Monday, September 26, 2005

If You Just Accept It, It'll Hurt Less

I've spent a good deal of my life angry. In fact, after a terribly horrific breakup (my last and I hope it remains my last), I was angry for more than 13 years (and still am, but it's a simmer now). And, despite appearances, I really don't like feeling this way. (Dr. Phil would argue with that, but I doubt he's had anyone do to him what had been done to me.) However, the breakup was the result of a betrayal I've not recovered from and probably never will. I have moments when I think I'm going to be okay. They pass -- Usually when I have a dream that he's come back, begged forgiveness, and, like an idiot, I forgive him, only to have it happen again. I wake up, incredibly depressed and angry.

Granted, those moments of non-anger are becoming longer and longer and, perhaps, when I'm 90 I'll be able to speak his name without venom and choking back tears.

ANYway, that's not what this post is about. It's just background so you know why I get so frothing pissed. I'm tired of being treated like shite.

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "People will do things to family that they would never do to a stranger."

Really??!! You're kidding, right? Because... see -- If that's true, then family life should be an education in homicide and body disposal (ok, I know it *is* in some families, but I'm talking as a general rule here).

Because on most days, often on an hourly basis -- sometimes minute-by-minute, I am treated like the scum of the earth. By complete strangers.


I don't like crowds. My friends all know this. The dislike probably originated from being fairly short in stature in a relatively tall society. "Pressing the flesh" means something entirely different to those of us vertically challenged. Usually it means a nose gets shoved into an armpit or someplace worse. And you are keenly aware of the general lack of dental hygiene.

Whatever. My dislike of crowds has matured to an intense anger in crowds. People are rude. They shove, push, literally step all over you. All because their needs are waaay more important than yours could possibly be; that is, if they even know you exist.

People are so bloody self-centered, I'm amazed we even *have* a civilization. I was raised to be polite. To think of other folks' feelings. And, despite my age and continued experiences, I'm still taken aback when someone's shopping cart is rammed indelicately into my Achilles tendon, without nary a never-you-mind, so-sorry, or courtesy reach-around. Instead, said ramming is usually accompanied with a glare as if to say, "Well? Move, dammit! If you hadn't been born, you wouldn't be in my way!"


And then there's rush hour. In Albuquerque. People have been complaining about rush hour in Albuquerque since I moved here some 25 years ago. Something inexplicable happens when Albuturkey-ans access the freeway. It's incomprehensible. Mysterious. Bizarre. Utterly mystifying. And it usually begins with the actual access.

NOBODY HERE KNOWS WHAT THE TERM "MERGE" MEANS. And the most baffling part of the merge process is that this is the only time an Albuquerque driver is shy. Any other time, no other cars exist on the freeway. But, to merge into traffic thrusts cold spears of panic into the heart of an Albuturkey driver. Palms sweat. You can see the whites of their eyes from across three lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic. They swallow spasmodically and their foot hovers over the brake and accelerator pedals in indecision. If you're lucky enough to be behind someone "merging" onto the freeway, it takes herculean effort to resist the overwhelming impulse to ram the poor soul into a lane. (Or to hell, your choice.)

Yet, once on the freeway and having reached the compulsory 20 miles over the speed limit, suddenly no other cars exist. It's as if having reached optimum speed, one passes into a dimension all one's own, where the road is entirely yours and --

Oh, wait! What was that? We *must* slam on our brakes and see what we've missed! What *was* that? A cop? An accident? Someone has broken down? Did you see it?

Oh, wait! The cell is ringing! We *must* slam on our brakes and fumble around, weaving maniacally through nonexistent cars, locate the phone and chat away about the new hot tub that's being installed tomorrow!

Wait! Ohmigawd! An orange barrel! I've *got* to slam on my brakes so I can see *why* there's an orange barrel!

But, wait! I see a police officer! I *must* slam on my brakes and make sure I'm now going 20 miles *under* the speed limit so that I don't get stopped.

And, so on, and so on, and so on, ad nauseum.

The above scenarios may seem silly, but they are the only explanations that make any sense to me for the sudden and inexplicable cessation of movement during the rush hour. What would normally take five minutes to navigate will now, during rush hour, occupy a full maddening and wearisome hour or hour and a half in your otherwise serene life. That's if things go well and nobody slams into another car because, by gawd "Move! If you hadn't been born, I'd be home by now!"

And once you're through the jam, you realise you have observed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that might have caused the slowdown.

So I plead with the universe to please PLEASE transport me to that magical place where no other cars exist and where I, too, may drive as I please and enjoy my ride home and my phone conversations with my friends and the leisurely viewing of all things in progress.

Instead of arriving home with blood vessels bursting in my eyes and face, wiping the slathering froth from my mouth, and growling incomprehensible vernacular to no one in particular.

Because, you see, if I could just accept it, it wouldn't hurt as bad.


Blogger MizfiTroll said...

To merge or not to merge, that is the question. Wonderfully insightful and too damn true. If I did not know you already, I would offer to have your love child.... laugh.

10/2/05, 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/4/05, 7:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

hmmm were we raised by the same parents Patti? All I remember is abuse

11/13/10, 7:46 PM  

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