Dear gentleman who drove behind me on Pope’s Hill Road on Monday morning,
Please stop beeping at the cars in front of you. Please stop expecting us to somehow move quicker; to drive over the vehicles and pedestrians so that those with bigger plans, such as yourself, can get wherever you are needed a few seconds sooner. Have a heart: there is still snow piled higher than most of the children who were trying to enter the elementary school on the left and there are still icy berms which were bottle-necking the entrance to the supermarket on the right. I beg you, in light of the historically snowfall we are all experiencing, lay off the horn.
I understand your impatience. Perhaps you needed to get to work or a doctor’s appointment and the combination of buses, SUVs and kids in the crosswalk which were causing your snail’s-pace progress was frustrating. I, too, was frustrated, trying to get my 7-year old son to school in such conditions, wondering if I would find a space in the snow clogged supermarket lot and praying that we’d safely cross the streets (knowing that patience is at a premium especially when there are harried drivers honking and hollering, “move it!”). Getting anywhere these days, especially at 8:15 in the morning, challenges a person’s civility. Even so, please stop using your horn as a means of relieving your aggression or aggravation.
Allow me the time also to apologize to you. At about the time of your 10th toot, or by conservative estimates 1 minute into our anonymous interaction, I made the concerted effort to lengthen our discomfort. I intentionally let every car go ahead of me that was waiting at the side street to enter traffic; I intentionally slowed and moved to the side to allow oncoming vehicles to safely navigate the narrow street; I intentionally stopped to allow the crossing guard to safely shuttle the children and parents back and forth in front of me. I am not proud of these behaviors and admit that they were childish but, in my defense, they added no time to your commute.
I hope you got to wherever you were in a hurry to go. I hope that you and your fellow commuters all arrived safe and sound to your destinations. I wish you no ill will. I only wish you did the same for those driving in front of you.
Finally, I want to thank you. As I mentioned, my 7-year old son was in the car with me. I was tempted, strongly, to give you a piece of my mind with great voice (or an unkind gesture involving my hand), but I refrained. Instead I chose to engage in a conversation with an impressionable mind about the virtues of patience and courtesy. If your rhythmic blares had not interrupted the everyday activity of driving my son to school, I might have missed that opportunity to instill in him the ways to act like a gentleman.
Stay safe. There are, as I am sure you are aware, impatient jerks everywhere.
A fellow traveler
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5