Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Scenes from a car

Here are just a few of the things I've witnessed while driving in my car this past week ... I think I spend too much time driving.

1) On Saturday, I drove to the party store to pick up balloons for Boogie's 4th birthday party (we had a great party. I can't believe she's 4 already ... although at times, I can't believe she's ONLY four.) Once I got off the ramp of the freeway, I had to make my way across four lanes of traffic so I could make a left turn at the second light after the ramp. Not a lot of time to make this maneuver, let me tell you. I got stuck at the first light and was in the third lane over. When we started going, I turned on my turn signal to let the drivers behind me know that I was merging over. The first car was a little close so I let him go. I knew that the driver of the truck behind him clearly saw my signal. And since we were only going about 10 miles an hour after the light had turned green, I knew I wouldn't be cutting him off. But nevertheless, I saw him start to speed up, so as not to let me in. But since I still had a bit of room, I made my way over. As I turned into the left-turn lane, he passed me, gunning his engine, and flipping me off out the window. Seriously? Are you so angry that you have thick fingers the size of sausages (the kielbasa kind, not the little Farmer John kind) that you have to flip off an innocent lady? Sad ... very sad.

2) I had just dropped off Boogie at preschool and was in the left turn lane (what is it with me and left turn lanes?). The cars in front of me made the light, with the last one clearly running a yellow, no wait, make that red light. From out of nowhere a cop with flashing lights passed me on the right to turn left to go after the guy (although, he could have just turned them on to make the light ... who knows?) Standing on the corner was a group of people: the crossing, guard, a few kids, and a mom who was walking her kids to school. "HAAAAHAAAAHAAAA," I hear out my window and see the mom, dressed in her baggy black T-Shirt and surprisingly baggy workout shorts on such a big woman, laughing much louder than is necessary at 7:30 in the morning. She's pointing in the direction of the guy who ran the red light. "IT'S ABOUT TIME. THERE'S NEVER A COP WHEN YOU NEED ONE, BUT NOT TODAY!" she shouted. While I may have thought the same thing, I didn't feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. But it didn't end there. She started laughing some more, nudging the crossing guard with her elbow and pointing in the guy's direction. The crossing guard politely nodded as if to say, "yes, I know, I saw, now let's get going." As they crossed the street in front of me, one of the mom's children looked back in that direction and started laughing again. The mom reached the other sidewalk and swung around so that her long, stringy, bleached-blond with dark roots hair sailed around behind her. And she proceeded to point and laugh again in an exaggerated way. It must be sad to think that a little incident like that is such an amusement to her. Kind of like the woman I used to work with who laughed at everything. Not even remotely funny things. EVERYTHING! Whenever she said anything she'd laugh. Not a nervous laugh, but a long, deep-throated gaffaw everytime. But I digress.

3) I was driving to lunch yesterday and was at a light (NOT in the turn lane) next to a large Yukon. I wasn't exactly parallel with the car so I couldn't see the driver's face, but I could see her hands. More specifically the gloves on her hands. While it would be weird to be wearing gloves in May in California anyway (sorry, Em), these weren't typical winter gloves. Nor were they leather driving gloves. They were the rubber gloves used in doctor's offices. In an eggshell blue. Maybe she's a hand model and has to keep her hands protected ... but wouldn't the powder inside those gloves be rather drying? Maybe she's a germaphobe. But it was her car ... wouldn't she have scoured that car inside and out? My husband often plays basketball with a guy who wears rubber gloves when he plays so he has a better grip on the ball. But do you really need that kind of grip driving a car? What kind of daredevil stunts are you doing?

Anyway, as you can see, I've had a pretty eventful week of people watching. I'm sure I'll have other random observations soon.