I have road rage. I picked it up in California. Tiny Tempo, driving alongside jerks, it was bound to happen. I have worked hard to curb it and the side effective of cussing. Tornado S only says “Oh my God” and “What the-?” He could be saying a lot worse. But there are still three things that set me off.
1. Any driver that does anything that puts my children in harm’s way. I picked this one up when Tornado E was a baby; it was the reason I stopped driving the Tempo and went on to the large Ram truck. (She and I hated each other, but that is a different post.) Like I mentioned, California has a lot of jerks driving, and I don’t care what anyone says, every group has a bad driver in it. Unfortunately, this is the one that I cuss the worst. Back in the Tempo days, I just speed up, bite my thumb, and move on. With kids, I have to let it go and fantasize about karma taking hold.
2. Failure to use turn signals. I f%$king hate this. Always have. I can’t make a safe, well-informed driving decision if people don’t use their damn signals. I get that there are real jerks out there that think that a turn signal means they have to cut that person off (I’m talking to the woman two days ago who had tried to cut me off to keep me from getting in front of her and then had the nerve to honk at me when I went over any ways; listen, chick, I have an SUV; I will WIN.). (Um, as for that last line, I never needed a big vehicle to cut in.) Don’t let the jerks win; use turn signals. Not that hard, not that complicated, not that time-consuming.
3. Bad parking. I’m not talking about on the line parking as annoying as it is. We all do that at one point, and the best of us feel guilty about it. I’m talking about parked the wrong way or taking up more than one spot or parking so that one or more cars can’t leave or park next to you. I’m talking about I’m-so-important-that-I-don’t-care-about-everyone-else-because-I-have-to-be-here-now parking. It burns me. And unfortunately, almost every mom in the two four-year-old classes does it at Tornado S’s school.
Every morning, I turn the corner into the parking lot to find that nearly the whole lot is parked in the wrong direction. It’s diagonal parking. It’s not complicated. But instead of going down the row and pulling in, parents (mainly moms) pull through the parking lot and park the wrong way. Are you kidding me? Of course, there are a few, such as myself, who park the correct way, and then we nearly have car accidents as people try to leave.
And it gets better because there is always some jerk who parks so blatantly wrong that I want to write a note on the window with permanent marker, which is a step down from wanting to throw a rock through said window. (Look, people, I’m trying to be mature and set a good example. Throwing rocks isn’t either. No matter how tempting.) Last week, a mom actually parked in the middle of the row, not even bothering to pull all the way into the spot. She was in the middle of the road. Her WHOLE truck. Or today, a mom took up two parking spots because she had to park straight in a diagonal parking lot. Then there was the giant SUV last week that parked diagonally the wrong way so she took up six spots. Then there is always my favorite, the mom who has to park along the curb right in front of the gate, in the road way, blocking the entrance for the rest of us. This happens every day.
Every morning, my good mood disappears for like fifteen minutes as I fume over the disrespect and selfishness that runs so rampant at Tornado S’s school. I have to learn to let it go. It keeps me from being friendly to the other moms because I know they were the ones who parked that way. It makes my goodbyes and hellos to Tornado S tense and forced. I really don’t want to always be consumed with annoyance and rage.
Maybe I need to practice breathing. Maybe I should get there early enough to miss most of the issue and then do some yoga. Maybe I should tattle-tale. I’m counting the weeks to summer, when I won’t have to deal with this again. Well, except for every once in a while in a public parking lot, and then I won’t feel so bad banging the car door into the other car as hard as I can.