1.06.2012

Just Worry About Yourself...

"Just Worry About Yourself..."
this is fantastic advice
these are sage words to live by
but...
if you are giving this advice to someone who did not ask for it
well... maybe you should listen to your own advice

by now any reader of this page knows I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder
but really... how could I not?

I wake well rested and start my day
everything is going as it should
the boys get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast
there is the need for pushing and prodding... but no need for yelling

we step out the door and head to the car
crossing the street infront of our house the cars speed through the red light at the top of the hill
while the cars coming up from Rock Creek Park blaze at an even higher speed
we started walking when it was clear

the cars slow to a speed that is close to the speed limit... but not yet slow enough
they should really just stop
there is a seven year old and ten year old boy in the street trying to cross
zipping around and crossing the yellow line and rushing to the red light at the top of the hill is not worth the risks

then in the car the tally starts
young Grant gets a quarter each time he catches me cussing

we cut through the National Zoo
my heart rate is back to normal
the car that rolled through the red light and blocked traffic in front of us is all but forgotten
we laugh as we debate whether he would be more smart if he had his brain surgically removed

we arrive at our destination
although I am taking the kids to school I park a few blocks away
the traffic at drop off is a cluster f... nope... trying to cuss less... the traffic at drop off is a mess
no need to drive into that chaos

so... we park a few blocks away and walk in together
a block away I give each of the boys a kiss on the top of the head
then send them on their way
watching to see that they cross through that last intersection safely

approaching the car there is a car halfway through the crosswalk
this is business as usual
Grant earned another quarter as I called the person in the black Mercedez an ASSHOLE as we passed this spot on the way into school
in this case it is a woman in a white Volvo

it is clear for her to go... but I am in the crosswalk so she should yield to me and let me cross
she does not see that it is clear... she does not see that I am about to pass in front of her
she is on the cell phone... cars are stacking up behind her
I continue forward and then stop directly in front of her

she gestures for me to keep moving
I gesture for her to hang up her phone
she is still talking.... I can only imagine what she is talking about
actually... I do not care

she is dismissive... she does not detach the phone from her ear
her elbow must be stiff from holding her arm in that position
she continues to yammer on about something... continuing to gesture to me like I am an Italian street urchin trying to pull an old gypsy trick on her while she walks the streets of Tuscany

through the window my message of it being illegal to talk on the phone while driving goes unheard

as I walk away the next car in the queue has its window down
a well dressed man in an expensive car steps to her aid, "she was going to go.... then stopped short for a pedestrian"
well... I accept this... but had she been more alert there would have been no need to "stop short" she could have granted the pedestrian their right of way then taken her turn
but no... her focus is on the phone

as this man talks I see his had as he gestures
his Blackberry is in had.... apparently he too has a major deal brewing as he drives to work
I make mention of her phone and his phone and the law for it to be illegal to drive and talk on the phone at the same time
I tell him that my kids school is just a few blocks down the road and that they cross through this intersection and that their driving while talking on the phone makes things unsafe for the kids trying to cross the street

this guy is as important as the woman in front of him
they are both more important than me
neither listen... both just talk
each giving me instructions

neither looking in the mirror to see that they are the ones in error
not the madman with the beard trying to cross the street

we each talk neither trying to listen

in a coffee fueled movement I try to offer a rebuttal to each statement he makes
but until the thought of the cell phone is put front and center we can not really start the debate
as that is the basic premise of the discussion
the white volvo is where it is and is still stopped not because of car traffic... not because of pedestrian traffic... but because this woman is so focused on her phone call

our barking continues
finally... enough is enough
we are getting no where
the well dressed man in his BMW gives me some sage advice that he should listen to himself, "why don't you worry about yourself!"
well... as profound as that may be... it does not apply here

in actuality I gave that same advice to my children just moments earlier
I gave that advice in a situation where it applied
my boys were talking about some kids down the block and how the older brother does something to younger brother
in this case I told them to not worry about them... but to worry about themselves

in this case... I am worried about myself
worried that me or my family are at risk from the driving styles of these cars passing through their School Zone
I am worried about myself
worried that either of these people are going to run me or my kids down

ironucally....
not only am I worried about myself
this guy got involved in a conversatin that he was not invited into
he was woried about me and my interaction with the car in front of him

if my seven year old son were at my side he would have earned a buck...
I lean in the open car window and say... "asshole, asshole, asshole... asshole" then walk back to my car

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