Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When I grow up, I'll turn the tables...

As I've mentioned before, I spend an incredible amount of time in my car during the week.  My daily commute is 70 miles round trip.  But, I like the taxes and the safety and the rural quaintness of the suburban city we live in, so I'm willing to brave the whitetrash Bubbas at the Wal Mart and have pretty much accepted that I can't get home from work in less than 40 minutes.  Even in good traffic.  But, thanks to go-cups of coffee and Sirius radio (Live On Broadway - Sirius Channel 77, can I get a what, what?  No?  Just me?) I don't always despise my trips in the car.  Honestly, I've started to kind of revel in them.  80+ minutes of quiet alone time during all of which I am required to sit down?  Sign. Me. Up.

I find I'm not suddenly beside myself with rage if traffic backs up a little bit.  I just sip my beverage, settle in my seat a bit, and enjoy the OBC recording of Hairspray.

So, maybe that's why, in my showtunes and caffeine induced stupor, that I found myself on the highway being passed all over the place by cars. Because I was driving. On a Friday. Going 63 mph.  In the fast lane. 

On this particular interstate during rush hour on Friday, I'm lucky I didn't get shot.

Once I got out of my daze, I upped my speed to 70 mph.  10 over the posted speed limit.  Fast enough?

No.  Cars were still passing me all over the place and one began to tailgate me so closely, I'm pretty sure I  have a bit of the paint from his fender on my car.  Not to be defeated, I pressed the accelerator to 75 mph.

Cars still passing me.  Double middle fingers being thrown in my direction from the car behind me.

At this point, out of principle I refused to get over.  And upped my speed to 80 mph.  Immediately, I was scared as all get out and finally the car behind me got over and screeched past me.  I lowered my speed considerably and continued my journey home.  And then it struck me - when did I start traveling below 80 on the interstate?

It is with a large amount of shame and guilt that I tell you that it wasn't too long ago that I would have not only been going well over 80 mph, I was probably also talking on my phone, or worse - texting while driving. (I know, I know.  The thought of it makes me shudder.)  In fact, I was probably more like the guy in the car behind me, flipping people the double bird and saying some very un-Christian-like things to little old ladies cruising in the fast lane in their giant Buick Le Sabres.  And yet, somehow, either because of my steadily advancing age or the precious cargo I am so often toting with me, I am suddenly a more careful and responsible driver.

I gave up distraction in the car for Lent last year.  No phone usage (and if I had to talk on my phone, it was on the Bluetooth only), no loud music, no eating foods that required two hands at anytime.  But, even in doing that, I don't think I was consciously making the effort to become a safer driver in general. 

And yet, here I am, going 63 in the fast lane and thinking that it is an incredibly reasonable and safe speed.  Screaming un-Christian-like things to the people tailgating me.  Shaking my head at the recklessness of others.  Carefully passing people who look like they might be (gasp) texting and driving.  Constantly yelling at my husband (when he is in the driver seat and likely going the posted speed limit) to SLOWDOWNFORTHELOVEOFGOD.

I just feel so...old.
It's a welcome change.  And a surprising one at that.


  1. We can't go 63mph to get anywhere in NY should we wanted to unless it's in the odd hours of the night... I envy you. If you're going 30mph on a Friday evening during rush hour here, you're getting wherever you're going pretty quickly. =(

  2. Oh, you feel old? you have no idea what feeling old feels like....when you are old.


    Motherhood will do that to you.

  3. Live on Broadway, what what!

    So my husband and I are looking at getting a new car for when we have our baby (my old 2-door isn't gonna cut it) and suddenly he's all paranoid about car safety ratings. I told him that it isn't gonna matter if he can't break his bad distracted driving habits. He joked back that it does matter, since if his lousy driving gets him and the baby into an accident, the safer car will protect them. I think he missed my point ;)

  4. @Kate - I'm the lousy driver of the family (I blame singing "Look at Me Now" from The Wild Party at the top of my lungs), but I started driving like a white-knuckled crazy person when I started having that precious cargo. Maybe your husband will change as well :) If not, stick him in the "mommy seat" (backseat, next to the baby) and rock out to the sweet, sweet sounds of the OBC of Spring Awakening. :)


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