Road Rage

I had completely forgotten about that thing that one often finds when driving in the U.S., that thing that is undesirably found in addition to the intended destination:

Road Rage

Living overseas for the past 10 years, I have spent limited time driving in the U.S. And road rage seems to be suspiciously absent abroad. So, its existence had completely slipped my mind.

Until yesterday.

My son and I had checked out of our hotel, and our car was packed to the gills. In addition to 5 suitcases (all of them exceeding their 50-pound allowance…not that I’ll tell that to my excess-baggage-fee-resistant hubby), the car was carrying one overstuffed backpack, a carry-on bag that felt like it was full of boulders, and 6 shopping bags dense with assorted items (including a bag of clean clothes for my oldest son who was returning from camp with a suitcase full of dirty clothes…I didn’t really want to push the limits of hospitality by asking his friend’s mom to do laundry on top of feeding, housing, and entertaining my son for the next 5 days).

In other words, the SUV’s suspension capability was not as perky as it could have been, something I could feel in the bogged-down vehicle’s steering.

On top of that, there were 2 very large, very breakable glass hurricane candle holders. Each with a high center of gravity. And pretty cellophane wrapping. Cellophane wrapping, by the way, does nothing to insulate glass against sudden stops or sharp turns. This was something I had quickly figured out during the 5-hour drive from my hometown to Chicago.

So, when my son and I left the hotel and set off to find the pancake house where I had promised to take him for breakfast, I was driving slowly and carefully for a purpose. Granted, I did not have that purpose spray painted on the back of my car. However, I really didn’t think I needed to.

Apparently the woman in the SUV behind me disagreed.

As I drove straight down Meacham, the SUV was following close on my proverbial rubber heels. I turned onto Golf. She turned onto Golf. Again, she was practically on my bumper. Then, realizing I had missed the restaurant, I turned into a parking lot to turn around. And that is when I found that one thing.

The woman followed me into the parking lot, rolled down her window (mine was already down) and with a mottled face, the otherwise-normal-looking, middle-aged woman verbally hurled the following at me:

“YOU F—–G*  W—E** !! YOU DON’T BELONG ON THE F—–G* ROADS!!!!”

I was shocked! I am sure my mouth gaped opened as big as that man’s had when I asked him to catch our 120-pound BRT (ref. old post). There was nothing I could do.

Except laugh.

I mean, really? Is it possible to get so absolutely infuriated over someone driving slowly? I mean, heck, even if I had been swerving all over the road like a drunken sailor (which I wasn’t), would it be such an affront that the woman would need to go out of her way to follow me so she could spit out such obscenities…and in front of a child no less?

I doubt it.

Which is disturbing because it isn’t a leap of faith to suggest that the woman might be a tad bit unhappy.

Or maybe it’s an issue of being suppressed. Maybe we try so hard to put on a happy face that we keep stuffed down so much frustration that it explodes out of us at the smallest of frustrations and provocations.

Or maybe not.

Whatever the reason behind our Road Rage, I have to say that I haven’t missed it a bit.

And to the woman in the SUV, I would like to say the following which I mean in the most sincere, un-suppressed, well-meaning way:

Get. A. Life.  

* Think you can figure this one out

** Someone who earns money for intimate relations with another person

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