Freaking out bad drivers…with politeness

Man, I hate driving. I mean, I REALLY hate driving. Driving from Sterling to Rosslyn/DC is no small feat, neither. As stated in a past post my commute is about an hour and a half each way. During rush hour. It comes as absolutely no surprise that during this period you’ll meet people that you just want to stab in the foot because of how they drive. Today, I had the joy of having that experience.

When my commute takes me down the Dulles Toll Road, hitting the toll booths always creates a jam. This morning I entered the lane which had the automatic payment and I motored along. To my right were a number of cars with a lot of space between them. The right lane was to merge my lane. Lo and behold, a demon-spawn woman in an SUV came racing up, signaling to merge into my lane. It first she did it behind me and then she kept speeding up to pass me even though there was no room for her to get in. So I honked my horn. Angrily. And I let her in. What was I going to do? We almost hit each other because she was being overly aggressive.

The woman honked her horn back and started yelling so I could see it in her screaming at me in her rear view mirror. So I motioned to her that the right lane merged with the left lane, meaning that I had right of way. She merely yelled and screamed at me and made hand gestures so that I could see them. Oh, I saw them and I was seething. And then I noticed the silhouette of a pair of ears in the back of her SUV.

As we drove down the toll road there were moments when our cars were almost next to each other. During rush hour, getting far ahead of someone you’ve just pissed off really isn’t that easy a thing to do. While I tried to drive up next to her I formulated in my pea sized brain what I was going to say to her. Finally I had the chance. Traffic was coming to another stand still and I would be right next to her on the left side.

When we both stopped I saw her glance at me. I looked at her with her look of uncertainty. I motioned to her, like John McCain did at Sturgis, signifying that I wanted her to roll down her window. She looked at me and her face started to get all scrunched up. She was getting ready for a yelling match, knowing that what she did was boneheaded and wrong.

At first she ignored my request. And then I tapped my horn and made that awkward circular motion again. She lowered her window and was about to start screaming at me. Before she did I yelled at her very, very loudly so she could hear me over the road noise:

“I’m really sorry that I lost my temper back there. I mean it. I’m sorry that I was angry at you and arguing with you.”

And then I smiled. She looked confused. REALLY confused. And she looked at me, smiled sheepishly and she said she was sorry, too. She said “I’m sorry that I cut you off. I just wasn’t thinking.”

And with that, I wished her a nice day and we went our separate ways.

Sometimes, I really enjoy messing with people’s heads.