#1. This afternoon on my drive home from kindergarten pick up I made my usual left hand turn from the center TURN lane onto a one way street. There is also a left turn lane for turning left onto this same one way street. It makes sense for me to use the center turn lane since I am traveling well, from the direction I am traveling- I can't draw a map and it would take to long to explain. Just trust me on this. I've actually discussed this same intersection before...
Can you really call it a discussion if it's just me writing for other people, strangers and some I know to read at their pleasure and comment or not?? Probably not.
In any case, I made my turn and directly to my left a small pick up crowded with three large people in it also turned left- AND immediately swerved into my lane. I beeped and swerved out of the drivers way, stopping, and allowing him to miss the collision and scoot in front of me, cross over another lane of traffic and pull into a parking place. The driver was furiously tugging at his steering wheel in order to avoid the collision and maneuver away- the placement of all three people smashed into a small truck did not allow him to make full circles with his hands- seeing that his elbows would strike the person sitting in the middle- not a safe situation. As the driver corrected his truck, and sidled over to the parking spot, he lifted his left hand in , what I thought was to be an apology wave- the kind you make when you inadvertently cut some one off, - NO- he instead flipped me the bird and proceeded to park. As there was no traffic behind me, I stopped in the middle lane of the street, backed up a touch so I could see the driver and rolled down my passenger window. I gestured back to him- a "what the hell?" kind of hand in the air deal with an incredulous look on my face. He gestured his finger higher, as if I didn't quite see it clearly enough. He opened his door and looked at me- I yelled- "There are two turn lanes!" "Nope", he shook his head at me, his passengers craning their necks to see beyond his body to see me and hear what I had to say for myself. "Yes, there are, go back and look for yourself- you almost caused an accident!" For some reason, he decided I must have had a point- he lowered his head and said "I will"- in a somewhat apologetic manner- and ambled off to the sidewalk.
It irked me that this guy had the audacity to flip me off after he almost caused an accident. That was the uncivil part. Even if you think you aren't at fault, what gives with flipping someone off? Why attack, when a raised hand as an offer of an apology,or admittance of wrongdoing would suffice?
#2. It was like the scene out of "Fried Green Tomatoes", when the middle aged woman is circling the supermarket parking lot waiting for a space to open up, she spots one about to open up, and some young girls zoom into it while she's waiting.
I'm driving downtown searching for a parking spot this evening (with the rest of the town- two large events within a close proximity at the same time in a small downtown). I spy a place that is being vacated, stop and wait for the person to leave and a car carrying two college girls makes an illegal u-turn in the middle of the road and jumps into the place I was waiting for. Now, I will have to admit, I neglected to have my turn signal on, but it was clear that I was waiting for the spot. I fought the urge to ram into their car (might have had something to do with a car full of kids and my MIL in the front seat), but wait until the driver emerges. She pauses, not jumping out of her car right away, while my MIL looks at me like I might pull a gun out from under my seat- not quite sure what I might be doing. The girl gets out of her car and I, again, yell through my now open passenger side window. I said something really clever like "excuse me", or "hey"- I can't remember now- and she responds " I'm late to my final". In my eloquence and wit I say "Well, you should have left your house earlier" and drove off- I sound like such a mother...
#3. While attending a school Holiday sing this evening, my two toddlers got a bit restless and started spreading out a bit more, taking up some space in the very generous aisle. They were not alone, as there were plenty of other small children and a few grown ups littered in the isle. A young boy who attends our school was on his way back to his seat. There was some movement from some of the folks hanging in the aisle, but Julia, being tired, was standing stock still, her b.c. (think lovey cloth) hanging from her hand, touching the ground, watching the events around her. The boy, a large built seventh grader stopped, and when unable to negotiate his way around the obstacles in his path, stooped over a bit and with both hands charged at Julia, lifting her a bit at impact, and sailed her through the air where she landed on her back, in silent scream mode.
Obstacle removed, the boy continued on his path back to his seat. Several adults around me gasped as I got to Julia's rolling body saying- "It's okay, It's okay". Julia and I went to the lobby for a bit, while she calmed down and recovered from her wallop. She was fine in a few minutes and we returned to our seats.
This event, the intentional hurting of my daughter is the excusable one- The young man who plowed into her and took her down, was trying to find his way- you could feel him try to negotiate the path and I could truly understand the gesture. Really, he picked the easiest target to remove to completely clear his path, rational, really. Most other children and adults could have found their way around, as the path really was not the difficult to navigate- the isle being very wide with only a few people scattered in his way.
But this young man, generally travels to school with a full time aide and an aide dog. He's a generally happy guy in my oldest sons class, who happens to be Autistic.
I mentioned the event to his father- just to relay the information. The evening was charged with stimulation, held off school grounds, the boys aide was not with him... so many good reasons.
What, do you suppose, were the other peoples reasons???