Friday, December 26, 2008

Generalisms are Clever

“Just goes to prove, women can’t drive!”

As you can imagine, I didn’t take kindly to that comment, uttered halfway through my shoveling of the 2 feet deep snow from the 10-foot length of driveway. This woman takes cares of things and does a damn good job. I wasn’t actually the target of the comment; although, I did catch the rebounding shrapnel from it, as did half of the American population. The deduction capabilities of the insulting grisly old man had much to be desired. (“Young” versus “Girl”? Let’s blame it on gender…) The car stuck in the 3-foot bank of snow was obviously the result of the lack of experience. The teenager driving the auto had had a license for less than a year and was experiencing her first snowfall with significant accumulation. Imagine…she didn’t know the tricks of handling the car in that setting! Shocking? That old man better never leave upstate NY, or he will quickly learn how inexperience and bad weather shouldn’t, but often DO mix…

My 6-year-old and I drove from Rochester, NY to Columbus OH two days later. The 6 hour 45 minute trip took just under 10 hours. Of course there were driving winds, slush, and beating freezing rain to contend with. Oh, and accidents so fresh on every highway that I traveled on that most of them did not have emergency personnel present yet…rather, only lights in the distance. And then, they started closing off parts of the road (although, a couple of us drove across the median to avoid the queue…I’m not implicating anyone in particular though.) And then 20 miles down that expressway, all the entrance ramps were blocked and cops corralled us off the road. I took a gamble with the first road that said south…a local road, but still ended up sitting for 30 minutes from another 3-car pileup. With a bit of direction, I found a connecting interstate that did minimal damage to lengthening my trip and soon it was just the truckers and I. Well, we did pass a sheriff at one point. And with such open road, despite pounding rain, I started to grip the steering wheel with less of an iron grasp. And just when my tensed back muscles started to let go a little, we came across another pileup—which included a lorry, and the car’s tires crunched as we passed the accident scene and the resulting shrapnel. Fear of blowing a tire in combination with the icy road surface had me sufficiently tensed for the rest of the journey. Nearly 2-dozen accidents from the start of our journey later, we arrived to our destination.

Wait, I forgot, I can’t drive.