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Monday, December 28, 2009

Road Rage

Wow. Two posts in one day after such a dry spell...



Anyway, I had something happen the other day and I wanted to get others' thoughts on it...

Here's the scene: I am driving in my sweet periwinkle minivan with one other car in front of me, when the driver up ahead decided to crown themselves "Roadway Benevolence Society" and stopped to let oncoming cars turn left in front of him. Obviously, I had to stop as well, and I was a little irritated since it's slippery and I was in a hurry to get somewhere...

That in itself was not a huge deal, but while the oncoming cars were turning left, there was another person waiting to turn in the same direction as me from a side street. This person (let's call them "Car X") was to my right. Okay...so now that Mr. Roadway Benevolence has finished letting every car from here to Washington , PA turn, he has decided to go on ahead. He creeps forward just enough for Car X to turn IN FRONT OF ME and now Car X is straddling two lanes; the left turn and straight lane.

In the mean time, more oncoming traffic has built up and I am not as generous on a day like that day when I am late, so I proceed (as Car X is pulling out in front of me.) Now I am in a pickle. Car X is blocking the lane she wants to be in (yes, that's right...is was a woman, but no "woman driver" comments are necessary, thank you very much) as well as the lane I want to be in. There is oncoming traffic to my left trying to make a turn at the intersection, but I am now in their way since I wasn't anticipating Car X turning in front of me and blocking the intersection...What to do???

Well, here's what I did...I pulled up very close to Car X's driver side door to make room for the oncoming cars trying to turn, and-if I must be totally honest-to give a subtle "you are in my way, you moron" message.

I watched the driver of Car X as she looked out her window (McDonalds burger and fries in hand) to look down her nose at the scant few inches between her car and mine. She finally glanced up at me and gave me a look. That's right, she gave me a very dirty look. I was floored. Was she really giving me a dirty look? When she was clearly in the wrong? What happened next I am not very proud of. I lipped to her that she was "wrong" for the stunt she pulled. I let her know this complete with a hand gesture re-enacting how she had pulled out in front of me. It was a swooping motion. She proceeded to run her mouth at such a speed that I am not even sure she was speaking English. If I could read lips I'm sure my eyes would have burned out of their sockets, but as it was she just looked really stupid yapping silently at me while holding onto her burger and fries in one hand. I think my hair actually blew a little at the rapid speed of her mouth. I can't be sure, but I am almost positive that some colorful language came into play-on her end not mine. She actually gestured to me to "go around her." I'm not sure how she thought that was possible since she was taking up both lanes, but whatever...

At this point, I decided to try out something that I have long told myself I would try in such a situation (not that I often find myself in this type of situation...); I laughed and pointed at her. I thought for sure this would disarm her enough that she would feel properly shamed for her ridiculous actions. Um, no. It only served to infuriate her more. The speed of her lips increased (if that is even possible). The words I couldn't hear looked like a rainbow flowing from her mouth, her language was so colorful. Finally, I'd had enough and I gave her the "talk to the hand" gesture. You know the one...hand outstretched, palm side facing out almost like you're saying "Stop." I stopped looking at her.

Finally, the light changed and she pulled completely into her lane while I sped-- I mean-- drove very carefully into mine and passed her. All of this is so upsurd. I should have just forgotten it the second I drove away, but it stayed with me for...well, for over a week now. Does anyone else have that problem? Do you repeat the incident in your head and replay it with all the things you should have done or said? I hate that I let it get to me. I hate that I even engaged with her in the first place because I bet we both looked equally stupid to onlookers.

I hope this type of thing doesn't happen again in the future, but I know myself, and I can't promise that it won't. I should just be thankful that the only weapon she was weilding was that burger and fries.

For those who need visual reference, I have included a photo of a reenactment of the lane situation. Unfortunately, my kids don't have a periwinkle minivan matchbox car, so just use your imagination. Mine is the white van in this case...

Surely this would hold up in a court of law and prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was clearly in the right. =) Right?
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