I’m a city driver. There I said it. Don’t let the sleek and sexy minivan with the “I Break for Labradoodles” sticker throw you… if you pump your breaks one too many times without a signal of what exactly you are doing, I will mutter under my breath as I veer around you. I learned that move from you, NYC taxi cabs.
Here are some suburban driving moves that press my city buttons:
1. Stop signs carry a lot more power out here apparently. First, everyone actually stops. Then they look left. Then right. Then left again. Your driver’s ed instructor would be thrilled, but I am not. Go.
2. Most city streets are one-way so the left-hand turn isn’t really a big deal. But here in the land of Route 1 and two-way streets, a left-hand turn can piss a sister OFF! More specifically when the turn signal starts blinking 5 feet before said left-hand turn and I am right behind you in my sweet sweet minivan. Waiting. Waiting. More waiting.
3. The courtesy on the road here is excruciating. Let’s say I’m coming down the road and a landscaping truck is parked on the side of the street. Hypothetically. Two cars could easily fit by that landscaping truck (especially if we both pull in our parking mirrors and are comfortable with a geeeentle little scrape). But no, that’s not how people do it. They WAIT for the oncoming traffic to come through. Ugh, takes an eternity.
(I will break from my rant, though, to raise the roof for the good ol’ right on red. Nice to have you back, my friend.)
4. My parallel parking skills have already gotten worse. On the rare occasion that I actually have to park on the street, these suburban do-gooders actually leave enough space between the cars to maneuver. I haven’t had to tap a car (front or back) since we moved. I also recognize that sounded dirty. Blame it on the city.
5. Ahem, crosswalks?!?! Enough said. I forget I need to stop every time, and then have to play it all cool when I come screeching to a halt inches from the happily crossing pedestrian.
6. In Connecticut, when there is any road construction, a police car is required on site. I think that’s weird and excessive and it makes my heart race every time I have to pass the cop.
7. Did I mention, everyone’s like Miss Manners out here? All the waving in the rear view mirror, flashing your lights for me to enter traffic, stopping for us to back out of the driveway… girl scouts, all of you. We’ve been out here for almost 2 months and not a single profanity or middle finger to be found. C’mon, suburbs, you can do better than that!
8. Red lights. The non-city peeps wait for the light to change before they pull away. What’s up with that? In the city, there’s much more inching into the intersection when the light’s about to change. Not wildly safe, but cuts seconds from your trip.
I apologize for any choice words you may overhear out the sunroof of our Sienna, and I promise to try the Zen breathing I saw the other day on A&E’s Intervention. But, I will always signal at least 500 yards before I plan to turn left, and I may or may not clip your side mirror if passing a double parked car.
p.s. I don’t have a labradoodle. Just the bumper sticker.