Thursday, September 13, 2012

Driving Instructions

I initially wanted to title this post "Things I've Learned About Driving in the Past Month and Why I'm a Better Driver than You", but I thought it sounded pretentious.

By no means am I claiming to be the best driver. I don't even claim to be better than you. But I DO know that I am a better driver than some people that are out there, and somehow, I end up interacting a lot more with these peabrains than the somewhat decent drivers on the road.

You might be saying to yourself "This sounds like one of those angry rant-type blog posts." Which, it may be. But you're going to read it anyway because that's what people on the internet do.

So why this post? There had to be something that prompted it. Well, you're right again. Let me tell you about the morning I had today.

Driving to work this morning at a pleasant hour around 8:30 AM, I have the pleasure of making a right hand turn onto University Parkway from 400 W. This is pretty simple, as there are three large lanes for traffic to flow through, and I can easily see the cars coming from a mile away. However, I always wait for it to be clear because undoubtedly there will be that one idiot that changes lanes in the middle of the intersection or speeds up to try and forcibly cause a collision, so I err on the side of caution.

This morning, I turned without encountering any problems. A little ways along the road, however, a portly (aka King of the Chubbies) dude with his "slick" sunglasses and egotistical "hands-free" headset attitude comes charging in on my left and swoops in front of me - sans signal. Normally, I would be bugged by this. I know that sometimes you cut people off and it's accidental and sometimes even on purpose, and that makes you a jerk. But I didn't really even need to be in that lane anyway. I needed to be in the far left lane.

So instead of being angry about this, I did what I would have done anyway. Signaled - changed lanes, signaled - changed lanes again, the way you're supposed to change lanes. Not like those idiots who all of the sudden decide to cut across five lanes of traffic because they decided "Oh, I think I want to be over there instead!". If you do that, we all hate you. Some of you may be thinking "Melissa, if you wanted to be in the far left lane in the first place, then why didn't you just turn into that lane when you made that darling right hand turn earlier?" Well, I'll tell you why.

Did you know that when you make any sort of a turn, whether it be a right or left hand turn, you are required by law to turn into what's called a 'corresponding lane'? Yes I know, a startling concept for most, but basically it means if there are two lanes turning into two lanes, and you are in the inside lane, you turn INTO the inside lane. Not the outside lane. Not in between the lanes. But actually in the lanes. Now why people don't do this, I have no idea. Maybe it stems from deep childhood issues where they never learned to color within the lines properly, but for whatever reason, people just don't do this and it boggles my mind. Did you know that if you fail to demonstrate this concept on your driving exam, you will automatically fail? Yes. Fail. No license for you, please wait to retake your test with the rest of the people who hit stationary objects like babies and puppies and forgot to signal out of their three point turn.

So for this reason, I properly turned into the corresponding lane, therefore requiring me to change lanes like an adult. Now for whatever reason, this struck a chord with the gentleman that cut me off. Apparently, him cutting me off and me switching lanes signaled to him that I was offended and wanted to get as far away from him as possible. Honestly, I don't know. Maybe that was it or maybe he just didn't eat his morning Cheerio's, but he decided he had a point that needed to be made and darn it, he was going to make it. Gentle-dude proceeds to cut across two lanes of traffic to cut me off again.

Exact words that came out of my mouth: "Are you for real?"

I mean, really? You decide to cut across two lanes of traffic to cut me off AGAIN, and this does what? Whatever. I'm sure that you lack confidence in your marriage or your little man friend or something. But this is MY lane. This is the lane I need to be in. So I'm staying here and no, I won't play your game. Bro switches to the middle lane shortly after, and I keep trucking along on my way to work.

As we approach the light, just at the point where I've almost reached the while line that signifies crosswalk, he tries to cut in front of me and run me out of my lane into the barrier on my left. That was it.

I rolled down my window and shot him the dirtiest look I could muster and asked him "Do you really think that's the best way to make your point?" I don't even know what point he was trying to make. I wanted to say other, much meaner things to this man, but from the looks of it I'm sure that obesity has its punishments enough and he'll get his just desserts sooner rather than later (or maybe he'll just get desserts...) Broseph just put off the vibe of flipping me the bird as the light turned green and I drove off into the sunrise, leaving him to stay stopped at the light, then switch across two lanes to turn right and home to hopefully go to sleep and wake back up on the right side of the bed.

What's the point that I'm trying to make with this story? Here it is. I've learned a lot about driving in the past little while because of experiences like this and it all boils down to one principle: don't drive like an idiot. 

Don't cut me off and then seek a personal vendetta against me when I change lanes because one, I need to and two, I don't want to drive next to people like you that cause traffic violations to occur.

Also, don't wave me through a four-way stop like you're doing me a favor. That's how people wreck. It's your turn, just go. Don't try and be courteous - you're messing up the flow of traffic and all that happens is two people in a Mexican standoff deciding whether the other one is actually going to bite the bullet and go or not.

Don't ride my tail if the speed limit is 25 and I'm going 30.

Don't ride my tail if the speed limit is 35 and I'm going 35.

Just don't ride my tail in general.

If you park your car and you don't fit inside two lines that are next to each other, kindly back up and try it again. No one is going to make fun of you for it, but if you stay parked like an idiot and take up two perfectly good parking spaces by a matter of six inches, people WILL hate you and write mean things about you on the internet.

I mean, really. It can't be that hard. And if it is, well then, you probably shouldn't be driving in the first place. Because you're driving me crazy.