Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grandpa Driving

When are they going to develop a car horn that can mean different things? We can keep the usual BEEEEPPP for when someone cuts you off and you're upset. But why not have a sweet little toot for when we think we see a friend on the sidewalk? Or a, 'hey mister, I think you left your gas tank open. Just trying to get your attention." Even a passive aggressive horn sound for times when you want to say, "Really? Have you not noticed the light's been green for a good 5 seconds?"

So a car cut in front of me on the way to work. I was going a little faster than I should have been but still, it was obvious that for him to make that right turn out of his driveway in front of me, I would need to partially slam on my brakes. I stopped patiently but became enraged when it rolled ever so slowly towards the green light. Then it turned yellow. Then red. Damn! This light takes forever! Why did he have to pull out? Does he know how much of my day he just wasted? Like a good 3 minutes! I was so close to honking when I took a deep breath and realized that he looked like he was a bit old. Almost like my Grandpa (at least how my Grandpa looked when he was alive). What if someone had honked at my Grandpa? I'm one of those people that hasn't figured out that just because you're old, it doesn't mean you're nice. I am just so taken with old people...their wrinkly little faces.....their slow, hunched over walks....the shakey little hands. I just love them all.

What if this man was driving so slow because he just couldn't see where he was going as well as I could? What if he had been in a car accident years ago that left him without the use of one arm and he was afraid to drive but really needed to get somewhere? I bet he had a job interview. His social security ran out and he was going for his job interview at McDonald's because he still had to pay off  the hospital bills from his wife, June's, illness (she passed away last April). Not only that, it was raining today and she used to love the rain. A tear comes to his eyes which he swiftly wipes away as he thinks of June telling him not to worry about the young, crazy driver behind him because he needs to get to where he's going safely.

So I didn't honk. Instead, I was suddenly driving behind my partially-paralyzed grandfather who had just lost his wife and was on his way to a job interview at McDonald's. And it took everything in me not to jump out, bang on his window and give him a hug. I've either inherited my mother's empathy, or have completely lost my mind.


  1. I LOVE the way you write. Brilliant.

  2. Thank you Lira! It's nice to get a compliment like that from someone who's not a member of my immediate family. And thank you for following!

  3. So today I was behind a "grandma" at the grocery store for a second I became super frustrated and then I thought of your blog :) See you are already making me a better Bundt! XOXO

  4. Good to know you might have a little patience with me in 30 years!