Thursday, March 8, 2012

Driving: Part II (The “Good Driver” Hierarchy)


Read Part I here

Here’s the thing about “Good Drivers”: There are none.

Or at least there are none that I know or could describe.


Well, maybe one.

Let me explain.

The only descriptors one can give another driver are those that have negative connotations.

For example, I know “Fast Drivers,” who don’t hold my safety in high regard. 

I know “Slow Drivers,” who don’t think that my time is of paramount importance.

I know “Jerky Drivers,” who don’t want me to be able to sleep during the drive. 

Then of course there are “Aggressive Drivers,” who tail people dangerously close, and occasionally honk, all in the name of keeping things moving.

I know plenty of these subcategories of drivers, who probably encompass one-quarter to half of all the people I have ever driven with.  Everyone else is simply thrown into the other category of “Drivers.” 

Not “Good Drivers. 

Just “Drivers.”

Of course, there are Good Drivers out there, but I am just blind to them.  The way I see it, there is a hierarchy of drivers, but everyone is so incredibly aware of who is below them on the hierarchy, that they are blind to how they rank to those above them.  Anyone that I don’t categorize in one of the negative subsets is automatically on par with me.  Clearly, nobody can be a better driver than me.



Regardless of where I stand in this imaginary hierarchy, my recent Aha moment involving pieces of lint and the onramp to the Garden State Parkway made me realize that I might not be as high up as I once assumed.

But there’s so much to do while driving!

Driving is a really good time to learn about yourself.  While you are alone behind the wheel, the logical hemisphere of your brain is kept slightly busy with the act of driving, allowing your creative hemisphere to wander.* 

*I totally just made that up, but it sounds so right that I’m not even going to bother Googling it.

All I know is that many of my writing ideas have come while I was driving, including what you read yesterday and today, and what you WILL read tomorrow.

Additionally, I have worked out problems while driving.

This typically happens after a bad day at work in which a coworker has treated me unfairly or a customer has been a shit head.  It only takes one of these particularly bad encounters to affect me negatively for the rest of the day.

Obviously, the first place I go after work is my car.  This is my first time to analyze the situation and vent my frustration.  And as I pull out of the parking lot, my self-therapy begins.
 
The therapy usually consists of reliving the scene, but this time I sternly bark obscenities at the coworker or customer who angered me.  I am able to vent my frustrations in an imaginary scene of rage in which I make clever jabs at their personality, appearance, or hygiene, all while making solidly pointed arguments as to why they suck.  If I miss a thing or two, I go back and do it again.

By the time I get home, my anger has dissipated and I can enjoy my life again.

Continued...


34 comments:

  1. totally agree with you , there is no such thing as a "good" driver. either you can drive, or you cant.

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  2. LOL Your hierchy of driving made me laugh! I'm going to have to pin it on pintrest... hahaha

    I have a confession: I tweet and drive. I text and drive. I pretend to talk on the phone when I'm really singing obnoxiously loud and drive. I even eat and drive. And on days where I just need to brush up before a lecture or an exam, I'll study and drive.

    My amazing ability to multitask while driving may put me as the "other good driver" on your chart. Just sayin..

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    1. Okay, now I will definitely be sure to avoid a yellow VW, if I should ever see it on the road.

      I used to yell at my ex-girlfriend when she would text and drive, it is definitely dangerous. I watched some NBC or ABC news special about it and it scared me. I wouldn't want to have to downgrade you on the hierarchy.

      Be careful.

      Delete
    2. Dammit! Wait, we're talking about driving? I clearly thought we were talking about something else. Besides, I don't even have a phone. Pshhh, texting and driving...

      hahaha

      Delete
    3. Lol you were pretty explicit in saying the words "tweet, text, sing, and eat" while you drive. Look above if you don't believe me.

      Delete
  3. So long as your therapeutic moments of reliving customer-encounters don't include punching, kicking or head-stomping movements.

    Therapeutic they might be, but might equally result in physiotherapy.

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    Replies
    1. No, I keep it strictly in my head whilst driving.

      The punching, kicking, and head-stomping I save for the punching bag at the gym.

      Delete
  4. You needed to put "driver who steal your ride" under the last category and "road bikers who need to ride in the road and not in their special lane":)

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    Replies
    1. Uh oh, did you have a car stolen?

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    2. One time...but he'll never do that again...I "took care" of it :)

      Delete
  5. I love that you rehash your coworker problems in the car. I get a lot of "car therapy" time myself and sometimes I wonder what the people beside me at redlights think when I'm swearing like a sailor and flailing my arms like a lunatic to an imaginary person.

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  6. I will disagree with you. I believe that not only can you move from one spectrum to another depending upon the day or mood, by comparison we are either the "fast driver" or the "slow driver" so clearly we can't just be in one bucket forever.

    Additionally, how many times have you heard the phrase "he's normally such a good driver" (usually after a ticket or accident) so the concept of a good driver DOES exist if in a temporal plane that you do not visit. (yeah I made that up too, I won't google yours if you don't google mine).

    WG
    http://itsmynd.com

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    Replies
    1. You bring up valid points. But in my eyes, no matter what speed I am going I am always a good driver :)

      And agree to have a non-googling treaty.

      Delete
  7. I guess a good driver would not be noticed because they are not doing anything TO get noticed. They just go by without us giving them a second glance.

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  8. mmmm... good drivers... I think they're an endangered specie nowadays, specially since I've began taking driving lessons!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my, what is with all of these people who don't drive in the world. How have you all survived?

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    2. that's easy: my fianceé used to drive me anywhere because he thought I was too dangerous to drive! He's not that wrong, I'm completely uncoordinated so it's a pretty difficult thing to do to pay attention to the mirrors, and gear changes, and whatever is going on around me... Yeah, now you can draw your own conclusions on my mental skills Lol.

      Delete
  9. Alright man. Moderately off-topic, but I literally stole a limousine from a mortuary today and quoted Driving Miss Daisy as I drove my boss around running errands. It was fucking brilliant.

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  10. Ha! Love the diagram! I think that most blog posts can be elevated from awesome to double-awesome with a well-placed diagram.

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  11. I'm agree about your wandering theory. Mainly because it makes sense. How many times do we drive on "auto pilot"? I've wandered so much that although I know exactly where I'm going I go the wrong way. I've driven past my own street at least twice from being lost in thought.

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    Replies
    1. There is one exit that I always miss when I am driving from my parents house to the shore.

      It is embarrassing how often it happens, even though nobody really knows.

      Delete
  12. I tend to be a slow driver, meaning I drive at the speed limit. :P

    -Barb the French Bean

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  13. I freely admit that sometimes I drive like a fucking maniac (I'm a Jersey girl) but I do my best to at least be pleasant while tearing up the roads.

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    Replies
    1. You might be the first Jersey girl I have met that admits to driving like a maniac.

      Bravo!

      Delete
  14. I think I'm a bad driver because, I'm always late, so I drive quite quickly. I've never been in an accident and I've only ever received one fine for exceeding the speed limit, which is good, but I must agree, there are no good drivers! :)

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    1. I think that you are a good driver, then, if you have never been in an accident and only received one ticket.

      But then again, you have all of those road signs to deal with over there :)

      Delete
  15. I definitely fall into the "fast driver" category. I'm always going, at least, 10 over the speed limit. I seem to think those white signs just tell me the MINIMUM I should be going. God help you if you are in front of me doing THE speed limit. Or even worse - going under. Those are the people that need a swift kick to the baby-maker.

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    Replies
    1. Haha, that would put you into the category of "aggressive driver."

      Delete

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