I am a driver. I am also a pedestrian. It’s hard for me to switch gears and have empathy for the one when I am playing the role of the other. It’s equally difficult for me to sympathize with the current group I am a part of whether it’s as a driver or a pedestrian. When I feel someone is engaging in an inappropriate action, my Jewish Italian rage cannot be contained in my five-foot tall body. It is as if the offender has slapped me right across the face and I must defend my honor. But the question is… am I equally guilty of these same behaviors? Let’s take a look.
As a driver, nothing makes me crazier than the pedestrian who leisurely crosses the street when the light is green in my direction. Excuse me… Yes, you crossing the street with the toddler in one hand and the baby stroller in the other. Do you not see that little box with the red hand lit up in it? Does the red hand not make it clear that you are NOT SUPPOSED TO WALK?? These people brazenly assume no one is going to hit them. They have this cocky attitude as they stroll across the street. I can practically feel them taunting me under their breath, “I’m the pedestrian. I have the right of way. You can’t hit me.” Wanna bet? Just kidding. Perhaps I might step on the gas pedal… just to scare them… make them put a little pep in their step and think twice before doing it again! But then I remember when I was recently late for an appointment (something that happens to me often) and the light was green while a car was headed toward me. I took one look at the vehicle and said, “Screw it! I can make it!” And with that, I dashed right into the crosswalk. In my defense, at least I had the courtesy to sprint across the street. No lollygagging from this gal!
Fellow drivers commit atrocities as well. What about the person that drives UNDER the speed limit? Seriously, it’s dangerous. (That’s what I like to tell myself as I continuously honk my horn and shout expletives at the offender in front of me). In my mind, if you can’t AT LEAST drive the speed limit, you have no business driving. Or perhaps you should consider moving to Florida. In the meantime, pull over and let everyone pass, grandpa!! However, just the other week, I was in my car looking for the correct street address of someone’s house, and my speed rivaled that of a snail. Extenuating circumstances in my case? Perhaps, but how do I know grandpa didn’t have his too?
As a fellow pedestrian, nothing annoys me more than people’s ignorance of escalator etiquette. Anyone ever been to London? Those people know etiquette. They live for it. They eat, breath and sleep it. These folks know that when you are on an escalator, if you are pausing to enjoy the ride then you move to the right so that those in a rush can pass on the left. No different than driving, really. But why don’t people know this in New York?? Why do people spread out all over the escalator with their bags and personal belongings blocking my path? This is not your personal luggage carousel, people. Move the hell over, cause girlfriend has places to be and people to see! Yet do I obey that same etiquette as I saunter down the middle of the sidewalk, texting my bestie or looking at photos of dogs? Nope. I don’t even notice that someone is behind me trying to get somewhere or that I’m about to collide with some guy holding 10 bags of groceries and his dry cleaning. He might’ve been my knight in shining armor. Don’t know. I’m too oblivious staring at my phone to even see what he looks like.
Is it just me or is there a definite pot/kettle scenario going on here? It’s time I faced facts. I’m a hypocrite when it comes to transportation—whether in a car or on my feet. It’s amazing how we are very often guilty of the same things that drive us bonkers when witnessed in others. Food for thought. But do I think I’ll stop honking my horn at annoying drivers or secretly wanting to terrorize pedestrians who are in my way? Absolutely not. A girl’s gotta have some fun, after all.