11.02.2010

why did I get angry? why did I use those words?

Hit and Run
http://news.smh.com.au

yesterday I worked a half day
the short work day allowed me to maintain what has become my daily routine of pick up and drop off of my kids

it is a pleasure getting to experience this part of my children's lives
that is the silver lining to my situation
a situation that is less than perfect does have some advantages

the drop off with the bicycles and the bicycle ride to school so that I can ride home with my boys has been a great deal of fun
my six year old son objects to the idea of the ride
but once on the bike... he is loving life

the normal route is roughly 3 miles... not bad for a 6 and 9 year old
the other day when they had a half day we did a ride over 11 miles
WOW! to a six year old an 11 mile ride must be like a century to an adult
that ride included a ride to Roosevelt Island where we hiked the loop around the island
how long is that loop? I do not know
tag that hike onto the adventure of the day

it was time well spent an adventure that my six year old son objected to at its onset
loved it for pretty much the duration
then melted down towards the end
Grant is a tough little monkey... but he had had enough

well... yesterday was pretty standard
we rode our bikes home from school
Grant asked to take the most direct route home... while I guided us to take the standard extended loop that avoids the long hill of Porter Street

while traversing the city Grant asked if he could play at Walter Pearce Park
Dean demanded to get home so he could work on his homework
I suggested that we stop at the park and Dean could do his homework on the picnic bench in the sun

not a bad idea!

Grant played... Dean did his homework... I rolled over to the corner store and got each of the kids each a juice

after the homework was done there was some tree climbing and some "what if" discussions and we were back on the bikes
the route was slightly modified and we were just about home

young Grant asked if he could take the bike through the front door and avoid the hill to get around to the back of the house
I agreed... Dean and I pedaled towards the back alley

having crossed the street with Grant I was on the opposite side of the street of young Dean
Dean walked up to the next corner... when I got there I saw Dean waving cars on at the four way stop
then when it seemed like a good time to go young Dean looked to me
I agreed... he could cross
assuming that the car coming up hill was going to make a complete stop at the stop sign-stop line he would be safe to cross

as Dean crossed the street to the sidewalk I pedaled up the short hill on the street
just as I was about to take a left hand turn into the alley I was passed by a Toyota Corolla that was using all four cylinders to the max
passing me on my left just as I started my turn

I was spooked... I was scared... I was angry
I yelled out the worst word I could think of
then the car stopped... so I yelled it out again with another word tagged onto the front
the person stayed in place with their reverse lights on
still on the left hand side of the road

so I rolled up to have words with the obnoxious driver who passed me unnecessarily
I cussed as she shouted at me
She told me how I had not used my signal... that I am a vehicle that needs to signal when turning
I continued to cuss
her logic was so flawed

she did not care that she put me at risk
she did not care that she was a menace on the road
she did not care that she had misbehaved
she only cared that I did not signal... which seemed to make her feel justified that she could have run me down

when really... she had no reason to make the pass at that point in the road at that rate of speed
sure she viewed me as a vehicle... yet she behaved in a way that is inappropriate
she would not have passed a car on this short stretch of road... why did she feel justified to pass me?

it was a bit nasty
a neighbor with her kids heard me and my shouting
I shouted my expletives at the top of my lungs
I was angry

not just because of the risk that she put me in... but her driving style
had one of my children been making that turn and she had made that pass
well... I would have one less child
that thought scares me
that thought makes me angry
then to deal with her and her notion of the need to signal... well... that is outrageous

common sense and common courtesy

had she driven in a manner that granted me my right to space
well... then we would not have this conversation
I was riding in the center of the lane
even if I were not getting ready to turn

although I was wrong in my word choice
she was wrong in her behavior and her logic
in addition to making the unnecessary pass that put my life at risk
she was also wrong in thinking that I had to indicate that I was going to make a turn
turning or going straight there was no reason for her to pass me

I was not snailing along... no... I was not flying... but I was moving along at a reasonable speed
well... for going up hill from a dead stop

it was infuriating
my heart races just revisiting this moment in time
to have this woman drive in this self centered fashion
acting as if no one matters but her
putting my life at risk so that she can get where she is going more quickly

after letting my kids in the house I got back on the bike and went to see if I could find this woman so that we could finish our conversation
she was adamant about being right
she kept saying.... YOU KNOW I AM RIGHT
well... she was wrong
everything about her was wrong

sure I handled it wrong... but my life was threaten and I responded to that
anyone who judges me for my over reaction needs to be tested the same way
let me put their lives at risk
then after that let me be arrogant about it
let me put their families lives at risk
would they cuss at me?
some would do worse





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