Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm a lover not a driver...

I was leaving work last night and ended up in the left hand turn lane behind my boss' car. We were both waiting for traffic to ease up so we could turn left and as the light turned yellow to red he got stuck behind someone who didn't turn fast enough and left him a little too far in the crosswalk but not far enough to just go through the light. So we both waited. It then occurred to me that because I knew him I was willing to let him, if he had wanted, reverse to get out of the crosswalk- something I would normally be annoyed at while thinking "hey buddy, your fault. don't reverse into me."

So I've embarked on an experiment.

Driving in Los Angeles, a city with the worst traffic in the country (that's an actual fact), can ruin your day. You can leave the house with birds chirping, the sun shining and a smile on your face and after sitting in 50 minutes of traffic to drive 8 miles you can arrive at work with a dark cloud above you grumbling your way to your desk. So I decided last night to try pretending that every other motorist on the road is a friend of mine and extend them the same benefit of the doubt and consideration that I would to my boss. It worked pretty well this morning although my commute was unusually light and uneventful so I wasn't sure if it was a good test. My commute home during lunch to let Indy out was, how do I say this, a clusterfuck. Nevertheless, I put on my compassion hat and allowed people to go before me at the metering light and slowed down to allow someone to change lanes. I'm actually surprised at how much more pleasant driving is when you just assume that everyone is your good friend. Now, that said, this is going to take some work to maintain considering that it's hard to like my new "friends" when they cut me off without signaling or speed up just enough to not allow me to merge and almost crash my car into the barrier. I found myself saying out loud thigs like "use your fucking blinker, FRIEND!". I'm a work in progress, but I do like my new strategy and will keep you updated on my progress. It's a never ending battle to find a way to cope with living in this wonderful (see "insufferable") city.



And now for some funny things that make me laugh.


















And my favorite.....





hee hee.

2 comments:

dave said...

Nicely done, Jess. It's nice to know someone else, besides me, has to experience THE WORST TRAFFIC IN THE WORLD on a regular basis. It sucks big time. But I agree: being friendly and, if possible, relaxed really helps. I've started giving myself a LOT more time to get to work in the mornings and the lessened anxiety has helped a great deal.

Thanks for sharing the funnies. Only in LA...

Dustin said...

I've found that unnecessary hatred while driving can be quite fun aaaand it helps you stay awake if you're tired. Being tired while driving can be very dangerous.