Last week, I headed to my doctor’s office for some routine lab work. Because of my procrastination, I was unable to visit the lab I normally use – the one close to home – and was forced to travel in heavy traffic on a Saturday to another location. Many of you know me, and know that I am a nervous driver. Some of you might replace the adjective “nervous” with words like “slow” or “irritating” or “COME ON LADY JUST MOVE IT!” Be aware: this does not deter my level of extreme caution when driving. Everyone on the road is out to get me, AND my tires might fall off, so I must continue on my slow-and-steady, ten-and-two course. Get over it.
I was at a light at a major intersection. The light was red. I was turning right, but upon turning right I also needed to occupy the far left lane. Four lanes away. Not a big deal to your normal, every day driver who does things like changing lanes. For me, this was a BIG deal. I don’t change lanes. I don’t do more than five miles over the limit. This was going to be a looong wait.
An elderly gentleman in a land yacht of a Buick is behind me at the light. I’m patiently waiting, singing and playing air drums, knowing that a break in traffic will come and I can turn right. And if not, the light will eventually turn green. No biggie.
“HEY LADY, YOU CAN TURN RIGHT ON RED!”
“LADY! LADY! LADY! TURN! YOU CAN GO RIGHT ON RED! JUST TUUUURN!!!”
“COME ON, TURN YOUR CAR ALREADY! TURNTURNTURNTURNTURN!!!”
(those dots are my thoughts while being yelled at, and that last sentence is what I believe I heard, but cannot be certain because there was a lot of hand flapping in front of the sweet, elderly man’s face)
Excuse me. Are you yelling and flapping at me? While I’m sitting at a light, waiting to turn? Because unless you’re Moses getting ready to part the Red Sea of impending vehicular homicide, you’d best settle down and wait for me to turn when I decide it’s safe to turn.
I did not utter these words aloud, I just continued singing. Then the old guy in the Buick proceeded to place his car in park and (get ready for this) rev the engine ferociously. Yes, Buick.
And oh, every fiber of my being wanted the light to just stay red. Stay red forever and ever and ever. Stay red until the Early Bird Special at Perkin’s was loooong gone. But alas, the light turned green, and as soon as it did, a series of furious honk-revs began behind me. I eased my way onto the highway, and Mr. Buick floored all eight of his Park Avenue cylinders and passed me. His wife looked embarrassed, and I was embarrassed for her.
I arrived at the next intersection to turn left, and guess who had the joy of being next to me in the turn lane?! I cheerfully waved, wishing I had a flower or a fresh baked muffin to give him, because he obviously needed it. Yes, he was an asshole, but me behaving in a similar fashion wouldn’t help.
I thought to myself, “That dude needs to let it go…whatever he’s harboring, that thing festering just beneath the surface (hopefully not shingles) he needs to let it go, because it’s driving him crazy.” It’s quite possible he really was just a jerk, and that being a jerk made him happy, but I have a hard time believing that. I’ve found that people who exhibit extreme behaviors, whether they be positive or negative, are usually masking something else. I know very well, because I’m guilty of it myself.
So let it go, Mr. Buick. Let go of the thing that’s eating you alive, stealing your happiness, raining on your parade. Because life is short, but life is beautiful. There is no room for honking and revving and yelling, but there is plenty of room for love and smiles and sunshine.
And you could just end up on some blog…
Sunshine and Rainbows,