Road Rage

Today was a very exciting day for me because, for the first time ever, I did not feed into someone else’s road rage. This might seem like a small accomplishment to some of you, however, I have been known to engage a road rage lunatic from time to time. It’s not that I enjoy arguing with ignorant drivers but sometimes, they just catch me at the wrong time like when I am rushing to work or on my way home when I am exhausted. Today was no exception…

I had just driven away from my job when I realized that there was a lot of traffic on my usual route home so I decided to take an alternate route. Unfortunately, there was traffic everywhere so I just ended up stuck at an intersection with a long line of cars ahead of me waiting at a red light. Due to this, I decided to just wait before crossing into the intersection and blocking the cars that were crossing in front of me. After all, the light WAS RED so I wasn’t going anywhere anyway.

All of a sudden, I hear the driver behind me screaming profanities out his window at me for me to go. He was literally hanging out his window cursing at me at the top of his lungs. I must admit that I actually considered getting out of my car and going up to him to ask him what his problem was but I decided against it as I heard my husband’s warning in my head. (You see, my husband is always warning me against engaging these kinds of drivers in confrontations when he is not around.)
He would have been so proud of me as I sat there amused at this crazy person screaming behind me.

Finally, the light ahead of me changes so I cross over the intersection. After all the verbal abuse I decided to be petty and to drive forward like molasses. The driver behind me got so upset that he drove around me and called me every single vulgar name in the world. I had my sunglasses on and kept looking forward refusing to engage him by looking at him and his passenger who was yelling and cursing at me too. Instead, I extended my left arm out the window and quietly flipped both of them the bird.

As I drove away, I felt so peaceful. I didn’t rile myself up by cursing back at him or arguing back and forth with him. He, on the other hand, was thoroughly aggravated to the point that I thought he was going to have a coronary right there in his car. Granted, I did antagonize him a little bit by deliberately driving slowly and sticking up my middle finger at him but he deserved it. I only did that in self defense after he disrespected me.

The lesson that I learned today is that we cannot control the actions of others but we can control how we react to certain situations. Maybe I am getting wiser in my old age because the old, or rather younger me, would have gone toe to toe with him. It’s just not worth it anymore. I have to set a good example for my boys so they will know how to react appropriately to different situations. This is especially important living in a large inner city like New York. Next time, I might even be able to control myself so much that I don’t flip anyone the bird. Who knows, bigger miracles have happened.

© 2009, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. I love the juxtoposition of "I extended my left arm out the window and quietly flipped both of them the bird. As I drove away, I felt so peaceful."

    Even still, it certainly sounds like progress! My work commute is 100 miles a day so trust me, I feel your pain!

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