I have to admit that I’m not always as Zen as I’d like to be. In fact, I’m probably Zen right up until the moment when my temper blows. Yes, I have a temper. I admit it. It’s nothing too serious, though. I’d call it more of a trait that hangs around but only comes out when truly necessary; kinda like the Israeli army (small but mighty). I don’t start up problems, but if attacked…watch out!!! I will defend myself and my cubs like no other.
Last week was probably my most “un-Buddha Barbie like” week. I’d like to talk about the things that caused me to stray from my peaceful and loving platform.
The theme of last week was “road rage”.
Let’s begin with last Wednesday when after a great work out, I got into my car with my protein shake in hand (as usual) and took a few side roads to go run an errand. I believe the speed limit was 35 mph if I’m not mistaken. Low and behold, out of the blue, some feisty guy pulled out behind me and decided that tailing the back of my SUV would somehow coerce me into going faster. I mean he was so close behind me that I could see the color of his grey shirt through my rear view mirror. Oh boy, this kind of thing pushes me out of my Zen zone faster than a man’s self-esteem in Lamaze class. I could start to feel myself getting tense and then all of a sudden it happened…I turned green and busted out of my clothes just like David Banner in the old hulk TV episodes. (But like a prettier blonde version…obviously).
Immediately, I hit the breaks and slowed down to about 10 mph just to irritate the guy (I know, so unBuddhaBarbie like right?… I told ya!) All the while, I’m watching him through my rear view mirror in his Trailblazer basically cursing, gyrating and swerving like he was performing some sort of ritual dance or having a seizure. This didn’t make me budge. Nope. I was not giving in to his obvious vehicle intimidation. No sir. I was not gonna let some car bully intimidate me into going faster. He was not the sole owner of the road and clearly this wasn’t a case of an emergency… more like impatience.
Then, just before steam began to shoot from his ears and nose, I slammed on my brakes. I realized this “game of chicken” was not the safest or best plan because if he bumped into the back of my car he’d be at fault according to Michigan law and I’d probably get hurt trying to prove my point. However, I did it anyway, and refused to back down to such an angry vehicle tormentor.
Needless to say, my plan worked like a charm. I managed to get him to back off, and slow down, all while staying within a normal speed limit. Go me!!!
That is…until I needed to make a left and he needed to make a right. There we now were; side by side… car-to-car; the car bully and the car victim that refused to stand for his nonsense. We were like two cowboys squarely facing each other from a distance in a dusty street of an old west gunfight. I could almost hear the music along with the squeaky saloon door in the background.
And then it happened… the personal interaction with the bully that I had really hoped to avoid. He rolled down his window and started to yell like a total mad man. He was waving around his arms and shouting obscenities. Jeeze! I refused to even dignify his temper tantrum with a look towards him. (Well, that’s not totally accurate because I did sneak a peak from my peripheral vision just to see if this ol’ west cowboy was cute or not. He was not of course).
At that point the Zen finally kicked in (thank goodness) and I simply waved at the guy with a smile and proceeded on with my day. Phew, glad that was over.
It’s little things like that which somehow sneak into your day and can truly mess it up. Which leads me to believe that those “little and annoying” daily issues are the ones we are actually supposed to handle in peaceful and dignified ways.
Fast forward to the very next day…
Thursday morning I was driving down a one-lane street on a sunny, beautiful day in the suburbs. I nonchalantly glanced in my rear view mirror (I always check my surroundings as the careful and experienced driver I am) and low and behold…the same thing was happening again.
Well, not exactly…
The only difference with scenario #2 is that the man behind me wasn’t in a trailblazer… he was in a shiny red Ferrari.
Lets have a discussion on men and their Ferrari’s for just a minute. When you live in a state with four seasons, there are only a handful of warm and sunny days in a year. If you’re the proud owner of a car such as that…one would say that you take complete and utter advantage of that beautiful day and ride your car like you’re Maverick in the 80’s movie “Top Gun”. I get it. I really do. But it’s a teeny bit annoying being the car in front of these people.
Ok, let’s proceed. So this unidentified man in his Ferrari is on my tail. There is no way on this G-d’s green earth I am thinking of going slower or putting on my breaks with this guy. NO WAY. I wasn’t even contemplating for a minute playing my “little game of chicken”. Because there was only one lane, I had no ability to let him pass. All I wanted was to get some bagels for my kids. This guy wanted to take off into the friendly sky like he was a Boeing 747.
As a side note…you do know that a Ferrari is symbolic for a man’s penis, right? Well it is. When a man buys a Ferrari he is essentially telling the world that it really doesn’t matter what size his package is; he can afford a Ferrari. (No judgment just fact).
As we stopped at the light, I could hear his music blasting as he was revving up his engine. With each reve of the engine, I just knew it was sending a surge of testosterone right through this guy’s veins. Vroom, vroom…Ok, seriously I had enough of this man/child behind me.
Finally, the street broke off into two lanes and I needed to see what this man looked like as he pulled into the left lane and I into the right. I already knew that he was probably an older gent… typically, the law of life is such as this: a man usually works his tail off when he’s younger in order to afford the luxuries of life when he’s older that he wishes he could’ve enjoyed when he was younger. It’s the cruel dichotomy of life.
Anyway I was right. I looked over and there next to me was a man in his early 70’s driving his penis car like he was Tony Zuko in “Grease”. (Minus the leather jacket, but he did have the slicked back hair).
It is important to know when to just surrender.
As I looked over at this guy, he looked over at me with a giant grin and even winked as to say, “hey babe…I’m king of the road”.
I gave him a big smile back and let him pass without a second thought. I knew he was just recapturing a taste of his yester-years for that brief moment and who was I to do anything but let him.
I had to question why I was more tolerant with Mr. Ferrari than Mr. Trailblazer. Was I being shallow? Could this have been a possible case of car judgment? Oh G-d, I hope not. I felt uneasy like I needed to go meditate or shower. (Btw, I have never meditated successfully yet). And then it hit me… Thank goodness…
Trailblazer boy was just an immature and impatient guy. He wasn’t on a joy ride and he seemed really aggressive. Ferrari man was an older gent who just was seeking a pleasure ride in the luxury he had given to himself.
While both were impatient, both weren’t malicious and that was the difference.
I eventually did get my bagels. And Mr. Ferrari man…well…
for a fleeting moment he got his youth.
Until next week…