Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For Shame

I did something I’m not particularly proud of today.

Let me start at the beginning. (Deep breath… and… sigh)

I was driving home from a lovely visit with friends. Dum-de-dum, driving in the right lane, the turn lane, of a street that dead-ended at this particular intersection. The light for going left was red. The right turn arrow had just turned green and I slowed to let a car in a parking lot driveway into my lane.

Except he didn’t want into my lane.

He wanted all of the traffic in the entire universe to revolve around his ass as he turned left. So he pulled out straight in order to directly block my lane. The cars in the other lane can’t go anywhere because they have a red light. And the oncoming traffic has green. So. Riddle me this. Where on God’s green earth does that guy think he can possibly go?

I honked a quick little polite little honk and gestured that he might want to move because I have a green turn arrow up there, and I’m anxious to get home for naptime. He doesn’t look at me and instead gestures at the car perpendicular to him obviously appalled that the guy didn’t evaporate in order to get out of his way. I honked again, maybe a little more insistently. After all, I have a GREEN LIGHT and a WHINY NAP DEPRIVED CHILD.

He gestured wildly like he had no control over the situation and he's stuck just like me. At which point I lost my cool. And this is where I should be ashamed: I got out of the car.

I went to his window and told him in a super sugar-sappy-sweet voice that I’m sorry he’s only ever driven on the training course, but here in the real world we don’t expect people to stop what they’re doing just because we feel like turning left RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND.

He wouldn’t look at me and pretended that he couldn’t hear me through his window but was obviously agitated. That’s when there was no cool left whatsoever up in here. I started yelling at him that there was no effing way he was going to get anywhere and he’s causing a huge traffic jam and he should back the eff up and stop being an effing ignorant jerk and learn how to drive and I wish I had my effing tire iron in the car. There may have been more verbiage that spilled from my mouth, but you get the general idea.

Then I got back in my car shaking like I just channelled Jack Nicholson and tried to be real calm so Lucy wouldn't get upset. And contemplated just driving into his car. I thought about how the police report would look. That I had a green turn arrow and he pulled out in front of me. How much damage would be done to his car. Would I be guilty of assault? If only there weren’t a whole street full of stuck-and-can’t-help-but-notice kinds of witnesses.

So I honked my horn some more.

AND THEN? The light for going left turned green. And none of those cars would let him through. BECAUSE WHY WOULD THEY? And he inched into the other lane until the cars couldn’t go around him any more. And then he SAT THERE AND WAITED FOR ONCOMING TRAFFIC TO STOP FOR HIM. So here he is blocking two lanes of green lights. And finally someone stopped for him and he turned left after giving the guy in the other lane the FINGER apparently for BEING THERE.

So. Really? I was having a great day. I had a great visit with friends. And I am NOT one for road rage. EVER. Ask my Bubba – I’m always the one telling him not to get worked up, just to get where we’re going safely.

I made a poor decision to get out of the car (especially with the precious cargo in the back seat).

But I feel like I should feel worse about it than I actually do.


KAO kid said...

OH DEAR! I will not put on my lawyer "hat" right now, and simply say, I am glad that things did not escalate beyond that point.

Also, I will admit to road-rage "events" in which I have put my car into park (emergency brake extended) so that I could lean out of the window (past my torso) to give a woman driving her big black Range Rover (who used a racial slur against me from her car, in response to me not letting her cut me off after she already had twice) a bit of "wisdom" in four letter word form.

...And after a guy cut across 4 lanes when he had a stop sign and hit my car as I was "unsuspectingly" driving forward ON A GREEN LIGHT.
He, of course, had no insurance.

It was after these situations that I decided I could not live in Chicago forever.

I love you.

maggie said...


I think I know the intersection you are talking about. I can picture it perfectly. I would have been furious. I also would have been scared shitless to get out my car and YELL, but you know this happens to be one of the things that make you fabulous. Really. Potential lawsuits notwithstanding.

Carrie said...

I am laughing so hard at this (because you're okay and Lucy is okay and you didn't end up in a fistfight with the guy). I cannot believe you did that! People should just not mess with moms with cranky kids- we will do anything to defend naptime! :)

-R- said...

It is so rare for me to get road ragey, but I can imagine my husband doing what you did. I can't believe he continued to act like an a-hole after you got out of your car and yelled at him. What an idiot.

Mary said...

Right on, sister!

Lisa said...

Wow. I could just picture the whole thing. I can't imagine what makes some people think the world revolves around them. They are the reason that most accidents happen, too.

Manda said...

YOU GO GIRL (also I am glad that no one ran you over and I'm certain that everyone in the cars around you wanted to do EXACTLY what you did. I know I would have).

Morgan S. said...

Oh my gosh....that is pretty wild. I would be shaken up for at least a day after something like that!

Kate P said...

Wow, I'm stunned. But you know. . . thanks for standing up for those of us who are tired of doing all the defensive driving while everyone else seems to be doing the offensive driving.

Now, uh, please don't ever do that again.

Julie said...

That is SO awesome. I wish I was brave enough to do something like that, but I would have just sat in my car like a chicken. You are my hero today.