Dear angry lady in the blue CR-V behind me at the intersection of Highland and Central,
I want to thank you for honking your horn when the arrow turned green.
You were fourth in line, directly behind me. Only one second had passed after we were provided the signal to safely accelerate through the intersection, and dog-gone it, that just wasn’t fast enough for your supernatural response time and mini-SUV. I’m sure the two cars at the front of the line were humbled by your horned tantrum, though I don’t believe the rust-pockmarked vehicle of the ostensibly financially disadvantaged couple in front of me was capable of your teleportation standards without stalling their engine, no matter how hard they try to please you.
The moment the three of us in front of you carefully aligned ourselves on Highland’s right lane, your strained your four-cylinder engine by rip-snorting around us at a speed I can only assume left you unable to first check the pedestrian cross walk. I don’t really remember how, but you ended up in front of me at another red light barely even a tenth of a mile away. With my right hand resting at the top of my steering wheel, I wagged my index finger at you to communicate my disappointment in your unsafe behavior. I find that wagging a finger at bully drivers has a better effect than the middle finger.
I didn’t expect you to have seen this action, but I failed to remember that people are prone to stare at me from their rear view mirror when stopped at red lights. This distraction is the price I pay for being cursed with such a handsome face. But you signaled your receipt of my message by waving your own finger towards me with such exaggerated force that I can only assume you were mocking me. Your response was rather unclear, though, as all I could think of was how ridiculous you looked. Maybe you were just projecting your frustration at not progressing in traffic as far as you wanted before being halted by the next red light.
But none of this is why I want to thank you. I want to thank you because if not for your actions, I would have continued to assume that I am just an average (yet ridiculously good looking) person with an average temperament, yet your behavior conveyed a message to me that gave me pride. That message? I am better than you.
I am better than you at not becoming so easily frustrated in traffic and thereby respecting the safety of my fellow drivers and occasional pedestrian. I am better than you at understanding that other people’s brains may take a little longer to process a green light than mine. I am better than you at being patient because just like us, other drivers also have somewhere to be. I am better than you at realizing that if the light just so happens to turn red before I can pass through, (spoiler alert) it will turn green again pretty soon.
I could give you the benefit of the doubt, that when our paths crossed you were just having a bad day. After all, I don’t know anything about you other than this one incident. For all I know, you may be a regular volunteer at a soup kitchen or save abandoned babies off the side of the road. I could, but I don’t want to. I’m feeling too good about being better than you.
I hope we don’t meet in traffic again anytime soon, but if we do, maybe you will have calmed down a little, and instead of me being better than you, we can be just alike.
The Reluctant Cat Owner