Alarmed in Aurora

Dear Jim,

In over 40 years of driving, I was so proud to have never even been pulled over by a police officer. I had never been involved in a car accident, gotten a traffic ticket, nothing. I was the epitome of safe driving. I never drank alcohol and drove; I always came to a complete stop at stop signs; I never drove more than five miles per hour over the speed limit; I always wore my seatbelt when driving. 

But one day last week, it was a beautiful day out here in Aurora. It’s springtime and I had the windows rolled all the way down. I was driving near these big, open farm fields on my way to my daughter’s house to celebrate my grandson’s first birthday party, and I was listening to my favorite pop song, “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake on the radio.

Suddenly, this police officer is speeding up behind me with his flashing lights and pulls me over. So now I’m feeling very nervous. There weren’t any other cars on the road, but somehow I was driving 15 mph over the 40 mph speed limit. 

I thought for sure the police officer would just give me a warning since I’ve always been such a good driver, but instead he wrote me a $500 ticket for reckless driving! I’m on social security and I don’t have that kind of money to spend. What do you think I should do?

Thanks,

Alarmed in Aurora

 

Dear Alarmed,

I must say, I am quite proud of you for going over 40 years without having ever been pulled over or issued a traffic citation. With that being said, given the information you have provided me, I believe that the police officer was out of line in having issued you such a huge ticket. It doesn’t sound to me like you were driving recklessly. Have you considered reaching out to an Aurora speeding ticket lawyer to fight the ticket? I wouldn’t just pay the fine and move on with your life since the ticket is so high. 

If you pay it, you’re basically accepting guilt and this could cause your auto insurance to skyrocket when it’s time to renew your policy. Better to be safe than sorry and fight this ticket, especially given your impeccable driving record. Keep us posted; I’m curious to know what happens for you next!

 

Take care,

Jim

Torn-Up in Tampa

Dear Jim,

I’m really struggling today and wasn’t sure what to do. My boyfriend and I are expecting our first baby, and we’re both really excited about it. We both currently work in an Amazon warehouse, but it’s really starting to wear me down at almost 30 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend is super supportive and we have toyed with the idea of me being a stay-at-home mom after our little girl arrives. 

Here’s the problem, though: we were having a conversation, and I may have eluded to the fact that I don’t trust him to support the three of us on just his income. I think I really hurt his feelings. The thing is, it isn’t even really him that I don’t trust, but it’s that I’m not used to having to rely on anyone financially. We don’t have a joint bank account, we each pay our own bills, and we rarely discuss finances. So, I know his feelings were hurt, but I don’t know what to do next. Please help.

Thanks,

Torn-Up in Tampa

 

Dear Torn-Up,

Thank you for writing in, and congratulations on your pregnancy. I’d like to answer your question about what to do by sharing a story about the time I had to call a Tampa personal injury lawyer

I was visiting Tampa with my daughter and my bulldog, Gus. We were walking along the water and passed a group of kids. The kids all wanted to pet Gus and he ended up biting one of them in the hand. It wasn’t a serious bite, but just to be sure, I took a free consultation with the lawyer so I knew what could happen. 

The next day, I called the child’s mom to check-in and see how the kid was doing. I asked her if I could stop by (alone this time) to apologize to the child in person. She gave me her address and I picked up some action figures, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and other toys I thought he might enjoy. I told both the mom and the son how sorry I was and I offered to pay for a check-up at the doctor if she needed it. She declined, but I gave her my number just in case.

How does this relate to your case? 

It’s important that you apologize to your boyfriend for hurting his feelings. You need to be open with him and let him know why you said what you said. It may also be a good idea to have a discussion about finances if you are living together and raising a child together. Honesty and openness are the best policies in a happy, healthy relationship.

Take care,

Jim

Confused in Chicago

Dear Jim, 

I’m having a really hard time right now and could use your guidance. I’m almost six months pregnant with my first child and my mother and I haven’t had much of a relationship in over a year. I desperately wish she could have been a part of this pregnancy, and that I could have talked with her about all of my fears and concerns. 

We had an argument before we stopped talking, and she completely cut me out of her life. I’m supposed to be her daughter and I feel very strongly that a simple argument shouldn’t lead to my own mother disowning me. 

I really want her to be a part of my baby girl’s life when she is born, but I worry that she will treat my daughter the way she has treated me over the years. How can I go about rebuilding the relationship with my mother so we can be a good example to my daughter? 

Please help.

Confused in Chicago

 

Dear Confused,

First, I want to say congratulations on becoming a mother! Parenthood is one of the best things in the world and I can tell you will be a great mother because you are already thinking about her future. 

