How much do I HATE labels and stereotypes? It’s rhetorical, don’t answer that. That doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed some… shall I say … “similarities” in certain collective groups of drivers and pedestrians.
I just want to get it out of the way – the bad and the ugly, which, coincidentally are the same… Honda Civics! Not the “off the lot” Hondas – the customized ones. They usually have sunroofs, dark tinted windows and brightly colored brakes or rims. This collective group of drivers like to rev their engines. I can only conclude that Hondas must stall, a LOT. I can’t think of any other phenomenon which would cause only customized Hondas to force the drivers to constantly rev their engines.
Intersection Blindness is a medical slash driving term which I just invented (and my shit is copyrighted so don’t even try to steal it!). This was a natural segue from the engine revving theme because many many Honda Civic drivers have this, but unlike the revving, this condition is not unique to a certain make or model of car. This seems to be an age related stereotype, I associate it with younger drivers. When a driver is approximately 600-700 feet before an intersection they become blind to EVERY thing else around them and only see the intersection ahead. They have to “beat the light.” I think in some alternative driving class somewhere, they teach people to telepathically connect to the stop light by maintaining unbroken eye contact with intersection ahead and a green light fairy will hold it for them so they make it through — pedestrians and side streets be dammed! DON”T BLINK or the light will change… and whatever you do — DON”T slow down!!
Generally, the pedestrians and bicyclists are very pleasant. Almost all of them wear headphones. Some take them off to say good morning (or afternoon). If they don’t take them off, they usually look up and give the nod and a smile – and – I really think the joggers are appreciative of my “Theme from Rocky” rendition as they run through the intersection.
You would think a “cute” car would indicate that the person driving was generally happier or friendlier. That is not the case unless there are accessories involved. If I see someone driving a car that was heavily promoted by head bobbing hamsters, I would guess they had a sense of humor. So when they pull in looking all cranky and completely un-amused with life every morning, all I can think is, “those hamsters would NOT be happy.” Volkswagen Beetle drivers? HOW can you not CONSTANTLY drive around in state of slightly amused, especially driving past a middle school, KNOWING, in at least one of those classrooms or school buses, someone is getting “punch buggied” because of you?
I’ve noticed 3 types of families who drive to school. The “Not Morning People” families where, NO ONE in the car is happy, smiling, or giving a wave. The “I Can So Sympathize” families where, the parents are smiling, waving and happy – but the kids are not, at all, excited, happy or enthused about their day in any apparent way!. Then there are “The Cleavers” – everyone is happy. The entire car of people is excited about their day, or pretending, or at least well caffeinated. Now that I’m writing it, I don’t recall ever seeing happy kids with unhappy parents. Hmph. Interesting.
Drivers of cars with eyelashes, minivans and SUVS with stickers all over the interior windows, moms with cups of coffee in their hands and people who drive (and walk) with dogs are the happiest. While a “cute car” has not proved to be an indication of general driver pleasantness, cute accessories totally do! I have witnessed zero incidences of eye lashed adorned vehicles containing a cranky driver. The coffee drinkers – well, they aren’t smiling, waving goobers like me, but they always manage to muster, at the very least a nod or a wave. Caffeine up my sister from another mister. I’m right there with you.
The dogs that get to bring the kids to school are the happiest of all the pedestrians and vehicle occupants. Dogs don’t know from traffic and time schedules, they’re just glad to be there. The smiling furry baby faces peeking from the windows or the entire laundry basket looking fur balls hanging half out of the windows are always accompanied by generally happier looking people.
If you read today’s tale and are wondering “what was the point?” — there isn’t one. It was all observation. I’d like to say the point is walk, get a dog, or a car with cute accessories but I think that might be a chicken/egg thing. ARE they happier because they have those things – or did they get those things because they’re happier?