Tuesdays are our busiest days here with french class first thing in the morning and ballet two towns over immediately afterward. Tuesdays involve a high level of stress and always include me trying to get Rocket to take a nap during both classes, only to have to hold him if he does fall asleep, causing a burning pain in my shoulders. That is the stress I can predict each week, but then there is always something else, and today's added stress was elderly drivers.
On our way to ballet, I was on a major street with three lanes each way. There was some landscaping work on the island in the middle for one block, forcing two lanes to be closed in the direction I was headed. The traffic wasn't bad, so it was not a big deal. We were merging into the right lane, when the angry old guy behind me, apparently unaware of the giant flashing arrow directing traffic to move over, begins honking at me because he thinks I'm just slowing down the middle lane for no reason at all. It wasn't one honk either. It was repeated honks until he just laid on the horn. I get into the right lane and in the rear view mirror, I can see the look of surprise on his face when I move over and he sees the orange cones right in front of him. Does he wave or give an acknowledgment that he was wrong and an asshat for aggressively honking? No. As soon as the lanes open up, I slow down, waiting for him to catch up to my car on the left, so I can let him know I think he's a jackass, but he wouldn't even get near me. I was going under the speed limit and he was going far slower. Then he turned.
As I drove on, I came to my senses and thought what am I doing? I'm an adult with kids in the car, I just need to let these things go. That worked until we got back in the car to go home. I was headed straight back on the same major street, when a very old couple in a Lexus waiting to turn right, just went ahead and turned right in front of me. I was going about 40 mph, so when the guy slowly pulled out, I almost rear ended him trying to stop. Again, I let it go, passing him on the right - he was going so slowly that even though I was going the speed limit as I passed, it felt like I was racing by him. I passed another old man in a nice car about a block away. It felt like a parade of old people. Until one got confused as to where he was headed. I was in the middle lane in a spot where the right lane merges off the street, making a v, and there is a painted island in that open spot where the lanes split. An old person driving in the right lane got overwhelmed, I guess, and drove straight, right onto the painted area and stopped just before hitting the sidewalk. This stopped traffic in both lanes because the drivers on each side expected this person to come to his senses and pick a side, but it didn't happen while I went by. I looked back and the driver was looking to both sides, seemingly totally confused as to how he got there and where to go.
At a time like that, Kevin says "when cars drive themselves," which has become his mantra, as mine is becoming "oh, just fuck it." Kevin has full faith in technology and cannot wait for computer driven cars to hit the mass market. He is certain it is going to be the end of traffic, accidents and many other driver errors. He has slowly made me a believer too, but somehow I think old people will find a way to be a wrench in the system. By that time I may be the old person causing problems (Kevin thinks the technology is only about 13 years away from being mass marketed, but I think he is being optimistic). I can just imagine the younger people driving by me as I jerk along, pressing buttons, trying to get the newfangled car to move, all while yelling "just fuck it!"