Cooler Heads

a anger cartoon

Friday, May 13, 2016

Today I am grateful for cooler heads.  What is wrong with people?  I went to lunch with friends today and we got to talking about the recent murder in a church that resulted from an escalated disagreement.  Really.  I’m not making this up.  It happened right here in our little community. Good thing anyone can pack a pistol because geeze, you never know when you might need one. . .in church!  FYI-The victim was packing, too. . .a bible.


On my way to the restaurant in the rain, someone a few cars ahead of me was not happy with driving of the person in front of them, so he rode on his bumper, beeping his horn and flashing his lights.  When the light turned red, he kept it up as though the guy should move over (there was no place in which to move) or run the light.


What is going on?  Is the tension in our country and the world making everyone on edge?  People are frustrated in so many ways.  The economy isn’t good.  I have friends who are looking for jobs and it’s nearly impossible when you reach a certain age, yet AARP says most people want to work until they are 70.  But where?  No one will hire and as soon as a company buy-out happens, you’re thrown to the curb.  What then?


Politics have otherwise nice people lashing out on social media.  No one wants to recognize a different opinion.  So many people seem very angry.  And scared.  Budgets are tight, fuses are short.  Is that an excuse for a complete lack of courtesy?  I don’t think so, but hey, that’s just me.  No worries, there is going to be a new Bachelorette, who will shop amongst the many hot guys paraded before her in various stages of beefcake.  Oh good.  I was worried that show might be cancelled, throwing cultural balance into a tailspin.  NOT!


I’m driving home from lunch, thinking about the conversation, wondering why fast never seems fast enough, or what kind tension you must live with every day if you can’t just once sit at a light and watch it turn and give a person two seconds to react before acting the fool and getting aggressive.


I had to stop behind a large white pickup truck that was turning left, but there was no arrow and no way to get around him without going off the road.  I’m a good driver.  I’m an assertive driver, but not aggressive.  You don’t have to beep at me because I’m not texting, I’m driving.  I am a patient (most of the time) and cautious driver.  I’m not a wimp on the road, but I won’t be unsafe because you’re impatient.


The guy in his maroon SUV behind me starts blinking his lights.  I figure he’s trying to inform the oncoming drivers that their headlights should be on because of the rain.  When the truck turns and I can finally move forward through the intersection SUV man rides my bumper like Mario Andretti in the final lap, blinking those lights the entire time.  What is wrong with you?  My lights are on.


“Where would you like me to go?” I say out loud to no one but myself, when I realize I am the source of his irritation.  I’m not crawling.  I’m going at least 5 miles over the speed limit.  When I cross the next intersection I have to immediately turn left into my development, so my speed reflects that choice.  When the double yellow lines diminish and allow me to get into the left lane, he skids past me, honking his horn, blinking his lights and flipping me the bird.  Really?  That was two blocks you had to “endure” me?  And in your brain my supposed incompetence merits that kind or out-of-control reaction?  Why?


I sat in the driveway for a minute and almost bawled out of confusion and frustration and maybe a little fear.  What did I do?  I’ll tell you what I did.  I existed.  In this jackasses world that was enough to throw him over the edge. . .and greatly upset me.  And about that we should all be very concerned.  People are packing heat. . .even in church.  Cooler heads need to prevail. . .for everyone’s sake.

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