What April Showers really bring
One day last week, I was driving home after work, usual route, usual traffic, usual Massachusetts drivers with their usual feelings of lordliness over all they survey. Where I transfer from one highway to another, there's a point where my lane merges with another, before we merge onto the highway, and let me tell you, merging is not what Boston drivers do best. In this case, neither lane has the right of way: we are supposed to take turns, which means in reality that whoever has more nerve or less fear goes first.
On this day, I was coming along with no one in front of me, and up ahead, four cars were in that other lane. Three of them were actually ahead of me, and I went in front of the fourth one.
He honked at me.
On an ordinary day, I would have stopped singing along with the radio long enough to say some version of 'whatever' or 'yeah, right' or 'get over yourself' and started singing again. I learned to drive around here, I'm used to these people. Once in a while, I drive like them myself, though not often. But because it was (of course) raining, I was suddenly on the verge of tears. Why did he honk at me? I wasn't wrong! I didn't do anything bad! And it's raining! And why is it always raining?
See? Not a rational response on my part, I know that, and just because of the rain. Now let's look at Saturday.
I went out to get my car inspected, and go grocery shopping. Hardly exciting, but! Sun shining! Sun! Shining! Good mood alert!
I set out the same way I go to work every day. The first intersection is one where I have a stop sign and the cross traffic does not, so I was waiting for a car to go by. He was meandering, but it's Saturday and I'm not in a rush so that's okay. He slows down, which is weird, then waves a thank-you to me as he goes by. He's thanking me for waiting at my stop sign for him to go by with his having-the-right-of-way? Oookay.
Moving on, I stop suddenly when a small truck looks like jumping out of a side street directly in front of me, but he decided to stop before doing this after all. I like his decision.
Coming up to a larger street, I have to stop a bit before the stop sign when someone turning into my side street cuts the corner into my lane: careful, there! I'm on this road too, you know.
A couple of blocks up, the street I'm driving on ends at another street, where I'm turning right. I'm behind a car that is waiting, waiting, waiting to also turn right. There's only one car coming along, and since it's a two-lane-each-way street, the guy in front of me could turn, but whatever. Weekends are so much quieter here than weekdays: the only other car in sight is one waiting to turn onto the street we're coming from.
Or so I thought! As I start to turn right, behind slowpoke, there's a honk, as it turns out she was making a u-turn on the street I was turning onto. Surprise! I go this way all the time and can't remember ever seeing anyone do this before.
And my reaction was: "Wow, that's a learning experience. Maybe because it's nice out, she's going to the playground down the street*. Even after living here for five months, I'm still learning the traffic patterns, I need to learn that weekends are different from weekdays here." Rather than, "Holy shit! Where are all these looney tunes coming from? Has everyone lost their minds? Am I the only one who can drive? How was I supposed to know she was going to u-turn there? She just scared me to death!"
Because the sun was shining! I was happy! If it had been raining and all that had happened, one little weird thing after another, I would have had to pull over and have a breakdown.
*She wasn't going to the playground, by the way. Either she was lost, or she was just sent to mess with me, but it was okay, I was fine. Sun. Shining.
In any case, I'll be glad to see the end of April, is my point.