Road Repose


I noticed that at four way stops I see flashes of people’s personality. I am a rule keeper, I stick to the rules of the stop. If there is a tie, I let the person to my right proceed. Soemtimes we all just sit there and wait for someone to make a move. A good question: what if several cars get to the intersection at the same time? There should be a communication between the drivers- some how- as to who is going to go first. If someone is a selfish, me-first kind of person, they usually push through. Those of us left, the nicer drivers, then use the person to the right rule. I think people who go before their turn are the same people who take all of the Splendas at Starbucks and cut in line at the customer service counter at Wal-Mart. The nice drivers who let everyone go in front of them have the opposite of road rage, I call it road repose. The decorous drivers who never make the nightly news, but should- “Man shows kindness to over ten drivers in today’s traffic jam. Who is he and why does he do it? News at ten.” I rarely get angry while driving. I have accepted the fact that when commuter bungles a lane change, I quickly forgive- having made many mistakes myself. I cannot remember how many times I waved my hand at another driver and mouthed “Sorry!” Usually, the driver, who I almost hit, or made them hit me, waves back with their middle finger! Not nice! I never say thank you to another driver, it looks too much like I am saying something else. I just wave.

On the highway here in Texas, we let people pass us if we are on a two lane highway by moving over onto the shoulder of the road. When the vehicle passes, they should wave. It is just a courtesy. Hey, I didn’t HAVE to move over. Just throw a wave, acknowledge me- I don’t know how people in other states communicate a thank you, but we wave.In small towns in Texas we hold up a finger or two or three as a saluted “hey there” to fellow drivers.  If I don’t get my “hey there” in return, it makes me frown. It isn’t hard to hold up two fingers to your fellow Texan. We only do this in neighborhoods- it makes for good networking.

The one time I do feel a bit unhappy with my fellow roadies is when merging isn’t done properly. Some people merge early- then watch as car after car passes them by, heading to the front of the line, keeping traffic stacked. I have seen some vehicles drive in the middle lane to keep the cheaters back. The people who do that have some chutzpah, I would say thank you to them…but it looks like I am saying something else.

I knew I was loosing my youthful beauty** when I had a flat tire on the highway and no one stopped to help me. After 10 minutes I checked my hips yep, too big. Smaller versions halt traffic. Fifteen minutes into waiting for help, I got out of my minivan. I loved driving my minivan. It was my own personal symbol of womanhood. If one looks closely and using the imagination, a minivan is womb-shaped. You can fill it full of children- very empowering. When the kids get out, it is like they are being birthed- they emerge head first, and one at a time. I called it my vangina. The flat was on the back left tire of the vangina, and I got busy with the tire jack. After about five minutes of wrestling with the jack- a police officer pulled up. YES! HELP! He swaggered over to the van and said hello with a southern accent mixed with Texas Department of Public Safety no-nonsense twang.  He got busy helping me change the tire- I looked at his badge and recognized his name- I had dated him in high school. Ricky Buckaloo? Yep, and I immediately felt horrible- the last time I saw him was when I was fifteen and we kissed- I wasn’t impressed and we said goodbye. Now he was changing my tire. Officer Buckaloo was happily married with children to a woman I am sure that loves his kiss.

No, I do not have road rage; which by the way in one study was linked to a brain disorder. I do have road repose. I wave, apologize and try not to rubber-neck too much. Those who do get mad and vent and yell and scream only do that for themselves. The person in the other car is not learning any lesson contrary to the what the angry driver thinks.  Everyone sharing the drive with the road rager suffers and soaks up some bad energy. I say stop. Show some road repose; wave with two fingers instead of one.

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