Throwing It All Away

March 23, 2010 at 4:52 PM (Karma, WTF) (, , , , , , )

Call me crazy, but having come this far, I’m not really eager to just bite it in some offhand way. Thus it makes me really hot under the collar to see other citizens making stupid decisions, especially if those decisions include me.

Yesterday on the way home from (surprise!) Trader Joe’s, Avery and I were merrily chatting and generally enjoying each other’s company on the local Major Shopping Route. Our usual way home, down an off-ramp and through a traffic light towards our side of town, looked crowded (I’m a little touchy about sitting at a light if I don’t have to), so I chose the alternate route under the intersection and on to the next side street. As I continued down the right lane of the four-lane, divided highway past the beginning of the exit ramp, at a reasonable speed, a young lady in a small sedan PASSED me on the left, then BRAKED, merged in FRONT of me and off the right onto the exit ramp, BRAKING to get behind the car (exiting) that had been less than a half-car-length in front of me. By standing my car on its front bumper, I was able to skillfully avoid pasting her with my Viniman.

It probably goes without saying that I used my horn. Continuously. Until I looked over at her incredulous expression (“WhAAAAAt?”) and the TEXTING DEVICE clutched in her left hand as she drove up the ramp.

I’m probably not the most understanding person in this situation, being one who uses my cell phone for making calls, and then only eight or ten times a week at most. I don’t text and don’t really understand the reason for texting (which may explain why it’s so hard to get babysitters to get back to me), and I CERTAINLY don’t understand why it’s so important to finish a text while operating a one-ton lethal weapon at highway speeds.

I can’t decide if this is the cancer talking (maybe), or if I’m just getting old (probably). But it annoys me a lot (more than it should, no doubt) to be fighting tooth and nail to survive another six months, a year, a decade, and see people with their whole lives ahead of them making stupid decisions that could end it all in a blink. Texting while driving. Smoking. Buying shopping carts full of lousy food. I want to approach the young man cowering in front of the rain-soaked office building cupping his Camel and whisper, “Psssst…Cancer sucks,” in his ear. I want them to understand that it’s not always going to be this easy to assume you’ll live forever.

And while we’re on pipe dreams, I’d really like an iPhone.

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8 Comments

  1. Mr. Wonderful said,

    There are few things that annoy me more than people who drive while doing just about anything else but drive. I see people reading books, newspapers, maps, etc. I see all the texters with their blackberry thumbs. Even people just talking on cell phones who are not paying any attention to the fact that there are other cars on the road. So dangerous. So stupid. So wrong.

  2. mynameisnotcancergirl said,

    It is infuriating, isn’t it. These people who don’t know what they have, and toss life and health around like a commodity that is owed to them. It makes me sad and angry…

  3. Amy Hofmann said,

    This doesn’t help, but I once saw a man reading a folded up newspaper (making it easier to see the highway, of course) while shaving while driving.

    Why he though this was acceptable is beyond me. Low tech driving idiocy.

    I do NOT miss my commute one teensy little bit.

  4. Ruthann said,

    I agree with all of what you said, and I admit to sometimes being on the phone while driving and wondering what really IS so important….

    But what I really like about this post is your last line. Love your sense of humor.

  5. Pateeta said,

    I know what you mean, but sometimes I wonder if being pasted by a minivan (or hit by a bus is what I like to say) would be the better way to go than suffering with the long, slow anticipation of death that cancer brings. Sorry, I’m having wild mood swings for my one year anniversary with the Beast. But I got a new Ipod Touch I’m loving it! And I do NOT use it while driving.

  6. Ann said,

    I only text or browse the web at red lights. Which I stop for.

    Really.

    When you have an iPhone, you’ll understand. 🙂

    I get the impulse to tell people they are endangering themselves and others, and I have had the fantasy that if you tell them, they’ll suddenly learn from your wisdom.

    But, they won’t. It’s not like that guy with the cigarette doesn’t know he can get cancer, and it’s not like he doesn’t know cancer sucks. He just doesn’t think it will happen to him. And, there is nothing you can do to change that – not with bad drivers, not with smokers and not with people who live on fast food.

    People, especially young people, think they are invincible. Until they suddenly, tragically, discover they aren’t. And, those are the lucky ones.

    Get yourself an iPhone, you deserve it, and it’s the best piece of technology I’ve bought since I got TiVo eleven years ago. 🙂

  7. Catherine Jacobs said,

    I don’t think that was the cancer talking, I think that was DAD talking! You sounded just like him for a minute. Oh, and you think you don’t like texting, but you will if you get an iphone, trust me. But you are right, you don’t have to do it while driving.

  8. Meredith said,

    ‘Nista-

    I’ve been following your posts and love them. My Mom is going through what you are going through. She has a CT scan on Wednesday to check how things are going or growing or not growing. You, no doubt, know the drill. Thank you for your writing. You are an amazing writer. I feel like you are talking directly to me and it is helping me to understand why my own mom says and does the things she does. Also, it is helping me to hear your thoughts on things to talk about, not talk about, etc. I am very close to my Mom. While I don’t want the only thing we talk about to be the cancer, I don’t want to make her talk about it all the time. I always tell her and I will tell you now…never forget, you are an amazing, strong woman. Thank you ‘Nista!!! Keep writing.

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