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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Please Don't Call Me

I bet you think this blog is going to be about telemarketers. I'm afraid not. The creature I want to talk about is far more frightening. It's the DWDC, the Driver Who's Distracted by Cellphone. Don't get me wrong. I like cellphones. Heck, we haven't even had a land line in a good five years. And I really like to text. But I've seen some things lately that may be signs of a problem.

I know that we have gotten ourselves in a big hurry these days. Especially for those of you with kids, it becomes more and more difficult to find the time to get everything done. Where's the time to do everything we want to do? I will freely admit to being a multi-tasker. Unfortunately, I also have to admit that when I try to read a book and watch Survivor at the same time, I'm going to miss some things here and there. On the scale of important things in life, missing someone's snarky comments is not that big of a deal. You might feel stupid when everyone is calling the ridiculously skinny woman with the ridiculously large breasts names, but you'll live.

What concerns me is our willingness to get into our cars and do things that take our attention away from the road. People get in their cars and drive while holding a bowl of cereal in one hand and a spoon in the other. Or have a report for work lying on the steering wheel so they can read it while driving sixty-plus miles per hour down the highway. And the putting on makeup thing...every time I see that one, I imagine someone having to hit the brakes really fast and ending up with a mascara brush in their eyeball. The most frequent thing I see, though, is the DWDCs. The other day we were merging from one highway to another, and I was being the lookout to see if it was okay to get over a lane. Before I even finished giving the all-clear, Trent did an abrupt lane change. What the heck? The person right next to us had decided to change lanes without looking, and Trent had to get out of the way so as not to be trashed by this huge vehicle. Surprise, surprise. They were driving without paying any attention because they were gabbing on their cellphone. I am guessing that at least 75% of the time when we see a driver do something erratic, their cellphone is pressed up against their cheek.

If you are someone who routinely drives while chatting, (or text-messaging, heaven forbid) I am not trying to attack you. You may think you are really good at doing both things at the same time, but trust me, neither task is getting the full share of your attention. It only takes a second to accidentally change lanes into someone, or run a light, miss a turn, or something far worse. So I ask you to do this: if you are driving, please do not call me. I am not important enough for you to risk your life for. On the other hand, if you are a passenger and happen to have an extra pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherries Garcia ice cream in your grocery bag...