But today it happened to me in full force for the first time, and it threw me for a loop. I commented on Married to the Law on a post about how some LE officers think they shouldn't be ticketed if they're pulled over for speeding or other types of moving violations.
My first comment:
My view is that if an ordinary citizen shouldn't be doing it, then neither should an off-duty cop. The "professional courtesy" notion definitely gives an above-the-law vibe. The only way to keep the community's level of trust in LE officers high is for LE officers to be law-abiding, and accept the consequences like anyone else when they goof up.And then, out of left field, this happened:
I got into a car wreck a few months ago—I hit another cop's wife, incidentally, who I'm friends with—and the trooper was totally friendly. He was even friendly when he handed my the citation. But. It was my fault. I wasn't paying attention. Anyone else would have been ticketed.
You wrote "Anyone else would have been ticketed."
You are anyone else,
you ARE just an ordinary citizen. You are not insinuating you are different because you are a police wife are you?
Anonymous:Um. Wow. First of all, a person who won't identify themselves is attacking and belittling me, and why? Because I imply that my life and role as wife is altered by the fact that Noah's a cop? Because I'm apparently putting on airs because Noah wears a badge?
Erin, even in your profile you write you are the wife of a police officer, what does his profession have to do with you? If he has a profile does his say husband of a professional writer and editor, an amateur seamstress, and an aspiring storyteller? I doubt it.
If you would like to take this moment to review my first comment, please note that I said cops should be treated like ordinary citizens when they're off-duty, and that the trooper gave me a ticket despite the fact that I'm a cop's wife, because he would have given one to anyone else.
I HATE when commenters turn a blogger's post into a forum for arguing, but I couldn't let this go without explaining myself, so I responded with this:
Erin:I thought that would have been the end of it, but no. It got worse:
I'm not insinuating anything. I'm saying that based on the attitudes of some of the police officers who believe that "professional courtesy" should be extended to them also believe it should be extended to their spouses. And I don't think that special treatment should be given to police or their spouses when they break laws.
That being said, being the spouse of a police officer doesn't make me *just* an ordinary citizen. I don't have any rights or privileges granted to me because I'm a cop's wife that other people don't have, but I *am* affected by my husband's career. When my hubs puts on the uniform and goes to work, I have to worry about his life being on the line. The risks my husband takes because of his job could change our family forever. Most ordinary citizens don't have to do that.
And by the way, if he did have a profile, he would mention me and my career. Because he supports me, as I support him. Sorry, copswife. I didn't think my original comment would turn this into an Erin-defends-herself forum.
Anonymous:I vowed to myself that I would respond one more time, and if this person kept at it, I'd invite him or her to email me. This was my final response:
You are JUST an ordinary citizen. People in all types of trades put their lives on the line everyday. All spouses worry about their spouses. My friends husband was just killed and he works for the park district. Watch the news, most people killed are not officers. You just don't want to admit you do think you are different than lets say a plumbers wife. I agree that officers put their life on the line everyday but so do high rise window washers, electricians, etc. You don't have to defend yourself Erin, just answer why you are not an ordinary citizen without including your husbands profession.
Erin:My question is, Why? What was the point of that? Why would someone who isn't ballsy enough to share even their online pseudo-identity go to such lengths to antagonize me? Someone who, for all I know, is a total stranger?
I'm not sure I understand why I've made you so upset. Is it the word "ordinary"? Because if that's the reason, I take it back. How about "typical"? Does that sound better?
It upsets me that you, who are writing anonymously and don't know anything about the sacrifices I've had to make for my husband's career, feel the need to belittle me and my assertion that being the spouse of a cop does somehow change things for me. That people don't treat me differently, for better or worse.
In case you hadn't noticed, you're reading a blog called "Married to the law" which is run by someone who calls herself "copswife." Obviously, being part of the law enforcement community is a life-changing kind of thing, and it changes everyone's life who loves someone who becomes a cop.
I can't describe myself as anything but ordinary. My husband is extraordinary, and because of him and his profession, some people think I should be granted certain privileges—like leniency when being pulled over or in a car wreck. And, if you had read my first comment clearly, you would have understood that I think the trooper did the right thing by giving me the citation, because I was in the wrong and I'm just like everyone else.
I AM ORDINARY. Are you happy?
I have all the respect in the world for plumbers' wives. Heck, even Joe the Plumber's wife, if he happens to be married. And I acknowledge that there are dangers in many other careers. But until your spouse comes home after having a crazed teenager shoot rifle rounds over his head, you have no right to tell me that my husband's profession has nothing to do with me. The commitment of marriage inextricably intertwines your life with someone else's.
And when you're married to someone who must wear a bullet-proof vest to work, things change.