I may be dating myself, but I remember when the concept of Defensive Driving became popular. One of the TV commercials back then had the line about "being right. Dead right." It was talking about taking the right-of-way when it was yours without thinking or looking to see if it was safe to do so. I thought about this tonight on the way home from work.
Today was a picture-perfect day for driving home on the back roads with the rag-top down. Sunny, clear, not too hot. I took the back, twisty, shaded roads on purpose, and it was sweet.
At one point, the road comes to a one-lane bridge. My direction has no stop sign, but at the other side of the one-lane bridge are two stop signs - one to the left and one to the right. When you cross the bridge from my side, you have to go left or right.
Anyway, my side always has the right-of-way. As I approached the bridge, all relaxed and happy with my choice of roads, I stopped. This is because even though I had the right-of-way, one of the vehicles on the other side had already commited himself to turning onto the bridge, so I waited for him to pass, then started across. But then the car on the other side pulled onto the bridge, so I stopped to let him go. In my mind, it was the end of the day, it was gorgeous out, and I was in no hurry to get to the grocery and buy TP.
Apparently the guy behind me thought differently. When the first car started across the bridge, he almost hit me, thinking I should have been moving or something. Where?!?! Did he expect me to start across the one-lane bridge so I could collide head-on with the approaching vehicle? Yes, I did have the right-of-way, but what choice did I have? I guess I could have started across and made the other guy back up, but what's the point of that? It was easier to just let him go.
Then when I started again, and the other clown beat me onto the bridge (I'll call him aggressive, and not paying attention, okay?), the guy behind me laid on his horn, stuck his head out of his window and yelled obscenities at me. I raised my hands in the air as the other vehicle passed me after crossing the bridge as if to say What? Where did you want me to go? Right INTO the guy?!?! At this point, he was waiving his arms and pounding on his dash board. I thought he'd blow a gasket.
As I crossed the bridge, with Ranting Guy right on my bumper, I put on my directional to let him know I was planning to slow down and turn to the right, and as soon as I did he proceeded to peel off to the left. Good riddence!
There went my nice, Friday, end-of-the-week, beautiful-day mood. Now I was steamed! I went on to the grocery store, and after I was done and loaded all my goods in my car, I returned the grocery cart to the store (hey, that's what I do - the right thing!). As I was crossing the main drive in front of the store to return to my vehicle, I was almost hit by some young punk going about 40 mph in the parking lot. I had the right of way (being the pedestrian), and I was 2/3 of the way across the street, fer crissake. It was not like I'd just stepped off the curb in front of a moving vehicle! The guy almost did not stop! I actually stopped to make sure he was not going to hit me! Jerk! He finally did stop, but I am convinced it was my wicked old-lady evil eye that put the fear of God into him. Jerk. Did I already say that?
Needless to say the mood was broken. To the point that I did not feel like stamping tonight. Sigh. Thanks for reading this far ... I needed to vent so I can go to bed and sleep now. Bah.