We were driving our Olivia to a precollege summer session in Vermont. I was anxious, my baby was going away for the first extended period of time, and we had started a little late…I hate to be late. Driving through Connecticut I did that thing…that gradual and clueless acceleration that leads to 88mph in a 65mph zone. I did this on our honeymoon too, in Wyoming. I had never seen a straight flat road with no other cars before…I clocked at 100mph that time. Anyway, back to Connecticut…I was pulled over. The cop came to the window and asked me if I knew how fast I was going. The poor man, what should have been no sir I didn’t…became…oh my gosh no, how fast was I going, we are taking our daughter to a college summer session and I am so nervous and upset, it’s a mom thing, I am a nerd, I teach Sunday school, I am so sorry, I am just so nervous…I did not get a ticket. The fact that I did not get a ticket annoys my husband. You played the Sunday school teacher card, that is shameful. But to be fair, I am a serial oversharer and I had no idea what was coming out of my mouth…it just came out…and do note, the Wyoming cop did not find it remotely charming, he slapped me with a huge ticket.
My first run-in with the law was when I was 16. The gaggle of kids in my universe would wander the neighborhood with cases of beer and loud music blasting from a boombox. One night we ended up in front of my house and the police drove up asking us to disperse. I walked up to the officer saying something like you can’t make us disperse, this is my house…bad move. My parents were asked to come outside and I learned a very valuable lesson…never talk back to law enforcement. I have never seen my father so angry. The color of my skin allowed me to walk away with only embarrassment. Privilege.
I currently have very little design work, so when word that the second round of PPP loans for small businesses came out, I was pleased. My accountant offered to apply for me, no brainer…yes thank you. I was denied. Why? I have all the right paperwork, I filed my taxes in February, and my business was down enough to make me poster child for a loan. What could the problem be? Then I heard back from the accountant, he asked, do you want the good news or the bad news? Good please. We figured out the problem. Bad please. They say you have a criminal record.
I am not a crook! I am a Sunday school teacher…remember?
I have spent the last two days doing criminal record searches, getting credit reports, visiting my bank, asking the local police department for my non-existent criminal record, and finally…visiting my lawyer.
Things I learned…
• My credit was not breached. Woot woot.
• Getting your own criminal record (or lack thereof) is not as easy as it should be.
• Your local police chief can write a letter declaring you a good citizen with no convictions—in your hometown, which is amazingly adorable, but not so helpful.
The official letter stating I am not a felon has been sent to the powers that be. Now I just wait…but I wait with dear friends texting me positive thoughts, amazing accountants jumping through bureaucratic hoops, and wonderful lawyers who go above and beyond at the drop of a dime. I might not have a loan but I have an amazing support system.