Running Rings Around (A) Saturn

anxiety, commute, drive, driving, My First Blog, road rage, Saturn, traffic, trip, work, worry

My commute is approximately ten miles and takes approximately fifteen minutes one way. I rarely have to stop at traffic lights and I use two roads to get to and from. It is mostly highway with little to no traffic on the best of days. Compared to the commute of some “city folk” my daily drive is a joke, a quick trip to the corner store. Yet every day, like today, I find myself overcome with unspeakable road rage. “Why?” you ask. Simple: other people.

I mean, really, do these other people need to be going somewhere the exact time every day that I am (at 5pm)? Can’t the Sunday drivers just stay home until the normal commuters make their way home? Is that too much to ask??

Take today as an example. I was leisurely making my way home, minding my own business and feeling the calm peace that falls upon me when I know I’ll be seeing my two best guys: my husband and our furry, four-legged, special needs dog (a tale for another blog).  While successfully plodding along my way I am passed by a small Saturn. “Great!” I think “I’ll just pull out and follow him along as we happily pass the slower vehicles. I’ll be home to see my guys in no time!” (Even though I am anxious to get home I do feel the need to be behind a faster vehicle. After all the cops always get the leader, right?) (For those of you thinking: “But her commute is ONLY fifteen minutes long! Surely, she can have enough patience for that! To you I say: I will take every opportunity to shave even a half second off to be with my boys.) As I pull out behind him to pass the car in front of me, he forgets where the gas pedal is located. We become stuck beside the car in the right lane. Not passing, not pulling back in behind him….suspended….beside him.

I have nowhere to go. If I pass on the right I’ll be stuck behind the car in the right lane. If I stay I am stuck behind the Saturn. Soon other cars begin to dam up behind me. We have, perhaps, made a gain on the other car of about one inch. My Christian, peaceful attitude flies out the window and runs headlong into the back of the Saturn. Inside my car, the expletives start to flow.

“What the heck!” I scream. (I know, I know, but I AM Christian after all.) As we meander along in our suspended state my brain explodes as I realize my exit is fast approaching.

I swerve left and right trying to get the Saturn’s attention. Doesn’t he know the situation? He stares at me in the rearview mirror as if to say: “I say, that car behind me seems to be having issues. I’m glad I’m in front of her.” I do my best to avoid running him and his smug attitude off the road. But what will I do about my exit? We have finally passed the first car, but now the distance to the next vehicle is such that I cannot pass the Saturn on the right for I’ll still be stuck behind the next car in the right lane!

And there is my exit! My brain assesses the situation and I consider dropping back behind the other car—giving up the coveted few inches I have obtained since making this foul choice. And then, suddenly, the Saturn moves to the right lane. I speed past him, swerve my car into the right lane and take my exit.

At the stop sign I sit and consider my trauma. How did that attitude accomplish anything? Wouldn’t I have gotten home just as quickly had I just patiently waited?

I make my turn and head towards home, sans traffic and sluggish Saturns, vowing to keep my anxiety in check tomorrow.

Unless, of course, some other nimrod happens to come between me and my boys.

2 thoughts on “Running Rings Around (A) Saturn

  1. I hear ya! The passing lane is for…. passing – not cruising, not traveling as a companion to the slow person in the SLOW lane, not leading others in some sort of highway “Locomotion” dance… pass already, for the love of Pete!

  2. I used to be a get in a hurry home kind of person too:) This all changed one day when I was behind a really sloooowwww car. I was caught sort of in the same situation as you. No where to go, slow and stuck. So I pitched a fit and jumped up and down like rumpleskilskin… and finally this rude, slow, keeping me from getting home quickly vehicle pulled to the side. Good you say, so did I, until that same vehicle came behind me with the flashing lights of an undercover police car. I was terrified! I had only been pulled over one time before this. That experience left me with a huge ticket and many points, that was many years ago. My points were now off my licence and I was considered, according to my insurance a good driver. I did not need to have my insurance status change. Really, though the thought that I was an abnoxious person behind a police officer, that of course, I did not know was a police officer, scared me to death! All sorts of images flashed in my head as I pulled over. This police officer was a BIG POLICEMAN!!! I started freaking out..really freaking out. Crocodile tears freaking out. The police officer came over to my car and asked to see my licence and registation. by then I was in full blown panic mode. My hand shoke voliently as I handed him the documents he requested. I kept repeating, ” I am so sorry, I didn't know you were a police officer. I am so sorry. Please don't arrest me.” I was really scared of the consquences of my actions. As my mother would have said, ” Why didn't you consider that before?” ” Don't worry I'm not going to arrest you, unless you have something on your licence… do you have a clean licence?” “Oh, yes sir! I have a clean licence.” I replied. The officer nodded. As I watched him walk over to his car to check the validity of my driving documents, I started crying… sobbing, in fact. After what seemed like a stream of red lights as you are driving home and have to pee…. the officer came back to my car. “Well, M'am it seems that you have a clean record. I can tell you are really sorry. However, if I or anyone else catches you behaving like that again, you will have to pay the price. Have a nice day.” My tears still pouring down my face, I said, ” Thank you officer, I promise I be a very considerate driver and never loose my temper. I am so sorry.” He seemed disturbed that I was still crying. “Okay, now you don't have to keep crying M'am.” I was still overwhelmed, ” I'm so sorry… thank you, Sir.” And that was it. Really, THAT WAS IT!!! I WAS SCARED STRAIGHT.. And I have kept my road rage promise.. that is no lie!!!

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