Things I Do When I’m Stuck In Rush Hour Traffic

Things I Do When I’m Stuck In Rush Hour Traffic

1. Try and figure out your personalized license plate. Is it something personal to you (SLAMMOM) (BARRB), is it public knowledge (2HAWT4U), is it a brainteaser? Why did you spend money on something you yourself never even get to look at or enjoy? Except for maybe when you’re looking for your car in the mall parking lot.

2. Repeatedly scan the eight or so stations I have preset on my radio buttons to try and find that one song I like only to catch the end of it on my third loop through. You tell me how I missed “Stairway to Heaven” in its entirety in the two seconds it seemed to take me to click through. Tell. Me. How.

3. Wonder where the person behind me is going. They’ve been following me for a long time. A really long time. Oh God, are they following me? And now they’re even turning into my neighborhood. Who is this person and why have I never seen this car before? Have they been behind me since I left work? Are there any people who are mad enough to hire a hit man to come and get me? Did I DVR the Law and Order marathon? Oh good, they’re not turning on my street. Never mind.

4. Look around in my purse for my phone. Find things that are not my phone in my purse: chapstick, a mint, some gum, my glasses case, old birth control packets, a granola bar, bar receipts. Too many bar receipts. Give up looking for my phone, only to have it ring from the compartment thing in my door. It’s my mom. She wants me to stop by the grocery store to pick up some peanut butter.

5. Watch people in the cars around me as they pick their noses, and hope no one is watching if I ever pick mine. Resist the urge to pick my nose. Look at lady in SUV next to me dance to the radio. Scan my own radio to find what song I think she’s listening to.

6. Think of and calculate all the other routes I could have taken instead of this one. I am sure that this one was the wrong choice. Even this lane is the wrong choice. I should have been in the left lane. Of course, then I switch and the right lane speeds on, leaving me stuck behind a semi that I’m certain cannot see me in its massive side-view mirrors. At least it has nice mud-flap art.

7. Drive! Then, five feet later, stop again. Then drive! Then stop. Then drive! Then…stop.

Lindsay Lelivelt

Photo by John Morgan (Creative Commons)