Our downward emotional spiral is further complicated by the fact that we must drive to where we are going (apologies to the many of you who use mass transit, but I rate that as equally stressful). Grid lock abounds in the cities, and there seems to be as many different philosophies about driving as there are people. All such viewpoints are being enacted on the roads simultaneously, causing an inevitable chaotic mess.
Remember also, that as soon as we leave our parking spaces, we relinquish our identities to our cars. Other drivers no longer see us, only our vehicles; inanimate objects upon which they feel free to pile their scorn (shouting at the top of your voice is good for stress). So: that rusted blue Econoline with the ladder rack really isn’t moving slowly to irritate you - it only seems that way. It’s just a driver with a different philosophy on driving than yours.
I get caught up in road rage quite regularly, during my half-hour daily commute.As soon as I turn onto the arterial streets, my vocabulary plummets to that of a twelve-year old trying out forbidden fruit.
Knowing this about myself, I find it unfathomable how others can drive longer commutes during the (poorly named) rush-hour and remain sane. I fully relate to those whose minds snap on the roadways, although I can’t condone their particular forms of expression. I find myself driving down the street cursing and I’m appalled. So I try to make up silly variations on the vulgarities a la Yosemite Sam: starting with “Frickin’ frackin” and going from there, and I try to avoid name-calling. Lowering my voice is a must, too, as I’m usually driving with the window open.
Try it: the sillier the better. You may even amuse yourself in the process. As you pick your favorites, you’ll gain confidence that when ferrying a child you won’t bite off your tongue or expand their vocabulary. So relax, and try some looney cursing. Let’s all keep practicing!
The life you save might be yours.