Thursday, January 08, 2009

You've missed my traffic posts, haven't you?

People. It took more than TWO HOURS to get home from work last night. This is a drive that normally takes around 30 minutes.

Sure, hair-yanking commutes like that are rare, but they still happen more than I'd like. I was pregnant last time, with a very small bladder capacity, and I cried several times before I finally made it home.

Last night I only cried once, so I'll consider that a victory. But this time, instead of longing for any one of the four toilets in my house, I was eyeing the little green numbers on my dashboard clock and wondering how long Lion would be able to wait before I could get home and nurse him.

I work three days a week now, one of which is a half-day. I try very hard to time it so that Lion gets as much nursing time as possible, and as few bottles as possible. I nurse him right before I leave for work, so he has a full stomach when I drop him off. Leaving work on time is a priority so I can get home for the next feeding. I pump every 3-4 hours at work to maintain my supply and to have enough milk for Lion's next stay at daycare.

Anyone who thinks it's easy to be a working, breastfeeding mom has never tried it. I'm happy to do it, and I'm glad I can make it work- but it's challenging, and I can only imagine how much more so it must be for those who work full-time. I now understand why there is only one other breastfed baby in Lion's daycare.

Anyhow, I was figuring I'd be home by 6:00 last night, and that obviously didn't happen. Mike was defrosting frozen milk as I slowly inched past one accident, then a second, and was no more than one mile down the road when another ambulance came screaming past.

Then, just as I was finally crossing the last intersection before my street, a truck rear-ended a car right in front of me.

You might read this and assume that there was ice on the road, or that we were having a blizzard, or even a rash of earthquakes!

But no, it was only raining. Granted, rain makes the roads slick, and it was dark, but haven't we all learned how to drive safely in those conditions?

And despite all this- despite the multiple accidents and injuries and car wreckage all around us- there were STILL people tailing me, weaving from lane to lane, blocking intersections and refusing to let people merge, and participating in general driving assholery.

I've never understood this. If the road is solid breaklights for miles ahead, where exactly do you think you're going? How much time do you think you're saving? Why risk an accident, or injury, or MANSLAUGHTER, to get to your destination one minute sooner?

We are all frustrated in conditions like those. We all want to get home. But your time is not any more important than mine. Your LIFE is not more valuable than mine. I'd wager that your boobs are not about to explode, but I'll still let people merge as needed, and I'll still stop at a green light to keep an intersection clear, you and your honking horn be DAMNED.

In Florida, we could drive the speed limit on any road, at any time, and no one tailed us. We could slow down on a tow-lane road to look at a gator baking in the sun on the bank of the river, and no one honked. People used turn signals, obeyed speed limits, and, most shocking of all, waved happily when allowed to go first at a four-way stop.

Driving can be pleasant. I know this now!

Augusten Burroughs had a great idea for teaching bad drivers a lesson. Those of you who have read Possible Side Effects may remember how he and a friend used to punish rude drivers by flashing enlarged photos of hard-core porn. Every time I picture the shock on the drivers' faces, I laugh myself silly.

Unfortunately, I don't have any enlarged pornograhic pictures. But maybe I could just lift my shirt and flash my near-bursting bossoms. That might be punishment enough.

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5 Comments:

Blogger BabelBabe said...

Huh. And here I thought all the neurosurgeons on their way to emergency, lifesaving surgery lived HERE in my city.

9:41 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I feel ya. After getting home last night, I actually crawled into bed to hide because I hate driving here right now. The combination of bad roads and bad drivers leaves me feeling like I'm going to develop a medical condition from the fear and stress of it all.

10:56 AM  
Blogger J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I was in Washington State near and around Seattle recently and I observed two things about many drivers there: 1) they were obeying the posted speed limits, even on the freeways and 2) they were polite. It was disconcerting. I didn't know what to do. But by the end of the week, I was driving as nicely as they were. I think I might have to move there.

The majority of drivers here suck. It's like every.single.one.of.them was born to be first.

One final note: I read somewhere once that a person driving 80 mph will arrive at his/her destination eight seconds sooner than someone driving 65 mph. Is that eight seconds really worth it? Maybe in a larger, existential, Momento-type way, yes? But in reality, no.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Frema said...

Two days before Christmas, there was frozen ice in Indy, and I was stuck in the car for FOUR hours. I totally missed my Kara time, as she was in bed by the time I got home, and man, was I pissed. My boobs weren't exploding, but my heart was1

9:15 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

"Driving assholery" - I'm going to have to steal that. Are you sure you don't live in California?

I can only imagine how hard it is to breastfeed and work. Breastfeeding seems to be a full time job by itself. Your little man is lucky to have such great parents.

1:05 PM  

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