26 April 2011

Assholes united


The other day I stood on a very long line at Kings during the pre-dinner rush. Many people were perturbed and impatient, and eventually the management opened a new lane. At this point, those in the back of the line who were suffering from RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION DUE TO BEING FORCED TO WASTE THEIR VALUABLE TIME, made a beeline for the new lanes. Although I am patient about waiting in line, cutting really chaps my ass. Waiting your turn is a useful social skill, one which we all had lots of time to master in elementary school. So I was happy when the manager shamed the back of the line usurpers back into place.

Later in the week I was in an exceedingly long line at the Gap. The cashier mentioned that there was no line at another register in a different part of the store. The woman behind me turned around and raced for the register. This of course, annoyed the shit out of me, because of the CUTTING. And so I took a short cut and narrowly beat her to the register. It was childishly self-righteous of me, yet so satisfying because I WON.


Recently I drove across town behind someone going painfully below the speed limit. For a long time. I kept my distance and tried to remain patient, hoping he would turn off. I had the dotted yellow line on my side of the road, so eventually I moved to pass him. At this point he gunned his engine and refused to let me by, but not before gesticulating angrily in my direction.

Later in the week I honked as a car made a fast left turn in my direction and I swerved and honked to avoid getting hit. I wish there were a way to differentiate hostile honking from warning honking, because the latter was what I intended. Clearly I was misunderstood, because the driver proceeded to go out of his way to pull along side me to give me the finger.


A few weeks ago I was running late for my yoga class. I used to be habitually late for classes, but I have turned over a new leaf, and now I arrive early, so I was especially frustrated by my lapse into old behavior.

I live on a narrow road and it drives me crazy when people park right across from my driveway. In my head, I yell THANKS, FOR MAKING IT REALLY DIFFICULT FOR ME TO GET OUT OF MY OWN DRIVEWAY WITHOUT HITTING YOUR CAR, WHICH I WILL THEN BE RESPONSIBLE FOR FIXING ALTHOUGH I THINK YOU ARE AS MUCH TO BLAME BECAUSE YOU DID NOT BOTHER TO LOOK BEFORE YOU GOT OUT OF YOUR CAR. And so I was ashamed when I left my class and found a parking ticket on my windshield for parking in front of someone’s driveway.


Gabriel and Sacha need to be dropped off for school at the same time, on different ends of town. Often Gabriel walks to school, which solves the problem. On the days I drive him, I get him to school a few minutes early, before the car line opens. People are already queueing, but if I wait in the line, Sacha will be late for school. My solution to this problem is to drop Gabriel off on the corner a suitable distance away from the queue to avoid cutting, and let him walk the rest of the way.

One morning last week I was distracted, and instead of pulling up to my usual corner, I pulled past the car line and drove around a corner closer to the car line to let him out. I thought this was alright, because I wasn’t queuing for an adult to escort my child from the car, but as he closed the door, Gabriel admonished, “Mom, you just cut the line.”


I am a bit militaristic about pedestrians having the right of way. People in cars, take heed, as you are much more powerful than the little people on foot! When a car guns down the street while I am walking, I have been known to yell orders to slow down. This embarrasses my children, and does nothing to rectify the problem, but it provides some cathartic release.

Last week as I walked to pick Gabriel up from school I stepped off the curb to cross and a driver began making a turn into me. I held up my hand demanding that he stop to let me, the PEDESTRIAN go. And then, I noticed that the light was red, and I did not have the right of way. Embarrassed, I retreated back to the curb, and tried issuing an I’M SORRY, MY BAD wave, but I I had already created the impression of being a self-righteous ass, and like horn honking, from a distance it is not easy to distinguish pleading gestures of remorse from angry gesticulation.

And this is where my brain spirals in an infinite loop of confusion and guilt, because on the one hand, I like to berate people for behaving badly, but on the other, hello assholes I am one of you!

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