Monday, August 17, 2015

Mean People Suck

I almost had such a good day today.

Well, scratch that. I had such a good day today, until I didn't.

Zozo started 4th grade today, which was awesome. We snapped our First Day photos this morning and I drove her to school (first time ever...I have always walked her on her first day, but this year there's The Damn Boot) and then blasted my stereo on the way to work, singing as loud as I could. I turned around three major projects today, and am nearing a fourth. I caught an error on the class composite picture, so now every student's name will be spelled correctly. My most vaunted proofer found only a small handful of changes on a huge layout, and many of them were preference issues, not errors. I laughed with colleagues and got an incredible amount of work finished. I tore out 15 minutes later than I wanted to pick up Zoe, but I was still well within the time frame to get her before after care closed. Life was good, baby.

I took a different way to get home, opting for the highway in the hopes it would shave a minute or two off my commute. They recently changed the intersection there, making two lanes turn left to get on the entrance ramp. I chose the far left lane, and thought that having two lanes would be a huge help entering the highway as it always gets congested there (which is why I normally go the other way). I was preoccupied, already planning dinner in my head and hoping Zoe wasn't the last kid at after care because even though I get there before closing that always makes me feel guilty.

What I didn't realize was that while the highway department made two lanes to get on the entrance ramp, they left the entrance ramp merge back down to one, well before meeting the highway. I didn't realize this until I saw a Jeep off my right front quarter panel, blinker on. I looked up to see the young, female driver's mirrored sunglasses looking right at me, waiting to see if I'd let her over. She was slowing down, so we were getting closer and closer. I thought, "Oh, shit. You need to get over!" and raised my hand, waving her over while I too slowed down. That's when I saw her male passenger, practically out of his front seat and leaning well behind hers. He was facing me, throwing up a rude gesture, face contorted in rage and screaming what I can only presume was a litany of expletives. I continued to wave the Jeep over and slowed down, astonished at what I was seeing. They got in front, and he turned back around, apparently satisfied that his freakout achieved the desired results.

I am so bummed by this. Was that behavior really necessary? Did he have to be so violently rude and annoyed? Was my offense worthy of that level of rage? Is this what our world has devolved to? I see people flame each other online. I watch women with strollers struggling to get through doors while the people behind them either get visibly annoyed or use another door, no one stopping to help. Are we too far gone to open doors for each other? I see people demand things to which they obviously believe they are entitled even when clearly they are not, others be damned. What happened to kindness? To compassion? To tolerance and civility and the benefit of the doubt? Why the fuck must we be so terrible to each other?

What I can't figure out is why this is bothering me so much. No one likes to be the target of unadulterated rage, I guess. Especially when I hadn't even meant to upset anyone. We're all just trying to get on the highway, people. No need to rage.


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