Monday, June 13, 2011

Road Rage

I've never been a confrontational person, especially when it comes to poorly thought out confrontation. Despite this, I've found that motherhood has changed this aspect of me, at least somewhat. I'm still not a fan of confrontation, especially when it comes to my friends and family (with the exception of my marriage, that is. Arguing with my husband is a whole different matter.) However, with the hormones of pregnancy, followed by the hormones involved with postpartum motherhood and breastfeeding-- and couple that with chronic lack of sleep and a dramatic increase of stress-- I have difficulty holding my tongue like I used to. It hasn't happened frequently, but there have been a few occasions where I've uttered, texted, or commented online something that I regret. Emotions surrounding my recent unemployment has not helped matters. I think, though, since I've been off work for a couple of weeks, things are on the rebound in this department.

Well.... except for when it comes to driving. I've never been a crazy person when driving. I mean, I definitely take after my family's habit of screaming uttering a string of swear words, sometimes extremely obscene, when some moron cuts me off. I'm trying to work on this for the sake of my child, but it's difficult, and for at least a few more months I can use the excuse that she doesn't understand me yet.

The trouble is, I don't just have the urge to cuss at people anymore. It seems that I now have the impulse to directly confront strangers. This is not good. A) I don't work out as much as I used to. I'm not sure I can physically fight people who are more than 100 lbs or younger than 65 and B) What kind of example is that to set for my daughter? Do I really want my behavior to resemble that of the people illustrated on Not really. Plus, despite my lack of fashionable attire, it has not reached the horrid depths of wearing nothing but a sports bra on top or metallic leggings:

Even with knowing my goals of being a good mommy who does not chase people down screaming with hair all crazy (I get the image of the Simpson's cat woman here), there have been two occasions recently where I came awfully close. The first is when some middle aged man in a big rush to get to his tee time at our local golf course was apparently running late due to them doing road construction in front of the course. The obvious choice in his situation would be to then roll through a four way stop to cut me off even though I had already completely stopped and was starting to go through the intersection. I've been cut off several times in my life, but never have I had someone roll through the stop to cut me off.Couple this with him turning into the golf course entrance a half mile down the road, and my blood was practically boiling.

At this point, I am crazily flailing my arms around, swearing, and flipping him off. I never flip people off. I fear it due to working in questionable areas of Toledo for almost five years and envisioning someone shooting me for one poorly thought out gesture. Move me out to a rural area though, and I  lose my fear. I seriously considered following him into the parking lot to ask him exactly how important it was for him to rush to the golf course when he could have hit me and injured my then six month old baby. Possibly after I had pulled her out of her car seat, waving her in his face so he could see exactly how incredibly adorable and sweet she is, and also so he would be less likely to tell me what a b*tch I'm being right to my face. However, I was running late to step aerobics, and considering that I still have ten pounds of pregnancy weight to lose, that was more important. Maybe next time.

The second close call occurred last Friday. See photographic evidence of stupidity below:

Mine is the green SUV. Please keep in mind that when I went into Kroger's twenty minutes before taking this picture, the cars to the left of me were nicely parked in the middle of their little yellow lines. So although you may have looked at this picture initially and gave this driver the benefit of the doubt while thinking "Well, he must have been forced by another driver to squeeze into his space", no, I don't think so.

I considered these three choices: 1) Leave him a note asking him where he learned to park, if he ever  considers other people when making choices, and how he would feel if this had been done to him-- possibly with some bad language thrown it. 2) WAIT for him to come out of the store and angrily express what I had thought about writing. 3) Slam my door into his car a few good times so he has a visual reminder of what happens when you park too close to others. This was my most tempting option. Our car is used, getting up there in mileage, and damaged on the right side, so what do I care if it gets a little more damage, particularly to prove a point?

For various reasons, I did none of those things. Instead, I sucked my tummy in and scooched into my seat, of course while muttering obscenities. All in all, I think I've made wise choices in these recent situations, but clearly I need a plan to keep my sanity while sharing the road with these idiots.

This may be my solution:

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