I must say, it has been a joy preparing for Christmas. The holiday spirit seems especially prevalent on the roads, don’t you think? I’m not sure about your area, but in ours the aggressive drivers are out in numbers. And two days ago I felt real fear thanks to one of these very people.
I was taking a tightly curved exit that was filled with holiday shoppers. It was 5:00 and dark, making things even worse. A young man was behind me and on my tail, willing me to somehow fly over the cars so he could get through quicker. He revved his engine and pushed down on my bumper without quite touching it.
How he thought pushing down on a family minivan stuck in traffic would help is beyond me. I tapped my brakes three times, trying to give him a little hint that, “Gee, maybe trying to cause an accident in the middle of traffic is not such a good idea.” I suppose that is where I made my mistake.
Looking in my rear view mirror, I was happy to see he backed off. But only in order to begin a series of hand gestures that I didn’t even understand! I chose not to look anymore, knowing it would only cause me undo stress. But with every glance I took I could still see his hands flying up in the air, his eyes glaring directly at my rear view mirror.
The way this exit was positioned, I would have to attempt a cross over four lanes of traffic to get to the left turn I needed. Instead, I had to go straight, turn right, find a place to turn around in to get myself on the correct road.
I was not happy to see him still on my tail as I neared my right turn. And as I made that turn he followed just as closely. Nervously, I noticed he stayed behind me in my lane rather than move to the right lane to get away from me.
As I neared a hotel parking lot I could turn around in I began to feel uneasy. This guy was not going away. It was dark, I was alone and he was following me. I made my turn in to a parking lot and to my horror he made the very same turn.
It was here that I felt real fear. I picked up my phone “just in case.” My heart began to race as my eyes continued to dart to my rear view mirror. He seemed to disappear, making me worried he would block me on my way back to the main road.
Fortunately, this was not the case and he finally drove away. With great relief, I continued on my way. But I have to tell you – I have not felt real fear in a long time. It is a horrible feeling, particularly if you are a woman. This aggressive male driver was purposely trying to scare me – a woman alone in a minivan. A few days before Christmas. And it worked.
Right now I have a sick child at Christmas time. Tonight we were supposed to go to Christmas Mass. She was going to sing in the children’s choir while we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Then off to Grandma’s for Christmas Eve dinner, and back to our house to prepare for Santa.
However, from the hacking going on next to me I know I won’t have the pleasure of tearing up in church as I watch the children sing on the altar. Dinner might or might not happen and the nebulizer will be the center of today’s events. But I am home with my children, dog at my side and I’m safe and sound.
I can celebrate Christmas anywhere that my children and mother are. It may not be the perfect Christmas we hoped for, but we will be together – off the roads – and that is what matters the most.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL. And to my Jewish friends, Happy late Hanukah! Be safe and enjoy your family, because that is what makes life worth living.