Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Soapbox: Don't Hurry, Baby

Is it just me or do the rest of you notice that everyone is in a terrible hurry these days? I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been run down on the freeway lately. Mind you, I don't drive at exactly the speed limit. In the DC Metro area, that will get you killed. I try to stay within a 10 mile over-the-limit window, just to keep up with most of the traffic. Even so, I've had people riding against my bumper like we're on the NASCAR track.

On my way to a doctor's appointment last week, a man in a Mercedes-Benz kept doing that to me. I tried to get out of his way, but we were going down an exit ramp in which two lanes merged into one. He ended up behind me until we made the turn onto the road to which we exited. Then he floored it and sped around me, squealing his tires. He raced ahead of four or five cars and shoved his way back into the lane just before colliding with oncoming traffic. I can't for the life of me imagine what could have been that important. We live in a far suburb of DC, and though it's getting more crowded here, in many ways it is still "the sticks." We just don't drive that way here - not normally, anyway.

The same day that this encounter occurred, I found myself in front of a woman in a hurry at the grocery store. Maybe she had left her child unattended in the car. Maybe she was late for work or on her way to pick up the kids from daycare, but she was rude. I only had a few items, so I went to the self-checkout. She was behind me rocking from one foot to the other, sighing audibly. I tried to speed up, but then I pushed the wrong button (credit instead of debit) and had to go back a screen. That was enough to about send her into a tizzy! Just then, another lane opened up and she ran over there. I was still finished, out the door, and driving away in my car before she exited the store. I will never know why she was in such a hurry, but I really wanted to turn to her and say, "I can hear you, you know. I am going as fast as I can (or as I care to)."

Maybe I'm a little out of touch. Maybe I should be in a hurry, too.

Nah. I like the speed at which I ride. Maybe if the people of this area (and yours, too, I'm sure) would slow down a little and be nicer to each other, we could change the world.

Peace - D


Susiewearsthepants said...

Nothing thrills me more when some jerk races around me to get in front of me, only to be caught at the SAME red light that I am. Recently someone did this to me and they got pulled over by the police. Joy, happy days! The audible sighing was SO rude.

:-Daryl said...

I am one of those impatient people ... but I dont sigh or tap my toe .. I just try to put myself in the other person's place and 'chill' out til its my turn. Works most of the time .. living in NYC everyone is in a hurry and I am not sure most of them realize it .


Akelamalu said...

I hate it when people cut me up on the road only for me to catch up with them at the lights! Impatience does seem to be more prevalent these days.

Sandy said...

All I think about as people are swerving around me at breakneck speed is... it's your gas - I bet I fill my car far less often than you do, it's your license - I'm betting the could paper walls with their tickes, and it's your insurance - it goes up after a ticket!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

I would like to think that I'm finally of the age where I don't feel the need to skitter here and there - been there, done that. I'm pretty sure that having to go back to correct mistakes done from hastiness takes the same amount of time as going slow and being present in the moment.

Jennifer H said...

I am almost always hurrying, but I'm not rude about it to other people. Inside, I might be going, "Move it along, people," but I don't let my impatience show. That kind of behavior doesn't make things move faster, anyway.

Momma said...

Hi Susie - thanks for the visit! I'll be sure to pop over to your place. Oh yes, isn't it just poetic justice when someone who tailgates you and speed around trips the speed trap? YES!

Daryl - Sometimes I'm the impatient type, too (My husband would laugh hysterically if he read this). I just try not to let it show. We all have similar tendencies, but there's no need to be rude about it. In the big city, though, you almost have to be a little edgy or you get walked all over. I learned that when I moved up here from NC.

Akela - There is a book that came out last year called "Talk to the Hand" about the general increase in rudeness. It was by the same woman who wrote "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" - Funny (and apt) stuff.

Sandy - How true, how true! And the gas in my area is rapidly approaching the $4 mark. YIKES! My hubby has taken to riding the motorcycle. (Better him than me!)

B von B - Absolutely right on the head! Haste makes waste, as they say.

Jennifer - I know! I do that talking in my head business, too. And I caught myself doing that today (after writing this post, no less). I found myself tapping my fingers on the steering wheel because the person in front of me couldn't seem to decide where they wanted to go. But having been lost a few times myself, I settled right down and didn't get upset. This blog was a good reminder for me, too.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I wish people would stop and ask themselves WHY they are in such a hurry sometimes. I bet the answer is frequently, "I don't know."

Momma said...

BBM - You're right. I think we're all guilty of the "hurry up" syndrome. It's this inner drive to cram more and more into our days. The kids are overscheduled, so naturally Mom's Taxi has to be rushing around at full speed. I suspect that is what was wrong with the sighing woman in the grocery store.

Peace - D

Not Afraid To Use It said...

I have been guilty of this in the past, and I really try to remember how awful it makes a person look. Thanks for such a great reminder.