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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Turning On A Dime

I think all of us have moments from time to time that have us shaking our heads or making little silly comments. For me, this often inspires the writing of a blog post. Depending on my readers' opinions of said posts, this could either be good or bad. I will, of course, leave that up to you.

Is it just me (actually us, as Trent is in the same mindset), or do you have moments during driving/riding in automobiles that just make you shake your head in dismay and wonder? We had a moment recently that had that effect on both of us. We had just pulled out of our parking spot at a local shopping center and were attempting to turn onto one of the driving lanes to exit. That's when we almost got smooshed by a big, shiny Lexus. It was in the middle of the two-lane thoroughfare before turning into the lane we were occupying. The driver had swung wide to make a left turn into the parking lane. After we recovered from the fear of nearly being smashed by a larger car, we observed that the driver apparently thought that their car was so huge that they had to swing wide to make the left turn into the driving lane. Or maybe they were afraid of an invisible curb causing a curb check? I had the problem figured out in a flash. "Trent, it's simple," I said. "It's a fancy, expensive car. Older, less expensive cars like ours can turn on a dime, but this one is more expensive, so it can only turn on a dollar." Problem solved.

A few weeks ago, the powers that be decided that the main thoroughfares of the shopping center that houses our supermarket, and several restaurants that serve wonderful deliciousness, needed to be resurfaced. When we saw that the project was starting, we were thrilled. I can say without reservation that there were holes in there that could have swallowed a human adult on a bicycle. Or at least big enough to let an entire automobile tire sink in six or twenty inches. I've been on smoother rollercoasters that were shut down for being dangerous.

As I said, we were thrilled. Until the slalom event began at the shopping center. In skiing and snowboarding, slalom refers to a course that zigs and zags as the skiers/boarders go through gates on their fast journey downhill. We made the bad decision to get some food from one of the restaurants in the center on a lovely Saturday afternoon. We saw that it was quite a challenge to get from one side of the center to the other, but Trent was undeterred. We set off down a sideways route to our destination. As we turned the first corner, we both gasped as we saw a huge pickup headed straight at us. This was one of those gigantic pickups that, if you were standing next to it you wouldn't be able to see over the hood. The driver remembered that this is the USA, not the UK and that we drive on the right, not the left, and we were unscathed.  But here's the thing. Every single person that we saw, and we saw several going the opposite direction, was driving in the middle or the wrong side of the road. I don't know what it is about road contruction that makes so many drivers lose their stinking minds. Although I am not a drinker, I had my UK moment when I got home. I was wishing I had the British cure-all, a glass of brandy, to calm my nerves. I made do with food, and we avoided the shopping center for a week or two.

We found ourselves back at that same shopping center today. We like the effect the holiday season has on people during their comings and goings. You see people taking turns, allowing others to turn in front of them, or having someone follow them to a soon-to-be-vacated parking spot. It's inspiring. It's also missing right now. We were lucky to simply observe this time around, but we decided that we hadn't received the news of the new holiday philosophy this week. Peace on Earth, and get the heck outta my way! I jest, of course. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in our chores and lives that we forget to be aware and considerate of those around us. We lose track of a very simple thing, that being kind to others makes them feel good, but it makes us feel even better. We have a great power at our disposal, the power of goodwill and kindness. I think it's high time that we started a kindness revolution. The snowball effect would be tremendous. What do you say, are you in? I am!


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