Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kill 'em with kindness

I have a knack for being sickeningly sweet with a backhand of sarcasm.  I don't whip out this skill very often, but when I do, I am happy to say, it can leave the victim recipient a little confused, pissed, happy or maybe all of the above.  I was thrilled to put this skill to use recently.

Last weekend, I was driving my youngest to a birthday party.  My oldest was in the passenger seat, my youngest sitting behind me.  If you have read The Great BlogHer Wipeout of 2010, you know I am recovering from an injury that at times requires a percocet induced sleep at night  which can result in a somewhat foggy percocet induced hangover the next day.  So maybe I shouldn't have been driving one armed in my percocet induced fog, but I was, so get over it if you have a problem with that.

Anyway, I was at an intersection I have been at a million times before.  The lanes kind of jog a little, and if you aren't paying attention, you can end up in a lane that looks like it goes on straight forever, but in reality, as soon as you get through the intersection, you are in an immediate "start turning now" yield-y kind of lane.  Well, that's where I ended up when I wanted to go straight.  Oh, and I thought I was in the go straight forever lane.  This is where it gets ugly.

I am at the red light in my "think it goes straight forever lane" when it doesn't.  The light turns green and I am driving along and think the ding dong in front of me just cut me off in the intersection.  Surely, he was in the turn left lane and he just cut into my go straight forever lane.  I toot my horn and keep going straight.  Immediately, I hear a horn honking that would have put any NYC cab driver to shame.  I know this because I just spent 10 days in NYC listening to cab drivers, along with every other driver, honking their horns.  I then realize I am in.the.wrong.lane.  Oops.  My bad.

Everyone easily gets where they need to be, after all, we were coming off a red light and going all of 5 MPH.  We very quickly come to an intersection with a four way stop.  I look over and see the guy who honked at me literally leaning over his teenage son in the passenger seat, hanging out the passenger window, flipping me off and screaming at the top of his lungs, "You fucking bitch.  You need to learn how to drive your fucking car!  Fuck you, you fucking bitch!" He said this repeatedly.  The entire time I am getting flipped off with a nasty wave of the finger. People, I am not exaggerating.  In fact, I don't even know how to explain to you how pissed off this man was.  His face was flame red and there was spittle flying out of his mouth.  His poor son.  My poor son.  I thought they were both going to die of shock and/or embarrassment.

So I did what is the exact opposite of what I would have normally done. I'm always up for a good verbal altercation, but I really didn't feel like fighting today.  I rolled down my window and said, "Sir, please calm down.  I am sorry.  I made a mistake."  I start to roll up the window when the above "fuckity fuck" tirade begins again.  So I roll down my window and said, "Sir, I really think you should calm down.  I said I was sorry.  I made a mistake.  I am not perfect.  BUT it's good to know that you are."  He was about to repeat the "fuckity fuck" tirade, which was a little old at this point, and then my words sank in.  He apparently was a little smarter than he looked.  He looked at me, face flaming red, spittle hanging off his lips, in his son's hair and on my windshield.  His mouth was hanging open and then he pursed his lips shut and just stared at me like he couldn't believe what had just happened.  He then sat back in his seat.  It ended there for me, but his poor son.  I could tell mb the man's passionate hand movements and shaking body that he was lecturing his son on my awesome ability to cut someone off and be polite about it.  Ok, I think we all know he was really reaming his son out on what a terrible driver I am and reminding his son that all terrible driver's are fucking bitches.

I looked over at Big E, who has now reclined his seat.  I started cracking up and asked him if I embarrassed him.  He chuckled and said, "No, I'm tired."  Yeah, like I believe that one.  Thankfully, the man never looked over again, because Big E and I could not stop laughing.

So Big E and I had a conversation.  About how one little mistake on my part totally sent that man into a tirade that appears to have totally ruined his entire day.  How he risked his health (you know, he did about cause himself to have a heart attack) and the potential respect of his son not to mention he made a total ass of himself, because of a 10 second mistake made by me.  How awful it is that that man let that one little incident cause so much anguish for himself.  The flip off?  I totally get that.  Even a big scowl at me.  But the fuckity fuck tirade?  A little over the top.  Big E agreed.

Later, Big E and I were shopping and I started cracking up.  He looked at me funny and I said, "Do you think that man is still pissed and yelling and screaming?"  Big E then laughed and said, "Yeah, probably."


  1. Now, don't have a tantrum on me - pull out the kindness..

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  2. I'm am regularly amazed by how much you rock. Not only by being cool about it all but turning it into a lesson for your son.

    Plus, I mean really, what is better than being the bigger person and being able to witness the other person's "ah-ha" moment when they get it too? Bwwwaaahahaaaaa!

  3. Great stuff , truly cool...hope your feeling better as I send you speedy recovery honks from NYC !! ;)

  4. Way to turn it around, girl! And your kid got to see it. I think that's awesome. Plus you got away with your life. The fuckety fuck tirades sometimes turn into retaliatory gunfire.

  5. you handled that with amazing grace my friend!!

  6. whoa. okay, how did you two continue driving during all of this? I would've drifted into his lane for sure.

    It is amazing, no shocking, how many ANGRY people are driving around at any given moment. And Scary.

    Way to go, girl. You rock. Again.