Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Road Ragin’ and General Hatin’

on February 11, 2011
Rush Hour on I-5, Seattle, WA

Image by djwudi via Flickr

Okay, I have a feeling this will be a downer post. If you were looking for something happy and cheerful, I recommend Nicki’s post from earlier this week.

I’ve been discouraged, of late, about how mean and self-centered people can be.  I have had a couple of bad incidents lately that have really made me think about this. Since I started my new job in September, I also began a 20 mile each way commute.  Now, for some, this may not be all that bad, but the last two jobs I had were within walking distance of my home.  Before that, I was able to take public transportation to and from work.  So, the morning drive is rather new to me.

Earlier this week, I was just beginning my commute.  I was getting ready to turn onto the freeway ramp when I came upon a gas station driveway with a car waiting to get out.  I thought about letting the guy out – something that I regularly do – but I looked behind me and realized that there was no one back there.  So, I decided just to move past the driveway and let him go behind me, especially since he was going into the next lane over.  Unfortunately, traffic stopped abruptly in front of me, and I ended up slightly blocking the guy and his p.o.s. car.  He revved his engine at me, ended up squeezing out behind me, and squealed his tires in the process.

At first, I felt bad about not letting him out. But after the way he reacted, I started thinking, “Who the hell are you?  What makes you think that you deserved to pull out in front of me?” I don’t understand this sense of entitlement that some people seem to have, and I find that it’s worse when people are in cars.  Maybe it’s because you are safe in your car and will be driving away just a moment later.  Go ahead, be an ass to someone, you won’t see them again.

A little over a month ago, I was driving my mother and grandma home after my grandmother’s surgery.  She was a in a little pain, so I was driving carefully, not too fast, trying not to jar the car too much.  A huge, white f-250 truck comes screaming up behind me and tails me closely.  He started flashing his lights and revving the engine.  He decided to move over into the right lane to pass me, but traffic slowed down and he ended up not getting far.  Determined to best me, however, he ended up cutting me off. I had to slam on my brakes (jarring my post-surgery grandma) and had I not had good reflexes, I would have hit him. I have no idea what got into this guy, but I was in his way and he was determined to beat me.

Whatever.

One of the things I really don’t miss about NYC was the overwhelming sense of entitlement that seems to permeate the area.  Everyone things that everyone else owes them.More and more, people everywhere I like that.  Now, I’m not a saint, but I really do try to be considerate of others and try to help people when I can. I let people merge when they turn on their turning signal. I hold doors for people when they have their hands full or are pushing a stroller.  I wish that more people did small things to help each other out.  The world would be a much nicer place if we all tried.

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