Have you ever been annoyed at other drivers who are clearly not doing what they are supposed to be doing? Driving too slow, too fast, swerving, etc… I know I have mumbled to myself, maybe even swore out loud a little, on occasion about that dumb jerk who can’t drive.
As I have gotten older, and with my precious cargo usually on board, these little annoyances definitely seem less important. Sometimes we are going to be late. It is what it is.
And hell, I am not going to risk the safety of my kids in the car for some irresponsible person behind me in a hurry — especially on the highway. I’ll pull to the slower lane, let the jerk pass, mumble a few choice words for him or her, and let them go.
Most times they’ll flick their lights, maybe flip you off and speed away. It’s annoying for sure, but sadly part of the fast-paced lives people lead these days. We are always in a hurry to get somewhere fast and damn you, you slow poke! Get Out Of My Way!
So the other day, I was the recipient of someone else’s ODA.
I was driving the kids to the dentist in the next town and, apparently the 3 miles over the speed limit I was going was not fast enough for the driver behind me.
So she started flailing her arms and swerving her car into the view of my driver’s side mirror. Since I was not doing anything wrong and there was nowhere to pull over, I just kept going. On my merry way, all the while watching behind me.
I watched her in my mirror, my eyes shielded behind my sun glasses. This mad momma’s arms were all a’ flailing and her lips moving rapidly as I am sure a stream of obscenities left her mouth. She sped up to tail me, fell back, sped up and swerved more. I was thinking, Seriously? What a jerk.
And then I realized — Holy Road Rage! I know her!
She was a mom from my town. Her kids are about the same age as mine. And clearly she didn’t recognize my car in front of her. Since school was out, her kids were more than likely in the car with her.
I then had to laugh.
I wonder what she would do if she knew that she knew me. Would she have continued acting this way? How embarrassed would she be if I told her? I watched from my rear view mirror as this mom, someone I know and have talked to, just got angrier and angrier at the situation because I was going too slow. 38 in a 35 mph zone and I was cramping her style.
I would be mortified if it were me. To literally have someone look through a window to see you acting so incredibly stupid. It sure hit me that I never want to be that person.
Finally, the slower traffic in front of me sped up, so I did, too. And the one lane turned into two and when she could, mad momma flew by me. I wonder if she recognized me when she passed — hopefully that would have been BEFORE she wanted to flip me off.
So a lesson or three was learned that day.
If you are going to get pissed behind the wheel, make sure you know who is in front of you. We see you.
The second one is — slow down. Life is too short to be so angry, especially when you are carrying precious cargo. They hear and mimic everything you do.
One day they will be drivers. Very soon.
And there are already enough angry ones on the road.