Martella & Me

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February 14, 2014 by kmwelden

Happy Valentine’s Day. I got another parking ticket.

One of the hardest things to adjust to in Colorado is the record number of severe hangovers I’ve had, which I always quickly and adamantly blame on the altitude. Whether that’s it or not, all I’m saying is that in Myrtle Beach I was rarely hungover after a night of drinking; here, more often that not, I spend the entire next day alternating between nursing a yellow Gatorade and vomiting up the yellow Gatorade. I’m sorry, Mom. That’s just how it is. Altitude, you know?

Anyway. Today was one of those days I’m spending with the wine flu. I have been on the verge of death all day, yet I’ve still been diligently slogging out to my car every two hours to move it to the other side of the block and avoid getting a ticket. I told you guys I was gonna be more responsible about it, and I have. Boom. HOWEVER, on my third hungover trip to the car I decided I was ready to drag myself to the 7-11 to get the 2 for $2 Gatorades. Sweatpants. Sweatshirt. No bra. (Not that I ever really wear a bra to 7-11. That shit is for the birds.) Last nights make-up smudged all over the place. A bird’s nest on top of my head. You know, all the signs that make you go, “Hmm, this girl really looks like she has her shit together.”

Imagine my surprise when I have a $75 ticket for not having my front license plate attached to my car. Remember when I changed my plates a few months ago? Well, I never actually managed to take my car to get the front plate drilled in. It’s been sitting on the passenger side floor of my car ever since, along with Scattergories and a random metal fork.

I swore a little too loudly and startled a group of doctors who were out walking on the sidewalk. I briefly considered asking them if I could borrow some money to pay the ticket, but that would have been even weirder than I’m willing to behave, so I held my tongue. I drove to the 7-11 (which is just less than one block away, thank you very much for asking), strolled in, gathered my Gatorade, and got in line– only to find the very woman who ticketed my car standing right in front of me (and later I pieced together to be the infamous Martella– the woman that has given me hundreds of dollars worth of tickets since I moved here)!

I was literally in no condition to be in public, much less speak to anyone, but I sometimes lack self control, which I think is pretty obvious. Politely as I could, I asked her about the ticket and how I could avoid getting another one without actually getting the plate attached today. I motioned to my purchase, “I’m clearly having sort of a bad morning here.” It was 1 PM.

She was super nice about everything and just told me to leave the ticket on my car, and it wasn’t likely that anyone else would ticket me. (And by “anyone else,” I think she meant herself. I’m on to your game, Martella.) She warned me that it’s possible someone could ticket me on the graveyard shift, though.

“I should just go to it.” I told her and waited for her to agree. I have a bad habit of trying to get strangers to reaffirm my life choices. “I am just obviously extremely hungover and am in no position to be in public.” I also have a bad habit of over-sharing.

Martella laughed and wished me luck in my recovery. I left 7-11 and parked on my street, and as I was getting out of my car, she drove by in her parking violations Jeep. We waved joyfully at one another, and for some reason, I felt like Martella and I had some sort of unstated understanding about the ticketability of my car (read: it’s no longer ticket-able). Mostly because she probably feels bad for the poor, disheveled, on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown girl she met at the gas station.

As much as I would like to believe this, though, I know how much she loves giving parking tickets. I watched her creep down the street and stop to ticket another poor soul, unlucky enough to live in her zone of enforcement.

I have almost consumed a full Gatorade now, though, and I’m feeling slightly more like a person, so maybe when the next time I have to move my car rolls around (38 minutes), I’ll take it to get the license plate attached. Maybe.


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