I Brake For…Umm…

I committed the cardinal sin of driving:

I flagrantly and dangerously cut someone off in the parking lot.

Safe driving is on my list of things that make you an all-around good person. I’m pretty sure safe drivers get bigger rooms in Heaven, with the extra comfy pillows and curtains. No room is complete without curtains, not even in Heaven, so I’m gonna get me one of those rooms. I am also deeply afraid of dying in a fiery car crash of doom (In my dreams, there’s a lot of spinning and exploding and highway barriers and blizzards, but parking lots are bad too.), so I am mindful at all times to prevent my untimely demise before I even get to meet a member of the British royal family.

Well, not at all times. Truthfully, I just wasn’t paying attention. I never bothered to look over my right shoulder as I pulled towards the entrance to the parking lot because it was the smaller side of the lot and no one ever parks in the corners. Except this woman in a small blue Prius.

It was a terrible decision to pull in front of her, but by the time I saw her I was already in the middle of the lane and if I stopped she definitely would have hit me. (The excuse for the ages.) Believe me, I’m still sick about it. My heart was racing and has hardly slowed. I even broke out into hives. (Ok, that might just be the new shampoo I’ve been using– I forgot my allergy medication.) You cannot make me feel worse than I already do. Thank God, truly, that we didn’t get into an accident and that we are both in good physical health for her to be angry with me and for me to be guilty.

Yes, she was angry, and rightfully so. In my rearview mirror, I could see her outrage, shaking her head and yelling at my stupidity. There was nothing I could do; no amount of waving or shrugging or buying her Starbucks (which I had just drank, which may explain the lapse of attention due to caffeine– I’m sorry, Officer, it was the latte, and I even asked for sugar-free vanilla, I swear!) was going to appease her.

Then, as we finally pulled up to the stop light at the entrance to the parking lot, probably about twenty seconds after the incident, she honked at me. Twenty seconds later. That’s like a lifetime in TV. Eva Longoria could cheat on her husband with the gardener twice. Leroy Jethro Gibbs could give eight soulful looks. Dr. Sheldon Cooper could have a lot of fun with flags. Giada de Laurentiis could mispronounce five entire sentences and kill a tree full of squirrels with her alien laser vision. Jillian Michaels could get you to lose four pounds.

“My God, you need to work on your timing,” I said out loud. And then I clapped my hand over my mouth in horror.

I was judging a woman, who graciously did NOT hit my car even though it was deserved, because she took too long to produce a reaction that garnered public attention. I was quietly lambasting her because her attempt to “make a scene” was realized as an awkward afterthought.

And that’s when it hit me, once again, that I am a horrible person.

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15 thoughts on “I Brake For…Umm…

  1. I always feel like the worst person in the world when I accidentally cut someone off or do something wrong while driving. There’s never enough silent gestures to show how sorry I am for wronging them.

    • Exactly. Especially because I get REALLY upset when someone does that to me. Like, it ruins my whole day. And sometimes the next day. I probably shouldn’t be so up tight…

      • Sometimes when people cut me off, I’m in a charitable mood so I pretend they’re like me and are really embarrassed about what they did. But…I usually just rage and yell a bunch of angry words.

  2. I, too, feel terrible when I drive badly. I always think it would be great to have a little flag that could pop out of the top of my car that says, “Sorry!”

  3. That woman has poor form. I have become so practiced in the art of honking that I may as well re-name it “jambling.” at the risk of sounding too proud of this unique skill, I must say that I surely would have anticipated you cutting me off, therefore jambling right before it happened and saving you the public ridicule that comes with the scenario you’ve just described. No more awkward moments at the stop light, because I’d be sitting AHEAD of you at the light, already forgetting the near-fatal cut-off attempt while you stare at me in wonder from behind thinking: how can a man that intelligent, handsome and athletic possibly be driving a poop-brown Mazda that looks like it reeks of his Nana’s dirty drapes (it does – she “gave” it to me)?

    Oh and the pop-up flag would be pretty epic.

  4. I think one day in the near future, cars will come equipped for some kind of speaker/intercom system. That way people CAN say Sorry when these things happen. Then again, it would also allow people to tell off those that cut them off. So maybe it’s good for you that cars don’t have that yet. Once she realized she couuld yell at you, there would have been quite the expletives thrown your way! Actually, there probably already was. You just couldn’t hear her. 🙂

    • I had to give her the stupid courtesy wave, as if she had just let me merge on the freeway instead of sparing me hundreds of dollars in car repairs. I hope she was cussing at me, because I looked like a douche canoe and totally deserved it.

  5. Sometimes even the best people make mistakes. It just means we are human. Don’t let it get you down. Just learn from your mistake and go on with life. Maybe it happened for a reason, you never know.

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