Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's All About Me — Or, At Least, It Should Be

Yesterday I remained stationary at a green light after other traffic began moving. I knew why, and it cheesed me: a driver in my lane decided the rules of the road didn't apply to her. As she edged her car's front end into oncoming traffic, hoping to create an opportunity for her illegal left turn, I marveled at her chutzpah.

After all, it's all about me.

Maybe when she got the memo, she misread it and thought it was all about her. Silly creature.

The two people going in the wrong direction on the one-way lane in the shopping center mere minutes later must not have gotten the memo at all. Instead of pulling back into the parking space to turn around and begin traveling in the legal direction, one driver insisted on nearly mating his car with mine. He had gray hair, dark eyes and made a polite gesture showing me the direction in which he was traveling. The other motorist thought driving her minivan over the painted "island" and into the other lane of oncoming traffic was sufficient response.

Don't get me wrong: I've been known from time to time to block an intersection quite by accident or, if Rachael is in the car, nearly go through a red light. (Conversation with Rachael is that riveting — though I'm sure she's going to insist on driving to lunch next time.) I make apologetic gestures to other drivers and over-correct myself at the next opportunity. However, since it's all about me, I am automatically forgiven.

Next, I need to make sure my place of employment gets the "All About Me" memo. It seems the Powers That Be think it's all about the customer. (What are they thinking?) Then the local Noodles & Co., followed by the DMV. By the time I need to renew my driver's license, the new "Chris-Friendly" policy should be in place. David says it's already all about me. Now we just have to get the word out.

Don't waste money or energy on applause signs or spotlights. Simply following the rules is enough: wait your turn, follow the rules, obey traffic signs and signals, clean up after yourself and be civil.

Hey, it's not too outrageous. If so many other people seem to think the world is their oyster, shouldn't it be my turn soon for a vegetarian version of that shellfish?

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