October 5, 2009

Confessions of an emotional driver

1. I hate it when pedestrians are walking behind me as I am backing, look directly at me, and continue to walk behind me. It is almost as if they are saying, "I am the pedestrian. You must bow to me. Your need to back up is not as important as my need to enter Wal-Mart." It kind of makes me want to run them over on purpose.

2. I also hate it when cars rush by as I am backing. A similar feeling of superiority seems to pervade. Does no one respect the fact that I am backing here? I am in a vulnerable position! I am literally sticking my ass into a potentially scary and dangerous world known as the parking lot. Does no feel the need to protect my nakedness in this situation, to allow me to resume a more dignified position of accelerating forward like all the other idiots on the road? No! I feel completely unvalidated in this situation.

3. I am hurt when people pass me on the freeway. Not just cars passing me in the normal flow of traffic, I'm talking, stuck behind a big-rig and cars are pulling out violently from in front of me obviously annoyed and impatient, speeding for a few hundred feet beside me, just long enough to give me the , "what's wrong with you" shake of the head and take their rightful place in front of me and the offending big-rig. I long to justify myself in those situations. "It's not my fault!" I long to scream, "It's this truck in front of me, see? I'm really a cool person, just like you! I'm good at driving!"

4. It makes me feel important when people stop and wait for me to back out of a parking space. Perhaps this is closely related to #s 1 and 2, giving my complex psychological relationship with backing. But I really do like it when people stop and wait, acknowledging that I have something desirable, special, something they want. I know they are only using me for my parking space, but I don't care. I take my validation where I can get it. And if a line forms, so much the better.

5. It reassures me to know that I have a new trendy car, especially when driving in areas like south Orange County or Hollywood, where everyone has a nice new car. It makes me feel like I belong, like I have a right to be there. I don't have to be embarrassed by an old clunker, no, I am cool, I am hip and up-to-date. Never mind that I am behind on payments for said new trendy car and am skipping meals to pay for it. At least I have one.