From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Friday, May 9, 2014

Does This Bumper Make Me Look Fat?

I have a confession.

I am a very self-conscious driver. I am also incredibly impatient, and let's just say the combination adds up to a type of driving my brothers consistently mock me for. Which doesn't help the self-consciousness. You see a pattern here?

Another confession. I adore Las Vegas, and chose to move here for a reason. But to put it mildly, Las Vegas drivers are to road safety what matches, alcohol, dry brush, and outdoor cooking are to forest fires. And that is coming from a native Utahn. I feel like the drivers in Las Vegas have meshed perfectly the obliviousness of Utah drivers with the aggression of L.A. Don't even get me started on what happens on Vegas freeways when it rains. (You'd think they'd never seen rain before. Oh wait...)

All this is to say, on my half hour commutes to and from work, I am constantly torn between fear for my life and a stubborn, competitive self-consciousness that flares up whenever people go faster than me. The impatient, competitive side of me hates that one driver going slow enough to be annoying but too fast to easily pass. The self-conscious part of me is pretty sure I am that driver.

This internal dichotomy has created a habit of constantly checking my rear-view mirror, especially when I slow down. I'm pretty sure drivers are supposed to focus on the cars ahead of them, but I have become hyper-aware of the cars behind me. I am both terrified that every time I slow down the car behind me is going to ram my bumper, and paranoid of being that driver with a line up of cars behind me. I try and maintain a good distance between me and the car in front of me (I've had too many close calls with sudden slowing...oh Vegas freeways), but apparently this isn't aggressive enough because then cars will cut close in front of me and then I have to tap the breaks and then I have to check to make sure no ones going to ram me from behind and then spend the drive feeling self-conscious about being that annoying slow car you have to cut in front of.

Okay, maybe I'm seeing why my brothers tease me.

There is a bright side. Yes, I am ridiculously self-conscious about what the car behind me is thinking. But sometimes, the car behind me has a mustache.


Sarah Allen

18 comments:

  1. I'm the driver that just blew your doors off...
    I maintain a safe distance, but I have no problems passing anyone. My sports car likes to run. Yes, that will bite me in the butt someday.

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    1. Ah :) In other words, you are the driver I'm trying to be. Why am I not surprised :)

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  2. If I had to drive super congested highways all the time, I'd either have a nervous breakdown ... or I guess I'd toughen up. I live out in a country/suburban area. I get annoyed when there are 6 cars ahead of me at the stop sign.

    That's right. THE stop sign. We only have one in my town.

    I guess it's no wonder that I panic whenever I have to drive into Philadelphia.

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    1. Haha :) I understand. Living in the DC area and now Vegas makes driving around in Provo, Utah feel very tame.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you! Always appreciate you stopping by :)

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  4. I learned to drive in Houston. Better watch out.
    I'll cut you off to make my exit and never look back. LOL

    Funny picture. :)

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    1. See, that's my problem, I go back and forth between that and the person you're cutting off :)

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  5. After living and driving in Ireland, I can drive anywhere.

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  6. I could be you, except for the mustache following me. Thanks for letting me know my driving habits are not totally idiosyncratic.

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    1. Oh good :) I was hoping I wasn't alone in this :)

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  7. I get really self conscious too about slowing everyone down. The worst is when I'm on a big roundabout and don't know which lane to get into. Usually though, I just give a little wave and mouth a pathetic looking 'sorry' as I nudge my way through. ;-)

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    1. Haha :) The sorry and wave :) I'm very familiar with that one.

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  8. I used to do the rush hour thing and noticed something pretty important. As you watch those drivers rush by, look around to see them again. They are usually only a car or so around at all times, but they have the red faces and they glary eyes.

    Put on good music, bring a nice snack and full coffee cup and enjoy your ride in. Trust me you'll live longer and have a snicker at the other driver's expense.

    The title of your post made me laugh. I recently heard this:

    "Does this sweater make me look fat?"

    "No, your fat makes you look fat. The sweater makes you look purple."

    From Buffy the Vampire Slayer. :)

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    1. You know, this is very good advice. I think you're right, and often I'm able to chill out and not freak out so much :)

      And Buffy is the next show our list!

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  9. I've been through Vegas many times but never paid much attention to the driving. I'm always just in a hurry to get through on my way to either California or Utah. Utah drivers I seriously think are the worst in the world. Oblivious AND agressive which makes for a bad combination.

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    1. Yeah, coming from Utah, I know what you mean. Which only makes the terribleness of Vegas drivers that much more remarkable :)

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