I normally like to keep my posts on the lighter side but today, as I just returned from some errands to return a few Christmas presents, I feel the need to post an open letter the general public.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves and I hope that maybe, just maybe, if this applies to you…. You are listening and considering some New Year’s Resolutions (hint.. hint.. this would make a nice addition to your list for 2014)
Dear General Public:
Pedestrians are people. They are moms, dads, kids, grandma’s, teachers, plumbers and firemen. They work hard. They cook dinner. They smile and they sometimes may even do things for you that make your life better or easier….. Why, oh why, do you not yield to them in parking lots? I’d have to surmise that you, yourself, are at times…. A PEDESTRIAN. So how come, when you’re behind the wheel of a car, you feel the need to speed up just enough to beat them to a walkway? I swear, no matter how many times I go to a shopping center, or a grocery store or I park in the lot of a coffee shop or even a BABY STORE…. you truly feel that you have somehow been challenged to a foot race. Albeit, only one participant is actually on foot… and is destined to lose a toe-to-toe competition against an automobile. If I could count the times that I’ve parked my car and walked to the crossing area to get into a store, only to stand there and wait for car after car to speed by me. It’s as if the 3 seconds it would take to let me cross would somehow throw your entire universe out of balance or perhaps make you 3 seconds late to get that decaf, soy latte. It truly boggles my mind.
I need not even remind you all that yielding to pedestrians is actually a LAW in most areas…..
Just a few notes that may help in your self-assessment to see if you are a sucky person.
- When you see a pedestrian approaching a parking lot “intersection” do you immediately think… “gee, if I were to speed up from 5 mph to 8 mph, I can likely hit the intersection before that person walking so I won’t have to stop”. If so…. You suck.
- If you see a woman exiting a store with an arm full of bags, pushing a stroller, do you immediately say to yourself “gee, she looks pretty burdened by all that stuff and she’s likely not moving all that fast so..… if I speed up, I can probably make it past her before she actually tries to cross?” If so… You suck.
- When the car in front of you starts to slow down in a parking lot, and there’s no obvious reason that you can see, do you proceed to try to “go around” them, all the while muttering under your breath… “what an ass….. why is he stopping?” Meanwhile, what you can’t see, is that the car in front of you actually doesn’t suck and is patiently waiting for a pedestrian, just out of your view, to cross? If so…. You’re a complete douche.
There is, on occasion, someone out there who doesn’t in fact suck (like the person in example #3). This person inevitably helps to reaffirm my belief that there are good people in the world. And then unfortunately, Mr. Douchebag behind him, brings me right back into reality as he lays on his horn pissed off that someone in front of him had the audacity to take 3 seconds out of their day to let a pedestrian pass.
Just for the record Mr Douchebag…. You may not see it, because it’s hidden underneath the shopping bags and behind the stroller (because I’d never do this in front of the kids) but I’m giving you the finger…. Not just for myself but for every other pedestrian out there who had to yield to you, in your protective armor. And, you should probably hope that the person you’ve decided to “not yield to” is not, in fact, your plumber or your fireman… because if they remember you the next time your bath is leaking through your kitchen ceiling or your house is on fire, you may wish you’d been a more considerate driver.
So, think about a resolution for next year…. To try and not suck. Or you could think of it as taking one tiny step (on foot) to become a better person. It’s a small step that would go a really long way……………
A wife, mother and somebody you may actually need someday.