I’m a cautious person.
I wear my seat belt, I never roll through stop signs,
The other day, Spenser and I were going through one of LA’s canyons, headed to the valley from the city. The speed limits in the windy canyons are 30-35 mph. I follow that. I don’t like driving sharp turns at more than 40 mph anyway. I was being closely followed by a black Mercedes, new with no plates. This car was right on my tail, but even if I had wanted to speed up, there was another car ahead of me (a nice, safe 3 car distance ahead.)
The Mercedes tailed me so closely and I understand it’s frustrating to be behind a slow car but I (and the car ahead of me) was going 35. Not like blind old lady slow.
At one turn, the car ahead of me slowed way down, so I did too and even then I decreased our comfort margin by a car and a half. The Mercedes honked furiously and I assume, had to slam on their breaks. I’m sorry, but no one asked you to eat my dust.
We reached the top of the canyon as the light turned yellow. The car ahead of me slowed down and I did too. The Mercedes honked it’s head off. Then, the car ahead decided to just run through the red light, just as the Mercedes pulled up to my right. In a second, I saw she was a dark haired woman, probably about my age (I would have said an older woman, but now I’m an older woman) but more matronly than me. She looked like her head was going to explode. Her middle finger was trying to poke a hole in her window as she screamed, “FUCK YOU!!!! FUCK YOU!!!” so loud that I heard it through both her closed window and mine. I was grateful that Spenser was still in a rear facing car seat. This woman was seething as if I’d just senselessly murdered her cat in front of her eyes.
I was completely surprised by this craziness and threw up my arms and said (mostly for my own benefit,) “what was I supposed to do?” Spenser thought this was hilarious, as black Mercedes woman peeled out in front of me and started to try to make a left on the red light. She decided that she couldn’t make that turn and sat, sticking into the road, stewing, I’m sure.
Road rage. It’s horrible. She was hating me for making her late or making her ride too long or making her miss her child’s ballet performance or because she had just gotten a call that her mother was dying and had only an hour left to live and I was making her miss that last breath. I was feeling pissed because she was making me feel like I was a slow driver, a bad driver, a stupid person who can’t behave normally in society. And now she was ahead of me so she won.
Spenser kept laughing. Then I laughed. We laughed and laughed together as I thought, how wonderful that my sweet child is helping me let go of this road rage. And then for some reason, I literally pointed at the Mercedes woman like I was laughing at her. That nasty lady screaming and cursing at me for following the speed limit in front of my child. I laugh and point at you, Mercedes woman. Ha ha! You are angry and I am laughing! Ha Ha Ha! And I hoped she was watching me.
Spenser thought this was great and he laughed harder and he watched me in his mirror. I’ll admit, the laughing released some anger… but I was not being mature. The mature, zen thing to do would be to ignore her and let it go. Yeah, ignore the crazy, irate woman screaming at me.
At the bottom of the hill I passed her as she waited in a left turn lane. Was she pissed off again that she had to wait for her turn or was this all just a personal stab at me and my old car? I don’t know why she was in such a hurry. Maybe she was always like this. Maybe she felt badly for screaming at me and flipping me off, maybe she had a good reason to be so stressed out.
As I drove by her, I gave a little honk, wave and big smile…. knowing this would make her furious.
I couldn’t let it go.
I need to work on this.