This afternoon on the way to work, I was tailgaited on the highway. The kind where he was so close I couldn't even tell if he was flicking his lights at me, though I am sure he was. I was already going 10mph over (which is plenty) and I was passing someone. But, the more I could see him getting angry, and the closer he got to me, the longer I lingered in the fast lane. Yes, this is dangerous, and playing into his hands, and lowering myself to his level, but if he thought for one second that tailgaiting me would get me to go faster, he was wrong, and I wanted him to know. I did eventually move, gave him the two finger salute, and was left in his dust, pondering how silly the whole thing was. It is people like that whom I would love to have a little chat with. A chat about how one second can change your life, or, I'll say at the risk of being dramatic, take it. One second of inattentiveness, anger, aggression, and, yes, passive aggression can make all the difference. On top of that, one message, one playlist, one mile per hour can really change your day.
Of course, I've been late, in a rush, frustrated by sunday afternoon drivers, lost, and distracted. I've done unsafe things. (Just today, in fact.) But I feel what qualifies me to share my thoughts on the subject, is my job. I've seen the worst case scenario of that one second of bad driving. I know where the driving while tired, the driving while texting, the driving with four teenage friends scenarios go. And they don't go well. At the end of the day, it should be easy to decide how to react to an aggressive drive like the one I encountered. Is 'making a point' worth it? Is getting to your destination five minutes sooner worth it? Is that message worth it? While I fear becoming a preacy paramedic, I find this of immense importance. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother sharing it with you.
I will try to drive more sanely and maybe one day, one glorious day, that asshole who tailgates me will be pulled over just miles ahead and I can gloat, gloat, gloat.