Friday, March 9, 2012

Offensive Driving

When driving, we do not always know where we are going. Sometimes we drive to places that we have never been to or we have to slow down to look for an address. Sometimes road signs are confusing. The sign says exit only but doesn’t mention the turn you need to make is before the exit. So you get in the left lane only to return to the right lane. You use your signal and the coast is clear. But then there is an asshole speeding up behind you who thinks that you have switched lanes to many times and won’t let you get over. Why ya gotta be like that? This incident pissed me off for hours afterwards which is stress I do not need. It made me want to smoke a cigarette (I quit when I was 26) and get drunk (which I can’t do as I am still breastfeeding but someday!).

We could all make a change in the world by just cutting each other some slack. Give the strangers around you the benefit of the doubt. Let people get in front of you, will one car length save you that much time. No, it won’t, be it could save stress. I was coming up on a merge where two lanes become one and saw quite a sight in my rearview mirror. The two cars behind me did not want to give up pole position and refused to let the other in front. The woman who speed up and took the lead did a big old happy dancing with fingers flying. Was that really necessary? I wasn’t involved but it made me feel bad for both parties involved.

I think I learned to swear from my mother while driving in the car. Some of the things that would come out of her mouth! I can remember her banging on the steering wheel screaming, “Premature ejaculators, oh they just can’t wait!”. The car can be such a stressful place regardless of traffic which is a whole nother bagga donuts. I have spent a lot of time resisting the urge to flip the bird and yell insults. Once when I was 23 I flipped someone the bird and they chased me for a few miles. They would slow down when I slowed down and eventually caused me to unnecessarily get on the turnpike just to get away. That was such a scary experience and I would never want to put my child through something like that!

Life is stressful enough, we really don't need to create more stress for ourselves. Since being pregnant, I became a more defensive driver. I felt like everyone on the roads was trying to kill me. The feeling has not stopped with the birth of my son. I try to be a better driver and obey posted speed limits but sometimes it is hard. The baby is crying and I just want to get home and I find myself speeding. I have tried to fight this urge because most car accidents occur within 5 miles of your home.

I always joke that my husband is your typical nice, sweet Midwestern man, and it is true. Sometimes when he doesn’t know where he is going or is looking for an address, he will actually pull over and let the people behind him pass. Ain’t that some shit! We should all try to be more forgiving on the roads. Think of the example we are setting for our children. And for the love of Pete, stop texting and driving!!!

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