Friday, April 06, 2007

Ain't No Need to Get All in a RUSH

One night as I was trying to find the pick-up spot for a kid I was taking care of for the evening, I glanced in my rearview mirror to find that there was a car so close to my bumper that I could only make out the top parts of his headlights and his Mercedes hood ornament. I was certainly going above the posted limit, as is the norm here, but I just wasn't fast enough for this man (and I can say with confidence that it was a man because he was close enough that I COULD MAKE OUT ALL HIS FACIAL FEATURES). At one point I slowed a bit to read a street sign, and he came even closer. So I did the polite thing and pulled off at the next opportunity in order to let him pass. As he sped by me, he laid on his horn, angry. After I had pulled over to let him pass. My middle finger flew up all on its own.

And that is how this place has changed me. That's how here is different from where I'm from. Not just my lack of middle digit control, but the many instances similar to the one described above that contributed to the ebb of my willingness to be the polite one, all the time, every time. Back in more relaxed atmospheres, I at least would have thought about flying the bird before I actually let it take off.

It's not one person's fault, really, so if that was you being a complete asshole in your high dollar car on a dark, curvy road, don't blame yourself for my moral downturn. (Blame yourself for being a complete asshole, but don't blame yourself for my diminished middle digit control.) It's all of you. All of you who honk just because you can't figure out what's going on twelve cars ahead of you, all of you who cut other people off when they are trying to merge onto the highway because you want to weave around the cars that you think are in your way, all of you who ride other people's bumpers when you could hang back a bit and still get there on time. All the people who scoff at those who are Not East Coast Enough to refrain from saying good morning and asking how your night was, all those people who laugh out loud when you trip in the train station and your shoe comes off.

I don't like how being around people like that fairly frequently has made me more like them. I don't like how the rush that surrounds me sometimes translates into anxiety and the feeling that I need to be in a rush myself. Because I don't. I don't need to hurry when it's not necessary. I don't need to elbow in front of someone else to get on the subway train first. I don't need to fidget or tap my foot while I am waiting for my Starbucks order. And I certainly do not need to honk my horn at every given opportunity.

So today, I'm opting out of the rush. That's why I'm sitting here eating cookies instead of packing, why I still haven't applied my sunblock even though I could have about half an hour ago, why I'm still barefoot even though it's cold. It's why I'm taking the later train into the city to meet Jarod and leaving early enough that I can meander down to Starbucks instead of rush there as if there is a mighty wind at my back. It's why I'm not going to worry if I forget something and why we may just stay in and watch television sometimes instead of experiencing the night life of New York City. Because really?

(You might want to take notes, hardcore East Coasters.)

Life's just nicer when you're not in a rush.


Jennifer said...

wow... Bird Mary? I didn't know there was one! wow... But yes, leave it to humans and their confounded sin nature to frig everything up, even CookieMary. *sigh* what a sad state of affairs.
Speaking of frigged, HOWEVER, YOUR frequent mention of cookies, brownies, pictures of donuts, etc., via the power of suggestion, are taking their toll on my personal mass. Yes yes, fetus aside, I'm eating more sugar than I was, and I'm almost prepared to blame you. Almost. :)
I'll retaliate thusly:
One of MY recent indulgences was this: I made whipped cream from scratch, added cocoa = homemade CHOCOLATE whipped cream... into which I dipped fresh strawberries.
I'm smiling. Take THAT CookieMary!

Shepcat said...

You've been in Connecticut — what? — nine, 10 months now? We'd have gotten this post from you much earlier if your posting had been in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the asphalt jungle, Mary. You're among friends here.

markbe said...

my most desired custom bumper sticker or possibly scrolling LED sign in back window:
Breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit is not an obligation (it's illegal, duh) no matter what lane I am in. I'll get out of your way as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.

Anonymous said...

How is it that these complete strangers can make us all so angry? I swear I get angrier at strangers than I do with people I know.