This weekend I had the pleasure of witnessing a lapse of manners; not from a child, but from an adult. Manners, usually are the first lessons most of us remember being taught. Please and thank you, are the basics that every kid learns. It is reasonable to expect that even a grade school kid can master this technique. But, what happens when what is wanted and expected does not happen? Normally, the first response is to get angry, even though, this might makes the situation worse. For example, a waiter brings the food out cold. You could either rant and rave, or try to sympathize with the waiter. Most times than not, the sympathy will elicit a better outcome. Taking the bird out for a wagging will not make your food turn out any better, it will probably make it worse.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of driving my youngest employee (F) and her one of her coworkers to a birthday party about 30 minutes away from our home. It was a lovely event, and my car was full of smiles and lively stories about all the children at the party. I proceeded to drop the coworker off at her family home for a barbecue, and then return home with my happy little employee (F). We pull up to an intersection on a 4 lane road at a red light. Apparently, the car beside me had waved the car opposing us to go ahead and make the left turn across traffic. As I am not and have never been psychic, I was unaware of that gesture. The light turned green, the opposing car began turn. I was creeping forward, but I stopped when I saw the bold turning maneuver, and let them turn. Here is where it got funny: I know the family driving in the other car. They are from the church and school that my employees attend. Interestingly, the father laid on the horn, and the lovely, demure, church going mother, that I see at school gave me an evil scowl and flipped me the bird in a very aggressive way. Needless to say, I was shocked. F, in the back seat, commented on the bird: "Why did she do that Mummy?". F recognized the woman too.
Admittedly, I was angry and thought about returning the gesture for a split second. Then, I realized that might not be good idea, considering F was watching my every move. I told F that they must be having a bad day, and they certainly would not have flipped us the bird if they knew it was us. F replied, "Even if it was not us, Mummy, that was not very nice". Simply and accurately stated by a kindergartner. Flipping the bird is not a tactful response.
I do not know if this family has any idea that I knew them. It is quite possible, this same moment has occurred to me without knowing. Not that I am in the habit of having road rage, but I will admit to partaking to it in my lifetime. All things considered, I will never tell them that I saw them flipping my daughter and I off.
When the windows are up, the traffic is heavy, and time is precious: the mixture is perfect for inconsiderate, rude, nasty, and ugly road rage. Although, there may be a feeling that no one will recognize you: BEWARE. The next time the bird angrily erupts while driving your car, be careful. The driver beside you just might be your neighbor, your elderly mother, your priest, your rabbi, your child, or your friend. I just hope F does not go to school and tell her friend, "Hey! I saw your family yesterday and your Mum flipped us off!".