six degrees of road rage

The question I ask myself repeatedly while driving is: what if it turns out I know them?

Because, apparently, I can be a bitch. Sometimes. Mostly, I am the epitome of good karma driving: let people merge, let pedestrians cross, try not to cut people off and realise that people are entitled to make legal left turns. Then, the good comes back: you arrive at work sane. But, it doesn’t always work like that. Like, say some asshole does something incredibly fucking rude someone doesn’t see the large tow truck in the right lane, since they were preoccupied with blocking the intersection and now wants to abruptly cut me off merge into the moving lane. I, struck dumb by their audacity and voluminous lack of manners having had, perhaps, a bad day, may be inclined to not let them in behind the three other people I’ve already let in front of me. And a few blocks later, when they fling themselves into take the other lane and glare as they pass me, I have been known to glare back.

And every ever-so rare time I do, I wonder what I would do if I recognized the person. What if they live in the complex next to mine? What if they shop at the same grocery store or are work there? What if, like the girl who rear ended me a couple of years ago, we took a class together once upon a time? [we hugged and verified that there was no damage to either the vehicles or the people and went our ways] Does the notion that an acquaintance turns out to be an asshole make me feel like any less of an idiot for being an asshole to that acquaintance?


But I still feel better when it’s a stranger.

Now that this concept has worked its way into my head again, though, I’ll probably be on a binge of niceness, pissing of those driving behind me. It’s a no-win, but it’ll save my sanity, save me a few [visible] glares and save a few months before the Magpie picks up on some of my occasionally colourful driving language.

5 responses to “six degrees of road rage

  1. I swear SO much when I’m cycling to work – but under my breath.

    I shock myself sometimes – the names I call people that cause me to slow down, or don’t behave in a completely predictable manner…

  2. I can take this one up a notch (since I don’t drive right now, but have been known to use off color DUTCH while cycling) and admit to having a hard time being an asshole to a co-worker, even when CLEARLY the situation warrants it.
    I wish I could just stick my ground and not worry about being a bitch, but I can’t. I get all uber nice right after a temper flare. And I always back down.
    Why is it that with all the assholes in the world I can’t be one just on the rarest of occasions?

  3. Haaaa! Actually, one time, I DID know the person I was being a driving bitch to. It was my best friend from 5th grade. When we made eye contact and realized that we knew each other, we laughed.

  4. I’d like to say “never happens to me”–but then if my cousin, or any other family member who has ever ridden with me would correct me, well, I’d have to own up to a few remarks that have flown out of my mouth when motorists who quite evidently left their brains in their back pockets do something SO PERVERSE THAT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS . . . OK, ‘nuf said.

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