Thursday, February 2, 2012

Perspective: Calming the Road Rage monster

I drove my mom and I to Oklahoma when I was moving off to college.  Dad followed behind with the trailer (in hindsight, I'm not sure why we needed this, as the ancient dorm room I moved into had all the furniture nailed to the walls), but that's irrelevant.  Point is, I drove my mom and I.  Hold on to that piece of'll need it later.

I am what most would call a "grandma driver."  As of yesterday, I had never had a traffic ticket in my life, and yesterday it was for an expired registration sticker, which expired a month ago.  (Be real.  Don't even get me started on how I feel about one Officer Peters in Irving, Texas.)  But for the most part, I always use my blinker, crawl at 10 mph through school zones, don't change lanes within 200 yards of an intersection, etc.  I abide by the rules, because when it comes to driving, I think they're there for a reason.  On this particular drive with Tenacious Teril (my mother), I became great friends with my cruise control.  I was cruising along at a steady pace of 75 mph for a length stretch up I-35 when some guy cruisin' for a bruisin' (yep, I said it) comes speeding up behind me right on my tail.  I could feel his fury as I maintained my speed, and after a few minutes I angrily said to my mom: "Oh my gosh, I am going 5 miles over the speed limit.  If he wants to go faster he can go around me."  Nope.  This guy wasn't causin' me to break my stride.  My mom automatically snapped back "Never be that car who is making the left lane slow.  It's for passing only.  Always." 

My momma don't have to tell me somethin' twice.  (She would probably beg to differ.)

Now this is a pretty minor life lesson in the grand scheme of things, but the point stuck.  Momma was right.  She usually is.  If someone feels like driving at 90 mph on the highway, I would rather them restrict their erratic behavior to one lane.  I used to be infuriated when I saw cars closing in behind me in the left lane, and now I just move out of the way.  Moving out of the way is a win-win situation: I get them off my tail, thereby calming that road rage monster inside of me as they speed off into the night (or day) and out of my life, and they get to wherever the hell it is that's so important they feel they need try to break the sound barrier to get there.

One thing that's nice about getting older is gaining perspective.  Sometimes it's as easy as momma telling me not to be "that guy" on the highway.  Other times it takes an earth shattering fight with a best friend to realize technology is not the best means of communication all the time.  It's the most satisfying feeling in the world to realize something that's caused you anguish or distress in the past can be fixed with just a change in perspective; taking a new outlook on things and applying different logic and reason to the same old situations results in surprisingly pleasing outcomes.

On a completely, 100% separate note:  has anyone else ever noticed that the size of the average laundry basket/hamper is eerily equivalent to the size of a full load of clothes in the washer?  Your laundry basket will never betray you.  A full hamper equals an exactly full washing machine. 

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