Hubs will have to forgive me for this post! I am having a bit of fun at his expense here, but honestly, he leaves himself open for it, so here goes:
Ashley has to be one of the most extraordinary men in the world. He is gentle, tender, loving, wise, and in great contrast to me, he is quick to listen to what others say – first – before giving a well thought-out and considered response – that is, if a response is needed. Does that sound like the direct opposite from someone we know and love? The best way of succinctly describing him is to call him a Christian Gentleman.
All this is said with one great proviso: HE IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON – MAKE THAT SPECIES OF BEING – WHEN HE IS BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE CAR!
Now, over the years I have heard tales of similar transmogrifications that happen when certain people are responsible for driving. I have come to believe, however, that the drastic change he undergoes when he is the driver is unique – primarily because the immediate change that overtakes him is such a complete change, rather than just a revelation of what lies beneath, as it is with other driving males – or at least what I have always assumed.
Now, Hubs has some pet peeves about other drivers, and admittedly, he is right about those peeves – I think most people would agree that these particular things can be very annoying:
1. People who don’t use their turn signals – ever! Hubs inevitably says, lips tightly pursed, “Thank you VERY much!” You see, the problem comes when he wants to turn left onto a highway or road, and has to wait for the traffic to clear on the road he is turning onto. He will wait patiently for this one last car to pass by, when, you guessed it! The other driver turns into the road we are on, which means Ashley had to lose a total of FIFTEEN seconds waiting for “that @#$% driver” (not a direct quote of words, just thoughts – Hubs is far too cultured and polite to cuss). Fifteen seconds! Oh, the horror! (Of course the flip side of this peeve is the people who never turn their turn signals off! That has become enough of a problem these days, that even when someone does use their signal, you are not sure you can trust it enough to pull out into the road. . .)
2. While Ashley is on the highway, and people ahead of him on a crossroad or in their driveway, are waiting for the traffic to clear so they can turn onto the road – exactly the opposite of #1 above – they wait until Ashley gets near, and then will decide to swing into the road ahead of him. You know what that means, don’t you? ASHLEY HAS TO APPLY HIS BRAKES! Generally the severity of the of the brake application means he has to slow his car down by at least FIVE miles per hour! “This is simply intolerable! I mean, couldn’t s/he have waited an extra four or five seconds for me to get by? @#$%!” (Again, my translation!)
3. Now, in all fairness – I’m never anything but fair – this peeve is one of mine too. On busy roads there is a turn lane, reserved for those who will be turning left off the highway onto another busy road. Now, the turn lane is marked to give the driver who will be using it the time to slow down before coming to a stop before his/her turn. WHY DO PEOPLE SLOW DOWN TO ALMOST A COMPLETE STOP BEFORE THEY GET INTO THE TURN LANE?? The turn lane’s length is designed for slowing down after leaving the regular lane. This once again requires Hubs’ and/or my application of the brakes. Now I have been known to utter the occasional @#$%! – I am not as cultured nor too polite to cuss – but then I never have been. No pretense on my part. (Actually, there is no pretense on Hubs’ part either – he really is cultured and polite!) I just say what I think – no ulcer-producing acid is going to ruin my day!
4. People who are behind Ashley will get impatient, and rather than tailgate (another pet peeve, we won’t even go into today), the person elects to pass. That in and of itself is a crime, because Hubs is already driving at the EXACT speed limit for that particular road (sometimes even two or three MPH above!). After all, he is saving that person a possible speeding ticket – they should slow down and be grateful! Now, here it comes: The person passes him, and then SLOWS DOWN!! Once again, the poor Hubs has to apply some pressure to his brakes, go around that driver, and go well over the speed limit in order to get far enough ahead of him so he won’t tailgate again! “This is just beyond comprehension! How on earth can people be so discourteous?!! I mean, s/he couldn’t wait four extra seconds to wait for me to pass by? Just everyday common courtesy is disappearing in this country! What do they teach in school these days?”
There are other peeves – on both our parts – but I will not bother listing them now. Perhaps another time. The question I have for Hubs when faced with such dire situations is, “What are you going to do about it?” Now if you lived in Los Angeles, you could just pull out your gun and exercise what is your God-given right to a bit of “Road Rage.” The “Southern Gentleman ” alternative is to, as Nancy frequently writes, “Breathe in. . . breathe out. . . repeat (as necesary). He doesn’t especially like it when I remind him of his true character.
But what’s a nice, cultured, polite, and non-cussing Southern Gentleman to do? I’ll tell you what. Complain about it. If I’m not in the car he will complain to the air around him. I know. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me. Thirty-five years of marriage to someone, you learn a thing or two. He will however, proceed to tell me all about it the next time we are in the car together – especially if no one trespasses against him on that trip.
BTW, he will honk his horn on occasion. It doesn’t really make him feel that much better, but if the infraction was bad enough it serves as an exclamation point to his frustration. And it sure does tell that driver thing or two, doesn’t it? I’ll bet you they drive off like a chastened dog with his tail between his legs. Yeah. . .so there. . .
Hubs has asked me to include the following: “What really concerns me is the almost complete erosion of common courtesy these days – among young and old alike. What is this world coming to? I am not so much annoyed, angry, or peeved, as Paula puts it, as I am truly concerned about the driving safety and etiquette of future generations. . .”
(Actually, I paraphrased that quote just a bit. . .oh well. Let him start his own blog. He can write about my slovenliness and my lack of housework – but you guessed it – he would be too polite. As I said, I am not.)
I pray Hubs forgives me for ratting him out, and I wish you all enough. . .