I'm not what you'd call a silent driver. I sing, I talk to the people on the radio, I provide commentary on radio commercials. But most of all, my favorite thing to do in the car is scold other drivers.
I don't know when this started. I certainly haven't been doing it my whole life. I remember a time when I didn't talk to other drivers and point out what they were doing wrong. That was probably during my driver's test. All I know is that I'm one of those drivers who scold and lecture and yell at other drivers from the privacy of my own car.
It's not even something I thought other people in the car knew I did until one day I had a car full of children and I said something to a driver ahead of me like, "Oh, well, that you very much for using your directionals," or perhaps, "hey, idiot, aren't you SO glad you blazed past me at 40 miles an hour in the middle of a school zone so that we could sit side by side at the same red light?" After my rant, I heard a small voice from the back seat say the following:
"No, she's not yelling at us. Mom yells at other drivers."
You'd think knowing that my children not only heard me, but had to explain what I was doing to other kids, would make me stop raging at other drivers. You'd think wrong. Instead, I used this as a teaching tool for anyone who happened to be riding in my car.
Friends will tell you that I'm perfectly capable of carrying on a conversation with someone in the car while interspersing verbal road rage. It sounds a bit like this:
"So I was reading the new Phillipa Gregory novel yesterday and I was thinking that her take on the Tudors might be, WHAT ARE YOU SOME KIND OF IDIOT, USE YOUR STINKIN' DIRECTIONALS. OR MAYBE TRY NOT DRIVING LIKE A MANIAC WHEN THERE ARE PEDESTRIANS TRYING TO CROSS THE STREET, a bit skewed based on how sympathetic she seems to be toward Henry VIII. I mean, sure, she outlines his paranoia, but it feels like she blames his surroundings more than, SERIOUSLY DO YOU NOT SEE ME TRYING TO MAKE THIS TURN? DO YOU NOT GET HOW BIG OF A DENT MY CAR WOULD PUT IN YOUR CAR IF YOU HIT ME? giving him any personal responsibility for his brutality."
I wouldn't be blogging about this if I were just allowed to be me and carry on like I'm a normal person. I know what my issues are. It's not like I chase people around on the highway or anything like that. I yell at people as they drive around me. BUT, it's something that annoys Hubby.
Much like the Christmas light thing, and yes, we've reached the point in the year when I do roll down my window and yell, "TAKE THEM DOWN" as we pass by houses that still have Christmas lights on their houses. Seriously, it's April 27. What is wrong with these people? Yelling at other drivers is something he'd like me to stop doing because he feels it's something that makes me angry. Quite the opposite, yelling at other drivers gives me a release, makes me feel calm and peaceful. But he doesn't understand that.
And none of this would matter except our children sort of do the same thing. Granted, I haven't ridden in their cars when they are driving all that much, (once children achieve that level of independence, parents don't typically ride with them...until the parents lose their licenses. I'm not quite there yet.) But the few times I have I've listened, with pride, as Skippy and Peaches both lecture and berate other vehicles for their traffic shortcomings. Skippy's a bit better at it. He's a far less tolerant person overall. Peaches is still more of a free spirit. Hubby doesn't like that the children do this. He places blame on me, "They get this from you," he says.
And I was quite ready to shoulder that responsibility. The children have to get something from me, and I'm the one who drove them all over the planet until the day they got their licenses, so why not? I was really okay with it. I wasn't crazy about how Hubby made it seem like a shortcoming, but I was okay with it.
Until this weekend.
Friday night it rained. It rained hard, like one of those end of the world rains. Around here, those kinds of rains happen periodically, but don't last too long. Maybe half an hour, maybe a bit longer, but a super heavy rain doesn't generally last all day. It poops out after a short bit. So we of course chose to run some errands during this rain. By the time we were done with our errands, the rain had stopped. Simple enough, right?
We were at a light and my husband started talking. "Hey, Camry, you can turn off your wipers now. It's not raining anymore."
I was really surprised. I looked around. Sure enough, there was a Toyota Camry just ahead of us, and yes, their windshield wipers were on HIGH, slapping back and forth wildly as if brushing away a frantic deluge. It had stopped raining. Even stopped like we were, only a few drops hit our windshield. I didn't say anything, I just looked at him, wondering if I'd heard him correctly.
"No, really, go ahead, it's not raining anymore, just turn off the wipers. You can do it."
I couldn't help it. I just stared at him, trying to keep from laughing at him.
The light turned green and we made the left hand turn behind the Camry. Their wipers continued to slap back and forth on high.
"It's not raining anymore!"
I couldn't suppress it any longer. I started laughing. He is such a calm guy, I couldn't believe this was what was setting him off.
"Oh stop. It's just like Christmas lights with you."
Well, no it's not, but I didn't point that out. "Honey, it's just that you always scold me for talking to other drivers. And look, you just turned on our wipers again."
"Right, because water is kicking up from the street. But it's not still raining, they don't need to have their wipers on high."
I sat in silence for a full minute until we came to the next red light. He turned off our wipers and then shook his head.
"I know," he said. "I'm in the blog."
Oh yeah ya are!