How Dare You: Driving Etiquette

I live in a city, which should mean that I don’t have to drive. However, I live across the river from a state where everyone drives, and I happen to work in that state, and thus, I must commute to work every day. This isn’t really anything new for me, since I’m from the Detroit area and everyone there drives everywhere, even two blocks to 7-Eleven.

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Me on the daily.

I am an assertive driver, a person who prefers to be on the offense, who likes to be in pole position at stoplights, who brooks no sass from those who are not as handy behind the wheel. In other words, I drive like an asshole. There are certainly worse assholes out there; I’m mostly attentive, and I’m skilled. But I speed and I weave and I cut corners. I also get very angry when people don’t do what I think they should be doing, and then when someone treats me the way I treat others on the road, I get indignant because I’m also a hypocrite.

Before you wag your fucking finger in my face, going “Beck, you shouldn’t do that, you need to calm down, safety first, you could kill a baby and a puppy and Santa Claus,” calm the hell down. I do what I can, including exaggerate for comedic purposes. I’m not Lucifer on Wheels; I’m just kind of a moron. I don’t need you or my mom or my husband to tell me that. I’m better than I was, and I’ll get better still. Get off my case already, strangers.

The point of my post is to talk about a phenomenon I’ve noticed recently. People take it really personally when you pass them.

I get it. It feels like an accusation. “You’re going too slow, jerkface! It ain’t Sunday, gramps!” I’ve felt it myself – I’m zipping along in the left lane, passing folks like you’re supposed to do there, and some joker flies up my ass, whips around me and gets in front of me. And I think, “How dare you? How dare you.”

So this morning, as I passed one or two people and discovered that they tried to speed up afterward – like, “not on your best day, lady” – even though they were perfectly comfortable going like molasses down a ragged chute before I passed them, I realized that I knew why. Because it’s a personal affront. It’s a charge against you as a person. YOU’RE TOO SLOW AND I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOU. And you know, I get it. They were too slow, but I get it. I still got in front of them, but I get it.

I’m not yet sure what I plan to do with this information. Will I modify my behavior? Will I not? Will I simply cast these “passholes” a look of pity when they suddenly feel like stepping on the gas because how dare I? Time will tell. Meanwhile, if you’re in the left lane being any type of passhole, go ask Google about left lane etiquette and until then, GTFOH.

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