About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Road Manners

I have a nice husband and it's a rare day that I'll take to my blog to complain about him.

But the day has come.

Here's the thing:

Jay is a great driver and I am not.  He's fearless and has a great sense of direction.  Of course, too much Grande Theft Auto at an impressionable age has left him a side dinger and squirrel assassin who drives a car that's bumper is being held on by zip tags, but all of this aside, Jay can and will drive anywhere.  Even though he insisted that speed bumps were not designed to make you slow down before going over them and actually had a heated argument with me about it, I'd usually prefer that he drive.

I was never the type of person who couldn't wait to get her license.  In fact, I was almost 19 years old when I finally got it.  I have always hated driving and if there is someone else who is willing to take on the drive, I am generally pretty content to be in the passenger seat.  That said, the only place that I refuse to drive is New York City, and now that we live in California, I don't have to worry much about it.  When I am behind the wheel, I am ridiculously careful and very concentrated on my actions (even if it seems like I'm just wildly singing with great animation in my facial expression... I am actually paying close attention to the road).

This morning Jay and I picked up a little conversation set for the backyard.  We went into the store and he paid for the furniture while I went out to the car to put down the seats in order to fit everything inside.  Then, I pulled the car around.  The parking lot was not crowded but there were several other cars there.

Now, I was parked in a way that to just pull out and drive directly to the store and pull in front of it to load the car, I would have had to go against the arrows in the parking lot and then against traffic and pull the car up to the store pointing the wrong way.  I considered this briefly because I could see Jay and three store workers staring at me from the entrance and I felt a little bit of pressure.

But I'm just not a natural born rule breaker.  I am a rule follower.  And I remember in driver's ed when I learned that most accidents happen close to home and in parking lots.

So, I pulled out and made a left (instead of a right towards the store).  I took my next left towards the back of the parking lot and drove around to the most convenient lane that had arrows pointing towards the store and then drove up and pulled in front... all very legally and without adding more than 30 seconds to the trip.

I pulled up to the store to see three bewildered and irritated employees and a husband who was rolling his eyes and on the verge of telling them that I was just his ride and he didn't even know me that well.

The whole ride home he spent arguing with me about whether or not I should have driven against the arrows in the parking lot, claiming that it wasn't busy enough to acknowledge them and a cop couldn't give me a ticket for it anyway.

First, let me just say that in California, you can get a ticket in a parking lot for driving against the arrows and not observing the stop signs.  Second, how could I possibly predict what cars would come in or back out in the time I was driving to the entrance of the store?

I feel livid that people were annoyed with me for protecting my safety and the safety of everyone around me.  All because it added about 30 seconds to the time it took me to pull out of the spot and in front of the store.

This got me thinking... where are people's manners?

I may not be a good driver, but I am certainly aware of the rules of the road.  I know how to use a four-way-stop, something that seems to have evaded the brains of many fellow drivers.  I stop for pedestrians at crosswalks... even when I'm turning right and could probably get away with cutting through the intersection first if I stayed really far to the left and went super fast.  I stop for stop signs and I slow down at yellow lights.  I let people in and I don't scream and yell when someone is going the speed limit on a one lane road.  I don't tailgate.  Sometimes I even let more than one car in if we are merging in a busy place.  When I am in a parking lot I don't drive through the spaces and I do follow the arrows.

I am sure that I am the source of anger for many people, snug in their stupid cars, in big hurries to get to some place that doesn't matter at all...

...and I think that's dumb.


  1. Parking lots are ripe for accidents. I totally support you following the rules in a parking lot. I would have done the same thing.

  2. Thanks Erika! I've been so fired up about this all day. It's just such a sad commentary when taking measures to be safe and careful is seen as an irritating habit. I may never let Jay live this down. I have used it against him at least five times already today. hahah...