on the phone, I pleaded with Wendy to transfer me to her supervisor.

“What exactly does he need the form to say.”

“That my 2013, not my 2008 smart car was insured from May 22, 2013 to present.”

The gentleman at the MVA was already writing up my bill when this was happening. I was going to owe at least 20 percent immediately, and the rest could be paid on a payment plan with 17 percent interest.

More tears.

Then Wendy told me to have him check the fax again.

And there it was. An F15 from Geico that said i was insured from May 22, 2013 to present.

The gentleman at the MVA threw away the bill he was writing up and removed the suspension off my registration. He offered me a copy of it that said “case closed.”

As I was getting ready to leave, he asked me how I like my smart car.

Despite everything, I still fucking do.

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