To the Two Impatient Maine Drivers That Almost Hit Me Head-On
Dear Mom Driver and Teen Driver,
Quite honestly, I'm impressed that this happened twice in 24 hours on the same road. Perhaps you're related and this is just genetically engrained in you both. Perhaps you're strangers and it's just one big universal coincidence. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter.
I actually want to thank you both for the impatient driving skills you both exhibited, because it taught a lot of people a lesson (myself included).
Mom Driver, when you decided that you had had enough of being stuck behind that garbage/gas/whatever kind of huge truck was halfway in the breakdown lane and halfway road on Congress Street and crossed the double yellows, you pulled right in front of me as I was taking a right onto Congress. You graciously told me I was "number one" with a select finger on your hand while spouting off words that I couldn't hear because I honestly had my radio turned up too loud since I had my windows down, but perhaps the kids you had in the card heard you loud and clear.
But as I let you pass by, and I hope it was from impatience and not an emergency, then continued about my merry way down Congress, I passed the line of cars that were waiting behind you who were also stuck behind that massive truck, and noticed quite a few looking shocked or shaking their head in disappointment. Now, knowing I've probably reacted the same way that you did in the past, I think you taught us all a lesson that taking a few extra breaths and paying extra close attention is the way to be, so thank you for that.
Teen Driver, when you decided you couldn't wait for the green light to make it up the extra car length to move up and take the left-hand turn onto the side street that I was taking a right off of, you reminded me of a mistake I made when I was younger. My mistake was more distraction than impatience, but regardless, the fact that I had my dog Remy in the backseat when you gunned it right for the front of my truck as I screeched to a stop reminded me of an accident I had once.
See, when I first started in radio, I worked down in Hyannis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod and was returning from a shift. I was 10 minutes from home on Interstate 495 in Andover, Mass, when I became distracted by something (probably the mix of an incoming text that made my phone go off as well as checking my mirrors since we were in a stop-and-go pattern) and didn't realize we had hit the stop portion of the pattern, and I hit a truck that was parked on the highway at about 50 mph.
Thankfully, everyone was fine, including the two children in the backseat. I felt terrible about the accident, especially after the mother went up one side of me and down the other. And until that moment, teen driver, I didn't understand why since it was truly an accident. But like that momma bear wanted to detach her jaw and bite, chew, and digest my head all venus flytrap style after I could've injured her kids in that crash, I had the same reaction when I heard Remy (thankfully buckled in) collide with the back of my passenger seat when you made my jam on my brakes.
So, thank you for that lesson, teen driver. And to the mom in the truck I hit all those years ago, I'm even more truly sorry about that accident. I get your anger, frustration, and fright now -- and I didn't even get in an accident.
You both taught me to make sure I'm a more attentive driver going forward, and you taught all the other people looking at you like you had 18 heads while you both almost plowed into me with your impatience to be more attentive as well. Here's hoping we'll all be better on the road going forward, because I get lockjaw easily so I can't really be venus fly trapping anyone.