Monday morning I made a mistake — lulled into a twisted reality by two weeks of summer vacation, I tried to get on highway 85 at 7:45 a.m.
A quarter of an hour later, as I followed the line of cars trying to make the interchange from 17 to 85, a nicely made-up woman pulled up beside me and screamed “ARE YOU F***ING STUPID?!!! ARE YOU F***ING STUPID?!!!” before tearing off towards Santa Cruz.
“ARE YOU F***ING STUPID?!!!” I can still see her lipsticked mouth curling around those words, her brows pinched and crumpled together, her dramatically outlined eyes spitting poison through both our windshields.
Do you think it’s acceptable to rip into people this way?
I have been angry at other drivers myself, usually when they make a move that causes me to fear for my or someone else’s safety. This leads me to believe that I frightened this woman, or perhaps slowed her down when she was late for something important. If I hadn’t been so shocked, I probably would have apologized. But I think her reaction was way out of scale. I mean, the volume. The language. I don’t think it was good for her blood pressure. She might want to learn the trick of counting to 10 when she’s angry.
I also think she needs to learn to use her “inside voice.” True, she was “using her words,” but from the look on her face, I’m not too sure she would have if we had not been on a freeway on/off ramp.
I’ve been known to mutter “hel-looo” when someone cuts me off on the freeway. But blowing my top at the waiter who brings me an overdressed salad? Lambasting the unsuspecting customer service representative who picks up after I’ve waded through 25 minutes of phone tree torture? Howling at the guy who looks the other way while his Doberman poops in front of the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company? That’s just uncouth.
What do you think? Is it okay scream and swear at people who irritate you?