Thursday, September 8, 2011

No One Likes a Tattletale

Vehicularly speaking it's been a bad week.

No, nothing happened to my car.  It's what happened to me when parking my car was involved.  I became an angry white man with a perm!

Just kidding.

Anyway, anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a bit loopy.  But I am a loving mom to two wonderfully, and perhaps miraculously, well adjusted children. I manage to be the C.O.O. of a cluttered, yet clean, well-stocked home where everyone eats, for the most part, healthful food and enjoys clean clothes.  I have a job where I am respected.  I have many good friends who are themselves accomplished, intelligent, empathetic, rational, loving people.

So why in the past few days have I been behaving like a girl duo featuring Tyler Perry's Madea and Lucy Ricardo?

And no, it's not THAT.

First there was the person who parked his bumper literally up on my grille over the weekend.  Ignoring the requests of my husband,  I grabbed a piece of paper from my bag, marched into a fancy boutique to borrow a pen, and as the shopgirls nervously peeked at my paper to see if this mad black woman was going to make it their last day on earth, I penned a VERY nasty note.  Then I flashed the girls a big grin, thanked them, scurried back outside, stuck my angry missive on the offender's back windshield, and Austin Powersed my car out of the spot.

Then yesterday, after I'd been circling half the South Loop for a free spot for over 30 minutes, I found a space, available except for the fact that a woman was standing there, reserving it.  Standing there!  I noticed a cop in his cruiser further up the street and I asked him if holding a spot on foot was legal.  He said no.  He u-turned in front of me warning me not to pull into him, and reprimanded the driver of the now parked car.  I u-turned as well, having thought the spot might still be free.  I continued on, prepared to give up and put my car in a lot or at a meter.

And then lo and behold, I saw a gorgeous, huge spot, shining like a beacon in the woods.

On the other side of the street.

I don't know what I was thinking.  Maybe that I had just done it.  Maybe that the cop had just done it.  Maybe I thought he wouldn't notice, even though he was 50 yards away, facing me.

Wouldn't notice?  Really?  How out to lunch without a sandwich could I have been?

So I u-turned, and lined up to park.

"Don't make a u-turn in front of an intersection!" A voice scolded.  It was the cop, who'd pulled up beside me.  I made the best cute-dumb-sorry face I could muster without having taken acting classes.  "I could write you a huge ticket.  Go ahead and park."  Thank God he let me go.  J would have killed me; he's warned me about my u-turn fetish a bajillion times.  And how perfect would that have been - a $200+ dollar ticket as the cost of a free space.

No one likes a tattletale.  Or a crazy lady who leaves nasty notes on people's cars.  I consider myself warned.  Karma's a bit--, ain't it?

Do we act worse behind our cars the more out of control we feel?  Are there any other folks out there who feel that their driving has become worse, not better, as one would think, since they became a parent?


  1. It's the urgency of motherhood. That's what makes us worse drivers. Every minute counts. Every minute costs. When you know you have only so much time before someone's needs must be met, the stakes go up. It seems worse when you get so close, but see that last obstacle in your way. It's like when you have to pee so badly that you don't think it could feel worse until you get to that crowded bathroom and realize that you have to wait just a little bit longer for a stall to open. Oh, it's just painful. (The pregnant women with the pee analogy, of course.)

  2. I am so much worse because I am always in a rush to get someone home for lunch or a nap before a meltdown or trying to reach around to the backseat with some toy or book to head off the screaming that will follow if I don't. Watch out with those U turns, especially in HP. They will get you for it. I got a ticket for making a U turn within 100ft of an intersection on 55th. The cop tried to give me a ticket for not having changed my address on my license as well. I said, "are you going to come babysit for my kids so I can go to the DMV to have my address changed?" He didn't like that so much. Online traffic school took away precious "me time" hours of my life I can never get back....

  3. I sometimes think it's my only time to be free, to talk on the phone, etc. kids in the car or not - which sounds horrible - no is horrible. Then there's the fact that it has become a reflection of how not in control I feel, a reflection of how much I have to grin and bear it. In my car I grin and bear much less.

  4. I can totally relate. Lately, I have found myself being annoyed by drivers who do not show etiquette. Today, I was yelling in my car because the driver was taking forever to move after the light changed green. This was a great read!

  5. i love this! i recently had to replace my 9-year old, beat-up w/ 150k miles on it VW and while i had it, i totally had experiences like you describe. you're just under the gun to get THERE, wherever THERE is that time, and i'd find myself with a bad case of road rage whenever someone did something i deemed stupid (read: inconvenient to my trajectory at the time). the downside of it is that the boys in the backseat have started calling other drivers out, using phrases that i use and it's. NOT. GOOD. i'm trying to tone down the language a bit, but your "In my car I grin and bear much less" argument truly resonates for me. with a new car i've been driving pretty carefully, not wanting to risk dings and blemishes, but soon enough i'm sure, i'll be flipping U-ies and backing up down entire city blocks for that elusive bit of city parking just like i used to. good times, good times

  6. LOL! This cracks me up. I can also be a bit of crazy woman on a rampage when behind the wheel. I'm usually pretty good about it when my kids are in the car with me though. Let's put it this way, I've gotten very good at mouthing under my breath. If my husband’s in the car with me he’s always asking me “Who the hell are you talking to?”

    I'll tell you why all of our patience is spent with other drivers on the road. It's a combination things - #1 we're already frazzled thanks to our kids driving us nuts (which exacerbates EVERYTHING)! #2 Stupid people who don't know how to f'n drive doesn't help matters either. #3 I’ve come to realize that some days your car is just simply cursed! - A cursed magnet, if you will.

    Girl - don't beat yourself up too much. Get in my car, you'll feel much better about yourself! :)

    Visit my blog at

  7. Once upon a time when I was living in Lakeview, I literally put 8 miles on my car driving around looking for parking one night. When I finally found a space (about a 20 min walk from my place), I came in the house, sat down at the kitchen table, and just cried. And this was before having kids and all the nuttiness that comes with that. It can drive you batty, I tell you. Batty. And this post makes me miss you, friend. xoxo

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy! So glad you liked. I had forgotten about this post, although it is unfortunately as true today as it was 9 months ago.


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