Thursday, March 10, 2011

Magical Moment 399, "Manners"

There is a joke in Nebraska that a traffic jam is getting stuck behind a tractor driving on the highway. A traffic jam in the metro area of New York however, is NO joke! This is why when my friends and family back in the heartland make a remark about bad traffic, I throw them a dagger stare and mutter under my breath, "You have no idea."

Today I drove from New Jersey to Long Island to spend a day at the Law School I'm considering. I drove through toll after toll. I merged from 20 lanes of traffic down to 2. And I tried not to get run over by the semi trucks zooming by. I wondered, "When did people stop having manners?" Don't we learn common courtesy as kids? Please, thank you, take turns, share? When someone needs to get in my lane, shouldn't I just let them in, rather than holding up traffic in their lane because I'm too cranky or proud to slow down a teensy bit? Maybe I could turn my blinker on before I switch lanes, just to let the other person know I'm comin over. I don't know. I began to lose faith in the human race this morning after hours of being honked at, flipped off, and cut off. 

But just as I began to lose all hope, and started to join the ranks of impatient, stereotypical, rude New York drivers, someone changed my mind. In a surprising act of courtesy, another driver flashed his lights to let me know I was clear to come over into his lane. As I merged, I put my hand up to thank him. And he put his hand up back. I don't know. Just a simple act of politeness and I was in a better mood immediately. I suppose if that man could remember his manners from kindergarten, so could I.

Other Crazy Traffic Posts:


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Anita said...

I guess that 'is' rare to have the exchange of "thank you" and "you're welcome" on the busy interstates of our country. I used to use the Washington Beltway when I lived in Maryland, and now that I think about it, I don't recall much waving of the hand to be thankful.
Here is central Virginia, it's fairly common...and nice.
Glad someone helped improve your mood! :)

Linda said...

Good manners are are bad manners. :)

Dawn said...

So very true! I was just thinking of this today...when I got tailgated by someone who was impatient. I felt like waving as they finally passed by, but then stopped. Who knows WHAT they would have done next!
Ugh....our society.
Glad you had a glimpse of the positive today!!

laughwithusblog said...

I love to tell my husband, "You don't cease to be a Christian when you're behind the wheel." First I get the sideways glare, but then ever so slightly the corner of his mouth will turn up making my heart swell!