Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't You Understand the Concept of Merge, People?

It's soapbox time! To quote Popeye, "That's all I can stands and I can't stands no more!" Everyday I take 2 freeways to work. Within these freeways there are multiple merges into lanes. Everyday stupid people think it's o.k. to drive on the sliver of shoulder on the right side where the merge begins just to get in front of everyone who is merging correctly. Arrrgh! Whenever I see these "buttinskys" driving up, I put my rather large SUV in the middle of the lane so they won't have room to get in front. Unfortunately tiny cars like Mini Coopers and the Prius can still squeeze rudely through and then I give them "The Glare". I'm sure most of these people drive these freeways on a regular basis and they KNOW that the merge is coming, but to shave off a few seconds, they'd rather try and squeeze and get into a potential accident than waiting politely like everyone else.

I live in California and yes, you can believe all the stories about traffic. But another thing they love to do is Road Construction! So daily, you will find a street with orange cones that say "Right Lane Closed Ahead", or "Slow for Construction". You can see the signs a mile away, but do people anticipate and go into the left lane or slow down? Noooo! They zoom faster to get in front of people trying to get into the left lane, or they are stuck in the right lane expecting US to let them in. I'm sorry, but it's not my fault you can't follow directions, so why do I have to be nice to you? Did you let me merge when we were on the freeway? I think not!

Since my daughter will be able to drive soon, I've been trying to teach her about rude drivers and trying not to use unsightly language and gestures. I often mutter things and she always says, "Mom, they can't hear you." I know this, but somehow it makes me feel better calling them names out loud.

Some days I am in a good mood and let them merge in front of me, even though they were behind me, but my mood changes if they don't do "The Wave". I believe there was a Seinfeld episode about this very thing! If you are being nice, it's just wrong not to acknowledge that you were being nice. And another thing when someone cuts you off and they don't do the "Sorry" wave and they speed up and act like they didn't do anything. Then I drive up next to them and give them "The Glare", but usually they don't make eye contact.

Yes, I'm a defensive driver and have the potential to break out in road rage, but I always signal, I turn my head to look behind me, I wave if someone lets me in and I do a sorry wave if I cut someone off accidentally. I believe that we will have World Peace before we achieve driving with manners.

So a word of warning, Californians do not like bad drivers, but yet they are bad drivers themselves, so beware if you are from somewhere else and are on the road. And if you merge into a big, red SUV, then be afraid, be very afraid!

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