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Road Rage Confessional

August 7, 2009 - Kathleen Palumbo

With much of my very busy Friday spent primarily driving, it was shocking just how many displays of road rage I witnessed (none aimed at me, thankfully).  Although much of what I observed took place amongst the havoc that is the Boardman stretch of U.S. 224 under construction, the public outbursts were disturbing still.

I'm certainly not one to preach, and will confess to one major road rage faux pas of my own, but we'll get back to that.  We have a primarily beautiful weekend weather forecast, and in addition to the average errands, the Ursuline Motherhouse Walk in the Gardens and the weekend-long air show at the Vienna Air Base events are up for the taking.

My proposal is this:  A 48 hour weekend-long ban on road rage.  Come on doubters; you know you have it in you.  Give the "just out for a drive going 12 mph in a 45 zone perpetrators" a break just his once.  Find yourself about to gesture wildly?  Before heading out, arm yourself with a favorite CD or two and just let go.  Who among us isn't a closet American Idol wannabee?  And we all know that the more you love the song, and the louder you play it, the better you sound!  It's calming, it's soothing, and it may compel you to allow one or two people the chance to enter your lane without an Andretti inspired competition, even if it gets you home one eleventh of a nanosecond later.

As for my own personal road rage confession; here goes.  I was driving my very first car, a stunningly beautiful silver VW bug.  As I  worked on mastering a five speed, I occasionally stalled when idle on a hill, which I unfortunately had to travel daily. 

There I sat, first in line at a red light, when it changed, and as I  tried unsuccessfully to pep talk myself through the "shifting while not traveling backwards" lesson, the light went from green, to yellow, and back to red.  As I continued to struggle, there behind me, sat  a man who had seemingly super-glued his hand to his car horn.  Exasperated, I removed my keys from the ignition, walked to his car door and handed them to him, asking him to go start my car, as I wasn't having any luck.  I offered in turn to take his place at his horn while he did, and told him that once he was done, he could let me know just how helpful I had been.  I did all of this using a tone that implied I probably could have been traveling by broom.

Of course I didn't leave my keys with him, but felt exhilirated at just how badly I made him feel, watching as he stammered out an apology as I walked back to my car.  He was reduced to a shameful drive past me as I eventually got my car started.  So there you have it, my very own personal road rage confession.

Feel free to share your own dastardly road rage admissions; (keep it clean people), unburden yourselves, and begin anew.  Even if just for the weekend - be the better person.  Keep it under control, and remember, I will be out and about all weekend, and I will be watching.  


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