January is the month for resolutions: hitting the gym five times a week, limiting alcohol consumption, putting a stop once and for all to drunk dialing your ex….
I usually dismiss the resolution craze since I don’t like to wait until January to make any serious lifestyle changes. This year is different though. While driving in my car last week and reflecting on just that – driving – I decided maybe 2010 was the year I became a better driver. And not for reasons you might think.
You see, I live in a pretty dangerous city. People carry guns with them at all times: in their car, in the club, at the grocery store – you never know when or how someone will be packin. And nothing can provoke someone more than road rage.
My name is Erin, and I am a Road Rager.
It’s true. I’ll admit it. My rage can get out of control when I’m driving. But it’s not my fault! I am an exceptionally efficient (if not distractable) driver, who is only impeded by all of the other idiots on the road. And believe me, there are a lot.
So sometimes they make me angry. Sometimes when someone cuts me off on the freeway, pulls out in front of me from a dead stop, or slows to the point that I have to drop down my speed by 50MPH, I can get a little worked up. Sometimes I may retaliate. Yeah, not so fun when it’s done to you, huh?
These fun and games backfire however as I come back down from my vengeful high and find myself cringing involuntarily. Cringing so that maybe my head will miss the bullet that is coming straight at the back of my head rest.
Another incident that made me reconsider my driving style was one balmy night out driving with my bestie on 45N. By mere accident (as in, the freeway entrance caused me to get in front of a large white van going at least 30MPH more than I was) I angered this unknown driver. He honked and flashed his lights and I simply laughed at his d-baggery. Whaddyagonnado? Get out of the merging lane if you don’t want slower cars cramping your style. So I continue puttering along (maybe I did or did not speed up) and he only gets angrier. I needed to get into the other lane so I could exit, and at the exact moment I change lanes, so does he in an effort to get around me. This was clearly not the right move in order to appease Mr. Angry Pants. He guns it and nearly swipes poor little Ariel as he blasts by. And as he’s zooming by, me and the bestie duck a little lower in our seats and lean away from the window. Why? BECAUSE WE WERE AFRAID OF BEING SHOT.
I’m starting to accept that this is not a normal reaction. I should not genuinely be afraid of being shot while driving – just because I piss someone off. But, I can’t get around it. If the system is stronger than you are, you must conform to the system. I don’t think I would be a very good bullet shield.
I think about ways that I can counteract this. Like, control my tempter. And don’t piss anyone off, ever. Or if someone pisses me off, to just let it go. Or by continuing to stagger my car at red lights so that the person next to me can’t just stick his arm out the window and blow out my brains.
You may scoff, you may laugh, but my boyfriend has seen 2 shoot outs (car to car) in the past 5 years, just driving down the road and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So, while all my friends out there are committing to losing weight, eating better, or volunteering more, I’m choosing life. Literally.
I have to control my driving temper so that I don’t die. Cause let’s be honest – bringing my taser to a gun fight won’t win me any friends.
Leaving you with my hands at 10 and 2….
It’s funny you post this. I had a moment today where I thought..hmmm maybe I’ll die. The fact that I live in the second most dangerous city in the US crossed my mind as I screamed at the car who just cut me off. Here in Memphis, little kittens pack heat. With gangs and drugs running rampant, it’s not wise to piss people off here…not at all.
I think I will keep my mouth shut as well. We’ll outlast them ALLLLLL!
For fear of retribution I must query…this is the same girl that rear-ended her car twice, right? One time picking a bit of lint off of her pants? Ah…mmm…just checking.