With that being said, I want to tell you a little story that may be helpful to you. My father is from Chicago, and he was arrested for drunk driving on several different occasions. He tried to get legal representation from several law firms, including Chicago Trusted Attorneys, but eventually he decided he needed to just do the right thing and accept responsibility for his actions. 

If he hadn’t gone to jail and done his time, I don’t think I would have ever respected him. 

This relates to your situation with your mom in some ways. You want her to accept responsibility for what she’s done in disowning you, but you also still love her and want her to be a part of your life. 

There is no right or wrong here. You have to do what you believe is ultimately right for yourself and your baby. I suggest reaching out to your mom to see if you two can sit down and have a conversation. Hopefully, you will be able to express your feelings and you two will be able to work through your issues. Your baby, and her relationship with her grandmother, is what is most important here. 

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your family.

 

Jim

Broken-Hearted in Boise

Dear Jim,

This Valentine’s Day couldn’t have been more terrible. I spent such a long time picking out the perfect gift for my girlfriend of five years. I finally settled on a gorgeous engagement ring and thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect opportunity to pop the question. I brought her out to this fancy and romantic Italian restaurant, had the waiter bring over glasses of champagne, and got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. 

Imagine my shock when she literally got up and walked out of the restaurant, leaving me on one bent knee!

I sat back down, completely embarrassed, and after I paid the bill, I went back to our shared apartment and noticed she had moved out. She only took things that were important to her, like her mother’s treasured necklace, her backpack and school books (she’s in law school hoping to fulfill her dream of becoming a Boise car accident lawyer), and a couple of other things I noticed were missing. 

It’s been three days and I haven’t heard anything from her since. She blocked me on Facebook, she isn’t returning my phone calls or text messages, and I’m not really sure what went wrong. I need your help figuring out what to do next. I don’t understand why she couldn’t have just said she wasn’t ready, but to ghost me like that after spending five years together doesn’t seem like her. 

Please help me figure out what to do now,

Broken-hearted in Boise

 

Dear Broken-Hearted,

What an awful way to spend Valentine’s Day, and I’m so sorry to hear that your long-time girlfriend has left you. Unfortunately, “ghosting” seems to be quite the trend these days. After five years, you would hope she would have had a conversation with you about what she was feeling. But we also need to understand that people don’t owe us anything, and we can’t expect them to communicate with us in the ways we would like.

It seems abundantly clear to me that she gave you her answer when she left. As long as you know she is safe and did not leave against her will, you must start to accept the fact that things have ended badly here. She may change her mind down the road and feel terrible about leaving you in this way, but it is important that you remember that the right woman for you would have talked to you about what she was feeling instead of bailing on you when you needed her most. 

The right one is out there for you, Broken-Hearted. I’d suggest reaching out to a grief counselor to help you through this difficult time in your life, and get comfortable being alone for awhile before you get back out there searching for love. 

All my best,

Jim

Concerned in Orange County

Dear Jim,

I’m at my wits end with my daughter. No matter how much I try to convince her to increase the amounts of her car insurance policy, she refuses. I keep trying to explain to her that having the bare minimum coverage isn’t going to be enough if she is ever involved in a car accident. 

It’s bad enough that every time she leaves the house I’ve got my finger on the speed dial, ready to call an Orange County personal injury lawyer just in case she’s hurt, but now I constantly worry that she will be stuck with massive bills, be brought to court if she crashes her car, or heaven forbid is hit by someone else. 

I know I may be being slightly overprotective of my little girl, but how can I get her to listen to me and increase the amount of car insurance coverage she has so she is as protected as possible when she drives?

Help!

Concerned in Orange County

 

Dear Concerned,

I know exactly how you feel. When my daughter started driving, I was paranoid every time she left the house. I used to work in the insurance industry, concerned, and you’re absolutely right— your daughter does need to add additional coverage in order to provide her with further protection. 

It sounds like your daughter is on her own insurance policy, which means she must also be 18 years old or older. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make her up her coverage. Especially at this age, everything you say is going to sound like you are trying to control her and make her choices for her. 

The best you can do is to explain to her why having basic coverage isn’t enough, direct her to the education materials she needs to make an informed decision, and let her make her own decision. As parents, we’d like to prevent our kids from making the mistakes that we’ve already made in the past, but sometimes, as much as we try, we cannot accomplish this goal.

If your daughter is under 18 years old, she must be on your insurance policy, in which case I would increase the coverage amounts anyway since you’ll be on the hook for the bills if she is ever in an accident. She may not like it, but she can purchase her own policy once she is of legal age to do so if that is her inclination.

Best of luck,

Jim