Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not so Blinded by the Light

I was driving in to work yesterday morning, with the 40-odd mile drive taking 90 minutes or there abouts, as usual. Traffic sucks, idiots being idots and all the same crap.

I'm westbound on the I-10 freeway, approaching the 710 freeway, where I want to exit. Like a good little prepared driver, I'm in the right hand lane (exit lane for us Yanks, not the bloody fast lane for you wackos "over yonder" ;) )

Anyhow, I see a tractor-trailer (a big assed lorry) trying to do likewise, being careful and even using his blinkers. I slow up a bit to give him room and flash my lights to let him know it's OK to move.

He does so, and blinks his lights back when he gets over to thank me.

I'm not quite sure why, but this simple, pretty much anonymous exchange, gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

It's a silly, polite thing for both of us to do, and SHOULD be pretty much SOP for "normal" folks. Granted it's kind of rare, but it happens a couple/few times a year, so it's not unheard of.

It wasn't some sort of random act of kindness on either of our parts, it was just two people behaving politely.

I'm not sure if I'm just in a soft mood, or if socially and publicly things have gotten become so rude, brash and unpleasant that even the slightest bit of decorum stands out like a beacon.

I know a part of the good feeling was simply being on the same wavelength as another random person; not really "connecting", but maybe more of a shared nod & small smile of acknowledgement.

It's the same sort of thing you'd get when riding a motorcycle, with another coming towards you in oncoming traffic. Both of you will just lift your hand to each other in acknowledgment.

Yeah, an odd day for me today.


  1. I think people doing the right thing is becoming so rare that anytime I have an exchange like that I get warm/fuzzy. That's the way it's supposed to be. We're supposed to care about each other. We're not supposed to inconvenience or hurt others for our own benefit or convenience. Reality creeps in however....Keep fighting the polite fight brother!

  2. Yes those moments are too few and far between and I don't even remember the last one I had.
    Maybe being the initiator of the good act will create more good acts...a ripple effect? One can hope


  3. Just because us Wackos drive on the correct side of the rode doesn't mean we can't exchange pleasantries at high speed.

    I also always acknowlegde bike riders from my car. You have been seen - enjoy overtaking me at higher speed - have a good and safe ride...

  4. I never implied that you didn't/couldn't exchange niceties... I will say, right feels wrong. ie right-hand drive is soo odd feeling - I drove that way for 1,800 miles and never did feel comfortable doing so

    One odd thing here in California is that lane sharing is legal. Bikers can legally drive between slow cars (within certain specified circumstances)