Thursday, December 4, 2008

No Reward for You

On most mornings, my husband takes our two kids to the babysitter's on his way to work. I either go to college or stay home to get things done depending on what day it is. Today was a little different. He left with our youngest to take her to the dentist and to Best Buy. I left in my own car with our son for the babysitter's.

Toe was buckled into his booster in the backseat. We were driving down a typical four-lane highway into Peoria. We're in Illinois, so there are patches of slushy snow on the roads. I was in the inner (slow) lane during the first few minutes. I noticed a convoy of massive SUVs coming off an exit ramp who needed to merge into traffic. There were six SUVs total, that's the most I'd seen in one place in months. I'm sure people are driving them again because of the gas prices coming down. I moved to the outer lane to let them all merge.

I had every intention of getting back into the inner lane as soon as I had a clear spot. I wanted to stop by Starbucks to get myself a hot chocolate and my son a box of chocolate milk, and the store is on the right side of the road. I glanced for an opening in between the train of SUVs, but wasn't in a huge hurry since the coffee shop was about five miles down the road. I was driving 60 in a 55, keeping up with the flow of traffic. I checked my rearview mirror to see that someone had gotten behind me and was so close to me that I couldn't even see most of their car in my mirror. Obviously, they were trying to intimidate me to either really speed to pass all the traffic, or to move into the other lane.

Now, as I said, I'm a parent, and practically any parent knows one simple rule. You do not reward bad behavior. This is because you don't want your kid--or total stranger--to think that they can get their way every time they throw a fit--or drive aggressively. So I did what I would have done if one of my kids had fussed for a toy I couldn't buy them. I ignored his behavior and just kept driving. After all, I wasn't about to drive 70, which is the speed I would have needed to pass everyone, and there were no openings in the inner lane. Those other vehicles were packed in pretty tight. He followed behind me for 2 or 3 minutes, as close as he could possibly get without just crawling into my car's trunk. Finally, I saw an opening and moved over, and he shot past me like a rocket.

I don't understand the need of some people to drive like bullies. Not everyone is willing to risk a ticket by going twenty miles over the speed limit. I think that he had just gotten used to people getting out of his way when he pulled his aggressive driving stunts that he figured he could "own the road", as the saying goes. Well, buddy, not with me because I don't reward bad behavior.


Parallax Photo said...

Good for you! I hate when people do that, if anything, it makes me drive just a bit slower and smile serenly in the review mirror until they go on their aggressive way.

Martha said...

Scary, glad you are okay, and a defensive driver. I hate scumbags on the road and have seen more than my share of stupid decisions drivers made when I worked in ER and surgery.

Martha said...

I tagged you for a quick, fun meme, details over on my blog. Thanks so much, Martha