Oh my God, I’m capable of road rage!

23 Jun


I was driving my children home from school this afternoon. It’s my favourite time of the day. We’re together in the car and they’re telling me about their day. Oftentimes we’re singing along to a song on the radio, being silly and looking forward to getting home.

I was navigating my car down a narrow street that leads from the school to the main road. Due to cars parked on either side it’s often necessary to pull over slightly and stop to let cars through and wait your turn.

I noticed a hearse and several cars with their lights on coming from the opposite direction. I immediately pulled to the side to allow them through. I had no intention of moving until they had all passed so they could all stay together. It was then that I heard a car horn blare behind me.

I looked in my rear view mirror, assuming it wasn’t directed towards me (I was pulled over for a funeral procession, after all) and noticed a dark hatchback with an irate young lady behind the wheel, clearly annoyed at my decision to let the funeral procession through.

No sooner had I realised that she WAS directing that obnoxious noise at me that she let rip again.

My blood boiled.

My children were in the car so I wasn’t able to let loose with the expletives crashing around my head. What a little bitch!

She honked several times – long, angry honks. I’ve never heard a more irritating noise. She’d accidentally purchased a car with a honk that reflected her personality perfectly – annoying, impatient and wanting a smack upside the head.

I glared at her in my rear view mirror but the stubborn set of her jaw told me she wasn’t going to let up. I began to inch forward. I wanted to let all the funeral cars through but I just had to drive away because I was about to jump out of my car, stalk up to her window and scream in her stupid face.

I managed to get through and left her behind. As I drove ahead I could hear her honking at other cars. What, the grieving relatives are delaying your appointment at the local spray tan clinic? She didn’t look like a doctor rushing to save a patient’s life. Why was waiting in the traffic for two minutes such an imposition to her?

I made it to the main road and joined the queue waiting to turn left. She pulled up behind me. I HAVE NEVER FELT ANGRIER IN MY LIFE.

I’m a traffic reporter in another life so I’m usually patient and forgiving of other people’s driving mistakes but her behaviour was just intolerable.

I had already made several assumptions about her personality based on her behaviour so far and it didn’t improve when I looked at her in my rear view mirror and saw her directing verbal abuse at me.

I will never know how I managed to sit there and do nothing. I was smokin’ pissed. I kept glancing at my children and breathing deeply. Let it go Jo, let it go.

Even as I finally (thankfully) turned left I watched her turn behind me. She immediately shot into the right lane and giving me a nasty look, she zoomed past me and she was gone.

I turned left, then right and then right into my street and I noticed my hands were shaking.

Even writing this now I am so angry. How dare she? There’s so much I wanted to say to her but you can’t get out of traffic and yell at people. Even if I did, what difference would it have made? If she was that horrible about waiting two minutes for a funeral procession to get through, would she really care about anything I had to say? And how would it affect my kids to see me explode like that? I’ve always make a point of staying calm around them and especially while driving.

I almost undid all that good work today. It would have felt great to tell her she was a total bitch, that she should be ashamed of herself, that she should learn patience, especially when it was such a sensitive situation…that I wanted to rip the horn out of her car and shove it up her arse!

Phew….and after the relief of venting I would have felt a deep sense of shame for letting someone so stupid get to me. Yes, she’s an idiot. Yes, she was completely in the wrong. No, it wouldn’t have made a difference if I’d said anything (or yelled anything). But gosh, I’ve never been more tempted.

I have been irritated in traffic in the past. I was once tailgated by a taxi and flipped them the bird as they careened passed me but…the kids weren’t in the car. I felt such relief. I have yelled at the behaviour of drivers in the past. There’s a road I drive on with a lot of silly young drivers. One almost side-swiped me at the weekend and I saw my life flash before my eyes. She pulled up beside me and gave me apologetic wave. I gestured that it was okay. I was quite proud of myself. I’ve made mistakes in traffic too.

I’ve always thought that the key to safe roads (besides following all the obvious road rules) is to have manners and be forgiving. If we all took our turns and drove with patience and forgiveness we might just reduce the amount of accidents and road rage incidents on our roads.

But judging from how I am feeling now, we might need to start driving with a stress ball to squeeze when upset…mine would have been all worn out this afternoon alone. I could have thrown it at her as she passed me. No Jo! But I can dream.

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