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The Holiday Bird

"You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely." — Ogden Nash

Let me set the stage.

There I am, driving up Gibbons toward South Shore to do a little holiday shopping. When I get to the three-way stop at the corner of Central, I see a car drive up and it soon stops at the sign to the right of me, at Versailles.

We both wait for cars to pass on Central. Then I proceed to cross Central and veer left onto Versailles, still heading toward South Shore. The guy at the Versailles stop sign follows behind me down Versailles. Nothing unusual about that.

Until I look in my rear view mirror and he's flipping me off.

Say what? Excuse me? Dude, what for? Making a full and complete stop and then proceeding with caution? I got there first and that's that. I could take it if I cut him off or ran the stop sign. But throwing me the bird for no good reason?

What the heck, man?

I take a deep, calming breath and relax. Certainly this is a mistake. I must have imagined it. So, I take another look in the rear view to make sure I saw what I thought I did. Sure enough, there was his lanky, middle digit, bare naked, pressed up to the windshield, giving me the mighty, one-fingered salute.

And now, for whatever reason, he is tailing me down Versailles.

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, no he didn't!" But yes, yes he did.

My first instinct was to slam on my breaks. He is a young driver and chances are he'd rear end me and have to pay for all the damages. I could have easily gone all, "Fried Green Tomatoes" on his ass because, "I'm older and I have more insurance." But unfortunately, my husband wouldn't exactly high-five me while yelling, "Towanda!" once he learned of my serious lack of judgement. 

Before long, the driver takes a left off of Versailles and I literally have to force myself to continue to drive to South Shore. Everything in my being wants to drive around the block and follow him.

I want to ask why he flipped me the bird? Why be so mean? What would his parents think if they new he was acting like this? And then I start pondering about my own family. Since I only have a few years before my girls sit behind the wheel, what will I think if (when) my kids participate in degenerate stunts like this?

What did my parents think when I did?

There is no doubt that both my girls will be (are) more mature than I. True, I hope they never resort to rude hand gestures in public. But if they do throw up some serious shade, I hope they do so only with a darn good reason!

Because now that I am older and wiser, I realize that I must have simply look like this guy — a silly hothead — whenever I released the all-powerful middle finger for, well, basically nothing.

Take it from me, never stop learning, America. Never!

OK, back to my story. No, I did not follow him home like a deranged, middle-aged stalker. On the contrary, I let it go. I would like to say that I have matured to such a degree in my 42 years that petty outbursts like this simply don't bother me anymore. But since I'm writing about it, that is obviously not the case. Something even better happened. 

When he turned off of Versailles I got a good look at him. And he saw me. We saw each other. Our eyes met. We had a moment.

It was then that we both realized that he knew me. And that I... knew his mother.

Thank you for my gift, karma. Merry Christmas to me!

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Mathew Jones December 14, 2012 at 09:04 AM
Well now you can send a very special Christmas card.
Lorri Garrett December 14, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Dont mess with JJ!
Lisbeth Allen December 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I say you take cookies over to the family. Just time it for when the kiddo is home. Snickerdoodles perhaps.
Sharol Nelson-Embry December 14, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Total Alameda moment! Thanks for the laugh!

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