Don’t take this the wrong way: There is a huge difference between a New Yorker driving in Hotlanta and a non-New Yorker.
A generalization? Yeah, man, as it is said in the Bronx. Truth? Sho’ nuff — bless their defensive-driving little hearts, as it is said in the South.
Snow. Rain. Sunlight. Moonlight. Warm or cold weather. Even slight breezes can stymie a non-New York driver.
Recently, one of them almost sent me to stymie heaven.
When I learned to drive, “use your mirrors” was repeated over and over. You will never have better co-pilots than your left, right and rearview mirrors.
Mirrors help you park, help you get your bearings when in reverse, help you pass a slowpoke car, help you feel the length and width of your car, help you measure parking areas, help you become one with your car, and, last but in no way least, help you spot the car of an officer of the law. Oh, yeah!
Let’s be clear: I am not advocating a ban on the use of backup cameras or other innovative fandangos we find in our cars today.
Personally, I don’t even have a GPS. I have been blessed with a fabulous sense of direction. Except when I’m not.
I have also been blessed with an almost paralyzing fear of getting lost.
Should this trauma befall me, I call one of my daughters or sons-in-love. I get to need them, and they get to laugh.
There is a sound in my voice when I call one of them. They recognize that sound as “I need help.”
This act of kindness on their part allows them to practice the mitzvah of being kind to your mother or mother-in-love.
Let us now return to my brush with stymie heaven.
I left home for the drive to work at my usual time.
Every other day, I head to the right so I can pick up my cappuccino at the gas station. On the off days, I head to the left.
Why every other day? This, my friends, is a conversation for another day.
Did you know we are in rutting season?
No, this is not the season for digging ruts in the road. If you were a buck, you would totally be looking forward to this time of year.
Let me just say that love is in the air.
Go ahead and Google it. I’ll wait.
Deer inhabit my neighborhood all year long. This time of year, however, the Bambis of the deer world are kicked out of their comfy homes and must learn to make it on their own.
We see them wandering around, looking for safe places to call their new home. They hang out on my property and on the roads, which makes driving a bit hazardous.
On the stymied day, I drove slowly through my neighborhood, making sure I would not injure one of these Bambis. I continued driving slowly, thank goodness, even when the driver of a huge SUV determined that she needed my lane, not hers, and attempted to pick my lane.
She came a hair’s breadth from destroying my car and catapulting me to that stymie heaven.
I missed the pole to my right by less than a pinkie’s width. I measured.
My tires cut a different kind of rut in the dirt. I was in a state of “Wait, what just happened?”
When I started breathing again, I looked up to see her once again pick a lane, and she was gone.
No “How are you?” No “I’m sorry.” No oops, no acknowledgment of this near-miss.
If only she checked her mirrors! I’m just sayin’.