This morning I read a blog about a road rage incident stemming from a stressful back-story over at ProfMomEsq's aptly titled blog, "ProfMomEsq". She was asking for tips and tricks to control your stress/temper, or in her words, "check yourself before you wreck yourself", which rhymes. I linked the blog, so if you hover over it, you can totally click. And you should, she writes well.
My own road rage issues have gotten considerably better since I had kids, primarily because I try to 'check myself before I wreck myself' verbally when the kids are in the car. But I do still lose it. And in the comments of her blog I told I'd tell the story about the time I was 'that guy'.
|Me. . . blinker flashing. . . first to the stop by a mile.|
|Yeah. . . I'm going this way. My blinker is flashing, see?|
|Wait. . . what the. . .?|
I was. . . frustrated with her lack of courtesy. To add insult to injury, however, as she passed me she began mouthing words to me through the window of her car and pointing down the hill to the right of me (I was trying to turn left when she cut me off). I wasn't going to make a big thing out of it, until she started yappin' at me. I was, though not content, at least willing to suffer the slight and turn once she passed me, until she opened her mouth.
My brain's immediate response when I saw her chirping at me was, "madam, I'm frustrated by your lack of courtesy and i'm irritated by your hand gestures and mouth movements. I bid you, cease." What I said out loud, however, at the top of my lungs, from inside my vacuum sealed sedan, was, "FUCK YOU, WHORE!!" I pointed, so she knew that she was the whore I was talking about, because I'm all about clarity.
She passed, and I turned, content in the knowledge that she now was aware she was a whore who drives like shit. I'm reminded of the old joke. . .
A man is driving his convertible up a long narrow winding mountain trail at top speed. A woman is driving her convertible DOWN the same treacherous trail. As the cars pass each other, the woman yells, "Slow down, pig!" The man replies, "Fuck you, whore!" but is almost immediately thereafter forced to swerve to avoid an enormous wild pig in the road, crashing through the guardrail and plummeting to his eventual fiery death. It's a joke typically told by women about how inconsiderate and ignorant men are.
Back to our story. . .
As I turned my car left, I glanced down at my turn signal. It indicated I was turning right. . . not left. What the hell?? How did that happen? I don't think I've ever turned my signal on opposite the way that I'm turning. About the only way that ever happens is when A) You change your mind about going one way and decide to go the other (but you know your signal is wrong) or B) when you make such a slight turn that your signal doesn't turn off automatically. I had done neither. For some inexplicable reason, I had my blinker going the direct opposite way I intended to travel.
The woman across from me, seeing that I was turning right, felt free to jump in line and drive through, since I would be turning away from her. Once she saw I was turning across her, she (probably frustrated) pointed down the hill to my right, perhaps saying, "I didn't mean to cut you off, you signaled the other direction!"
So um. . . sorry about the whore thing, ma'am. You were right. I was wrong. I apologize.
None of this really has much to do with ProfMomEsq's blog post requesting guidance regarding snapping your cap, but it is instructive to recognize that there's always a story, or a back-story when these things happen. In this case, we have the benefit of being able to jump into the brain pan of the idiot driver (me) who flipped out on the person who did the right thing. . . because I legitimately thought *I* was doing the right thing. . .and in the heat of the moment I got all butthurt at the perceived slight and lashed out.
The idea that everyone brings their own baggage into each stressful encounter is always one that I *try* to take into consideration. Bad day at the office? Wife left you? Sick kids? All that emotional back-story gets dragged with us into each encounter until we finally lash out, fed up with all of it. . . but possibly to the person we lash out AT. . .it's out of the clear blue sky.
Anyway. . . I'm a dumbass. But you knew that. ;)