The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Road Rage?

on August 28, 2012

I have never been in a car accident in my life.  Nope not even a fender bender.  Never gotten a ticket either.  My kids will tell you that it is because I drive like an old lady.  I tell them that I drive like a woman with low insurance rates. In all honesty I drive like someone who has never gotten caught.  I do try to behave myself but I have never met a person who doesn’t space out at some point and do something stupid.  I’m just thankful that my space out moments never came in from of a police officer.  All of that to say,  I consider myself  a pretty good driver.  Living in a town of not so good drivers.  This  has never been as apparent to me as it was this morning.

I usually don’t have to take our younger daughter to school because she rides with her sister.  I am especially thankful for this fact because driving around that high school before and after school scares me quite frankly.  I have often said that every good parent should figure out a way to be in the school parking lot prior to their child arriving in the morning just so they can see how their kid drives when parents aren’t looking.  I also think it’d be good for the kids to come squealing up and – ta da! – there’s Mom!  I’m digressing however.  Because of an un-shared early morning meeting on Tuesdays I have to take our younger daughter to school on those days.  After today I may make her get a bus pass.  Wait.  Our town doesn’t run buses. Never mind.  But I think we need to come up with something.

As we entered the street adjacent to the school I already knew I was going to get annoyed.  Why?  1 – People park on both sides of this narrow little street leaving the width of a bowling lane down the middle. I hate playing chicken with large trucks early in the morning.  2. – The kid behind me’s subwoofers were hurting MY ears and I had my windows rolled up. 3 – Teenagers have no concept that blinkers are useful and stop signs mean “Stop”.  As I pulled up behind the school to drop off our daughter I also accessed that teenagers have no concept that crossing the street in front of cars could result in you getting killed.  I think they rather enjoy seeing if their “peeps” will run them over.  If that is enjoyable to you then far be it from me I guess. The problem with all this frolicking is that it slows down the mother trying to pull back into traffic and get her younger child to his school on time.

I finally negotiated the often scary street behind the school and proceeded to the often scarier street that runs in front of the school.  Now in theory this street should be easier because it is double-laned, contains a stop light and is supposedly where most parents drop off their children so you should only have to be dealing with adult drivers. (Like that is better sometimes?  Not!)   The problem with that theory is that the sophomores also park in that lot.  You know.  The kids who just got their licenses.  The ones who have driven alone for something like 10 minutes. The other flaw is that the older kids are driving there to get to the back of the school and their parking lot.  They’ve driven longer than 10 minutes but I’m not sure you’d recognise that fact.  This morning, for example, I heard a very loud car approaching quickly in the lane next to me. Very loud cars are not uncommon around a high school.  I mean after all if you are forced to drive an 80’s style Ford Taurus that is the color of well….dirt…you are still cool as long as it sounds tough. Right? That’s the only thing I could surmise.  As Mr. “Teen Needs A Muffler” came flying by me on the right I noticed that Mrs. “I Need To Drink More Coffee Before I Drive My Kids To School” came pulling out of the school parking lot. She must have thought that yield sign applied to the people coming at her.  Mr. “TNAM” who was driving about 10 miles over the speed limit decided to swerve out of the way while laying on his horn.  I know that it’s a lot of work to honk, gesture and drive at the same time which might explain why he didn’t bother to look to see if there was someone in the lane next to him.  There was – ME. Luckily I was enough behind him I got stopped before he wildly careened around “Sleepy Mom” and turned the corner at the same time. This mom shook her head, said a little prayer of thanks and pondered aloud if I shouldnt have looked at purchasing an armoured vehicle instead of a small SUV. Muttering about people’s driving skills, I got as far from the school as quickly as legally possible.

Not that it helped.  You see people are still driving across town to get their kids to the various schools in town.  People who either are not awake or shouldn’t be licensed.  I’m not sure which.  Perhaps it’s just that once you enter a school zone all the regular traffic rules no longer apply.  Perhaps I missed that in fine print somewhere in the driver’s manual.  Perhaps people are just bad drivers.  I’m not sure but by the time I got across town to our son’s school I was working on getting cranky.  As another parent pulled up next to me and proceeded to let out her four very small very slow children out – IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET – I slid past cranky to annoyed.  As I got to the corner intersection and found myself waiting for the drop-off line of the cross street to move so that the woman with the 15 passenger van could move out of the middle of the intersection where she stopped to wait I have to admit that something about cousins marrying each other and having children may have come out of my mouth.  Finally released from the chasm of the school zone I figured I was home free.  Straight on to work.  Or not.

I have to drive by our local grocery store to get to my place of employment.  I had forgotten this morning that Tuesdays are what my husband lovingly refers to as “Blue Hair Day” at that store. On Tuesdays not only do senior citizens get 5% off of their grocery order they also get discounted breakfast and coffee in the eating area of the store.  Great marketing isn’t it?  Not if you aren’t a senior citizen it isn’t.  As I approached the entrance to the store TWO cars pulled out in front of me at the same time. The older gentleman headed the opposite direction as I and the older lady headed the same direction.  At least I think it was an older lady.  I couldn’t actually see a head above the headrest of the car.  I’m pretty sure neither one of these “experienced” drivers heard all the car horns blaring at them. I didn’t bother. Why spook the woman who was now in front of me going 5 miles an hour.  I was about to switch lanes (finally clear!) when she swerved – blinkerless – into the gas station owned by the same store.  One can only assume that she wanted to use her 10 cent off receipt in addition to her 5% off to fill up her 30 year old Buick.  That wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it hadn’t been for the fact that while she was swerving IN to the gas station two more discount-seekers swerved OUT of the station again right in front of me and again going opposite directions.  Thankfully I hadn’t picked up much speed from the 5 miles per hour I was going behind the headless Buick but the people hauling it in the other lanes were. Again horns blared. Again I’m pretty sure the people at whom they were intended didn’t hear them.  White knuckled and muttering about people’s civic duty being to take away their parents’ keys at a certain age or driving ability, I made it the rest of the way to work without further incident.  I almost kissed the parking lot.

As I settled into work I decided that I’m glad I don’t have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  This morning I’d have probably had an accident trying to pull it out of its hiding place.  No not really. What I realized was as irritating as my morning commute was I really didn’t have road rage.  It was more like road irritation.  That might be because this line kept running through my head:


4 responses to “Road Rage?

  1. so funny!! Great play by play! I’m terrified of school areas! My daughter walked with her older cousin during the warmer months but during the snowy season I picked them up from school and it was like a war zone! I dreaded it every day!

    • wedelmom says:

      It’s horrible isn’t it? Snow and ice make it worse! I was being so thankful I only have to drop off our son in the morning this year. He walks home as long as the weather holds.My “nightmare year” involved dropping off and picking up 3 kids from 3 different schools one year. (Our oldest was probably driving around the high school as badly as those I witnessed today.) I still have nightmares….

  2. sarahlmandl says:

    In reference to Annoyed Point #2: I once saw a bumper sticker that read “If I wanted to hear the crap coming from your car, I’d be in it!”

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