by Carolyn Tate
I’ve always been a bit of a Judgy McJudgerson when it comes to angry drivers. I have sat myself in the front passenger seat for many a year, tut-tutting or making theatrical sighing noises when my driver (mostly my partner) shouts, curses or makes inappropriate comments about other drivers, pedestrians and road workers.
Why can’t he just learn to be patient, I wondered. It’s just a few seconds – what difference does that make in your day? Just get Zen, man, and breathe.
Then came the daughter incident: driving along on a main road one day, out of nowhere, my four year old daughter shouted at a passing vehicle (while shaking her fist), “You fucking goose!” Perfect inflection, appropriate gesticulation – I have to admit I was a little bit impressed. But mostly outraged, honest.
Hmmmmm. Thanks, Daddy.
Then, around the age of 35, I learned to drive. Now, we don’t need to get into what kind of a person doesn’t learn to drive until they are 35 (a travelling, urban-dwelling one, that’s who), but learning to drive was life-changing in all the great ways you can imagine. I love it. I feel so free being able to go where I want, when I want.
Even now, five years later, I relish every trip where I am not at the mercy of bus timetables and train lines. But I have to admit, I have found myself losing patience with other drives, in exactly the same way I have seen in others.
And then recently, the son incident happened: stopping at a pedestrian crossing to allow an elderly lady to cross the road, my then two year old shouted from the back seat (with windows open), “Ugh, come on, doofus!”
And this time, it was my fault.
My first, self-preserving thought was that I was wrong to judge my partner for getting so fired up on the road, but then I think, why do we care so much? Are we in that much of a hurry? Can we treat car time as a great opportunity to take time out, have a conversation, sing a song, listen to a podcast? And perhaps teach our children some patience and some nicer vocab while we’re at it?
What do you think? Are you an angry driver?
Reminds of something Mick Molloy said on the radio once…. “everyone who drives a kilometre an hour faster than you is a fucking idiot, and everyone who drives a kilometre an hour slower than you is a fucking moron”. True words, them!
I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever been compared with Mick Molloy!
And that’s a good thing, Champagne Leader!
Firstly – I LOVE that chick’s hair in the photo for this article. Secondly – I have to share this 🙂 My dad’s second wife asked me once if my mother was a bad driver. I replied ‘No Why?’ Her answer? “the only time your father calls me by her name is when I’m driving…. “. 🙂
Ha ha ha, gold!
Bahahahahaha! Love this post C! I have been doing some exhalation-cursing (you know, when it’s whispered on exhalation). Apparently there is a great tale of me chirping in with “Daddy would have called him a trucking idiot” after Mum called someone a “silly man” on the roads when I was three. Bless.
Love your subtlety Mia – I’m not strong in that department!
hahaha – oh I am so hyper aware of my complaints as I drive – I’ve even started a monologue with myself explaining why I”m mad at this driver or that, for the benefit of my completely uninterested toddler! But I have absolutely no doubt that one day she’s going to come out with a stunner like that and I”ll only have myself to blame!
Nice self awareness Emily!
Thankfully I don’t tend to drive very far with kids in the car, so I don’t tend to get too rage-y in front of them in the car. My husband does the long distance driving, and he is the model of cool and calm. I think I need a few lessons from him. Love that Mick Molloy quote above!
Your husband is a much calmer man than mine, Julie!
lol. Thankfully I don’t do any long distance driving with kids in the car (my husband does that), so they haven’t seen me really rage-y. My husband is the model of cool and calm… most of the time. Had to laugh at the Mick Molloy quote above!
Ah, yes. We’ve done the ‘trucking idiot’ too. Also, the ‘Mum, that man drives like a mother trucker’. Woopsy. I hate impatient drivers and idiots who lose their minds at the school drop off and pick up. Just chill, dude.
I agree with you in theory Alex, but I’m filing that mother trucker comment away for future use. 😉
Oh I swing both ways. On a good day, I’m patient and kind and sing in the car. On other days, when we are so crazy late and I have four million things to do before ten in the morning, there is a significant amount less patience and kindness. It is not good and I know my boys learn by watching it. Where I can I am aware of it and try to bite my tongue in the car 😉
I’m with you Josefa – I try to be good but some mornings, things just don’t go that way. But at least we’re trying!
LOL! I think I am angry about most things these days and the road just tends to be one of those things!
Oh, I can relate to that Jody!
Honestly, yes I am. BUT now that I have kids who understand all that I say, I usually just say, WOW that person can’t drive – my language is way better than it used to be, as is my aggression – LOL at the goose call!!
That’s great Emily, perhaps we should look at it as a way of educating the children early about what constitutes good and bad driving. 🙂
I get all talky when other people become driving idiots, but fortunately the radio is usually up too high for my son to register 🙂
Hello from #teamIBOT
Radio, that’s genius! Thanks Chantel. 😉
I feel like a dangerous driver when I have 2 screaming kids in the car sometimes. It should be the time when we are most careful because precious lives are at stake but it is so stressful that you just get really uptight and want to get there as quickly as possible to end the torture. I’ll be sure to keep my windows up when my kids are old enough to make those comments though, thanks for the warning 🙂
Ha ha, hope some good can come from my embarrassment Kate!
LMAO Oh I think I love you and YES that is so me. My kids on the way to school mouth of about the other parents in the kiss and drop zone taking too long …. not that they have learnt that from me at all …. much 😉 xx
Gah, who do they think they are showing affection to their children like that – and inconveniencing everyone at the same time. Whoever taught them that (not saying it was you) was spot on! Oh, and the love is mutual. *wink*
Oh this made me a little uncomfortable! Because mostly I think I can be an angry driver! Not in a trying to get everywhere quickly way, but more, don’t you dare infiltrate any space that I think you shouldn’t kind of way.
Thankfully my kids haven’t copied me. Yet.
Ha ha, there’s still time!