I was admittedly swept up in a moment of vanity as I was checking my hair in the rearview mirror at the red light. Tiny wisps had been dragging between the space between my glasses and my eyelids so I was doing a quick finger comb. I was sweeping my hair off my face when the light was changing from red to green. It’s known to be a short light in town anyway and it’s at an intersection that is always busy. It’s an intersection surrounded by stately homes with well manicured lawns and vibrant garden beds to envy.
In my moment of vanity the light changed. I made the green light. You did not. You honked and flipped me off. I looked up and gave you the driver’s etiquette wave and a sorrowful smile indicating my apology. I felt bad I made you miss the short green light. But lo and behold, you in your white minivan ran that red light and zoomed right up close my car on the driver’s side. I was in the right lane and you were in the left. You cut me off from the left lane and ripped into the right to make a dangerous right turn, swerving this way and that. I slammed on my brakes, my son lurching forward in his seat. In your anger you broke the law, running a red light and crossing a lane of traffic to make an illegal turn. You were that mad at me for a short lapse that was more annoyance than catastrophe. My actions had not endangered anyone.
Let me recap:
I was checking my hair. (Guilty as charged for letting vanity distract me.)
The light was red.
I didn’t know you were in a rush. How could I?
I apologized to you immediately when I noticed what I had done.
You didn’t give a shit, blasting your way right up next to my car, this close to scraping the sides.
In truth, we almost collided.
My 10-year old son was in the car with me!
And why? Because you were in a rush? Because you were simply pissed I made you wait? Is that your life’s greatest injustice?
Are you one of those people who honks when someone stops at a crosswalk to let a pedestrian cross? Are you the one driver who never pulls over and stops for emergency vehicles? You likely live near my neighborhood. We likely shop at the same grocery store and will see each other again. I know your car, the white minivan with the private school crest and YMCA stickers on the back. Your actions today were not befitting the brand of either. In fact, I’d say your actions today deem you unworthy to claim affinity to those organizations. In your fit of anger and impatience you used your car as a weapon. And what if you had hit me? Would you have felt better, relieved? My kid was in my car, lady. He didn’t cause you to miss the light, yet you endangered him today. This I won’t easily forget. You left us both shaken. Next time you’re driving in a fit of rage (warranted or not), let this be a reminder to slow down and chill out.
Your car is a weapon.