Friday, September 2, 2011

Choose a Lane

"Choose a lane," is something my excellent-driver of a husband sometimes utters when driving behind someone who has not. We are plagued by what I call "provincial driving" where I live, people who are following their own local routines, living in the center of their own little world, driving down the center of the road, even a road divided into lanes.

My husband is known for his laid-back nature and the thing we call "Cuban time," which does not require getting anywhere fast or strictly on time (although he has been cured of this by me when it comes to theatre and sports events, work, poetry readings, doctor and dentist appointments, movies, and stuff involving other people and their feelings), but  even he grows impatient and testy driving behind someone who will not choose a lane.

I stay in my lane and signal all lane changes, as it's the law, it's polite, and it's much safer to let other drivers know your intentions, right? Unless you are a self-absorbed, provincial driver who doesn't want anyone to know you are just about to turn (left or right) in case you speed up to pass him before he does, which this same driver might do as soon as I signal my intentions.

This is a life lesson for me that I never quite learn. Do not signal your intentions. Someone will take advantage of the situation to speed up and endanger you and everyone around you.  Am I overreacting here?

Anyhoo, the other side of that provincial drivers who are better drivers than I am are alert to the selfish and even the spaced-out habits of other local drivers. And might I just mention that it is not good to be driving while writing a novel in your head, or vice versa, as I learned the other morning while driving 30 mph through a firmly red light after dropping my daughter off at school.

OMG, I'm a provincial driver. And, worse, a creative type trapped in a car and a routine that lulls me into thinking I'm safe and can be thinking of other things while driving.  Life lesson, life lesson, life lesson. Learn it! 

Anyhoo, no drivers or pedestrians were harmed while revving up the engine for this blog entry. Thank you, provincial drivers everywhere.

Eventually, though, please choose a lane.


ted tingley said...

Please don't drive near any brand new blue Cruze autos. The new driver may be trying to learn all about the operation of the dash board while rolling down the center lane.

Kathleen said...

OK, and we'll watch out for red lights, both of us!

Karen the neighbor said...

and this is one reason that we mostly walk to and from school. I really think school traffic is the most dangerous! Morning routines and urgency take over everyone's minds!

Kathleen said...

I do, too, Karen! Fortunately, I wasn't anywhere near a school during the red-light incident!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Oh, dear lord. I was behind a provincial driver yesterday. Her bumper sticker said:
God grant me the serenity
to deal with this damn traffic.

I guess she knows her audience. :)

Stay safe out there!

Kathleen said...

Irony upon irony. Upon elephant hide.

Kim said...

Were you writing the novel in your mind on paper made from elephant poo? They sell it now at Crossroads.

Anonymous said...

The province is in their heads - you'll find them in the busiest streets on the East coast, which unfortunately are a lot narrower than the ones in the Midwest, which means you have that much less room to maneuver around (or away) from them. Harrowing.


Cathy said...

My husband used to do the "choose a lane, choose a lane" chant so much, I'd ask him if it was his mantra. I prefer "Drive it or milk it!" which I learned from my dad.

Hey, where can I get one of Sandy's bumper stickers?

Today I had a driver roll down the window of her car and chew me out (I was on the bike, natch) for stopping at a stop sign And not by any means for the first time. Maybe this sort of thing only happens in Madison, but it's damned annoying.

Kathleen said...

I agree Bob. All kinds of provincialism is mainly in the head!

OMG, Kim, paper from elephant poo? Who gnu?

Kathleen said...

Cathy, sigh... Bikers are supposed to stop at stop signs! What can you do?

Around here we have a bunch of signs in yards and bumper stickers saying, "Start Seeing Motorcycles." (And they are bigger than bicycles! You'd think people could see them.)