Tuesday, July 22, 2008

drivers of fancy cars.

Okay. So, I've been wanting to blog about this for a while now, but haven't been quite sure how to go about it, as I am a Bit of a Wimp and don't want to offend anyone. But, I'm on vacation, and so my Wimp-o-Meter is down and I'm just Not Really Caring at present.

So, here goes.

Drivers of fancy cars. I'm irritated by them. Tremendously. Let me tell you why.

I drive a lot. Pittsburgh is a beautiful, wonderful city in many ways, but it does lack significantly in its public transportation department. Sure, we have buses. But we don't really have a subway. Which most Pittsburghers will never understand. We have a pathetic attempt at a subway, which the city calls The "T." Yes, it just has a letter for a name. That's how pathetic it is. The "T" is a tiny little subway system that runs throughout the downtown area and out towards southern parts of the city. And that's it. What about those of us who don't frequent downtown or who don't live in the southern parts of the city? We needn't go anywhere? We aren't important? We don't have needs? Oh, rubbish, Pittsburgh. Rubbish with a capital "R" don't you know.

So, as a result, my car and I have a pretty serious relationship with the city. Sure, I could take the bus, but it just takes FOREVER to get anywhere if you go by bus. And anyone who knows me knows that I am a mover and a shaker. And I can't handle standing in the rain or the snow, waiting for the bus. Call me a diva. Call me spoiled. Call me honest.

Thus, all of the driving I do results in all manner of interesting experiences on the roads. And I like to think that I am a good driver. I am courteous: I give the thank-you wave to drivers who let me merge in front of them. I am patient: I don't blare on my horn if the car in front of me decides not to cross the intersection even if he/she could have made it without being hit by oncoming cars. I don't have a need to swerve in an out of lanes so as to keep at a constant speed and not be slowed down by other drivers (despite my mover-and-shaker-ness). I realize that driving is a responsibility. It is a blessing that I am ever-thankful for. I like to think that I am a relaxed and appreciative driver.

Except when I encounter drivers of fancy cars. Then I get a little, um, angry.

Let me explain.

I drive a 2004 Chevy Aveo. It's my Meep Meep, as I call it. I do not have money. And even if I did, I certainly wouldn't spend it on a car. Accidents happen, people.

So, when I'm driving, obeying the law, being courteous, etc., and I encounter the 40-something business man driving like he's God's Gift to Creation in his Fancy Schmancy Lexus, I want to throw up. Yes, call me judgemental. Go ahead. I am aware of this fault of mine. But I must remain honest. I can't stand drivers of fancy cars.

The dude in the Lexus doesn't use his turn signal. Ever. He rides my bumper. All the time. Even when I'm going 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. He pulls out in front of me, oblivious to the three inches that separate our steel contraptions. He blares his horn if I don't pull out into the intersection at that exact moment when he thinks I should. He pulls up to my right when I'm trying to make a turn into oncoming traffic, thus making it impossible to see what's coming from the right because he's too impatient to wait his freakin' turn.

He's a jerk. Plain and simple. And do you know why? Because he has money. And a fancy car. And he thinks that the rules don't and shouldn't apply to him. He's special, in case you were wondering. He's clearly more important than any of us drivers of practical cars. He has much more important places to be, his time is far more precious, and his shiny-ness (both of his car and of his skin/hair/outfit/watch) gives him the right-of-way.

Oh, and the plastic Barbie-esque woman in the Mercedes? Who parks her car illegally because the rules don't apply to her, either? Despite signs that say "No Parking," Barbie and her Mercedes become illiterate at that moment. She has places to go and people to see, my dear readers. She can't POSSIBLY park in a regular parking spot and, heavens forbid, WALK to the entrance of the store like the rest of us. That would take far too long. And what if a neighboring car door accidentally brushed up against her shiny silver piece of German engineering? I bet she'd stomp her Jimmy Choo sandal and have a tantrum.

I guess this rage comes from my utter disgust at the way in which our society worships conspicuous consumption. Materialism, materialism, materialism. Gag me. It's all about these "things" we have, these material items that show how much money we have, how much success we've achieved, how Important and Fabulous we are. And a car--a fancy car--seems to convey all of this in one fell swoop.

It makes me really sad, quite frankly. What if those drivers of fancy cars downsized to more practical cars and took the difference in the car payments and donated it to a different charity every month? Someone who is hungry might be able to eat if that driver of the fancy car stopped thinking about his or her own image and started thinking about the welfare of his or her fellow humans.

And what if we started thinking about success in terms of how much we've helped others as opposed to how far we've climbed the corporate ladder?

Or what if we realized that we are Important and Fabulous because we offered a helping hand, cooked a meal for someone hungry, helped a stranger, or donated our money/time/talents to a cause that needed it more than our garage needed a BMW?

Sure, I bet there ARE drivers of fancy cars out there who donate to charities, feed the hungry, help strangers, and offer helping hands. I believe that. There are good people everywhere, behind the wheels of every kind of car imaginable. But why is it that I always encounter the drivers of fancy cars who DON'T seem to be those types of people? Where are the NICE drivers of Porsches? Where are the courteous, patient, law-abiding drivers of the Cadillac Escalades? Where are the Audi owners who use turn signals and don't drive like they own the universe? Show yourselves!

I'm not perfect, people. I'm not trying to convey that. I have many faults. I do judge sometimes. I do get irritated. And I do get frustrated. I just wish that I could meet a driver of a fancy car who was kind, generous, a courteous driver, and humble. But I have yet to do so.


Yesterday's Gratitude:
1. first official day of my vacation
2. my computer and the internet
3. Goodwill
4. my car (practical and un-fancy as it is)
5. air conditioning

with love from Pittsburgh,
Laura

2 lovely bits o' feedback.:

Be the change..... said...

oo -which goodwill do you go to? Have you ever been to 'red white & blue' in Bellvue on Ohio River Boulevard? I love that place!
I tend to agree and get annoyed at drivers of expensive cars and will be harsher on them when they do inconsiderate things. However, I'll admit that I'm overly materialistic and appreciate these cars from a design standpoint (but like you, even if I had the money I wouldn't buy one).
I know the tragedy that is Pittsburgh public transportation -years of taking the bus to school from sq. hill -UGH. that sucked - It's so great here in DC with metro and our awesome bus system that I even sold my car and am carless! saves so much money and feels so freeing! ok -my comment is longer than your post now.....

Becca Rae said...

I so agree with you...and I used to drive a 2007 BMW X5!! and i absolutely WAS one of those awful drivers in a fancy car! I am fortunate to be back in my 1996 Geo Prizm (Richie traded the BMW in for a more practical yet rather ridiculously huge work truck...that obviously i don't use for work anymore..or jsut for driving around...it's a Ford F450 Dual Wheels, Crew Cab....HUGE!!

Anyway, there was something about getting behind the wheel of that fancy-shamancy car taht turned me into a monster. and i KNEW IT! I remember thinking I had to PROVE that i was "better" than some girl in a Pontiac Grand Am or something one day...she had NO clue i even knew she existed...but i chased her down 279 at...get this...120 miles an hour! obviously if i couldn't catch her, she was either WAAAAYY ahead of me at that point, or driving like a total idiot herself. My point being...if people do not have a solid foundation of morals, values, and respect for other drivers and people who drive any type of vehilcle, or who don't drive a vehicle at all, the power given to us fancy car drivers is very easily abused. again, I am thankful I am no longer able to drive that fancy car anymore...it is giving me a good bit of time to reflect on my stupidity and my arrogance when although I had no money (Richie did but i didn't), i acted like a rich spoiled brat, and i regret that.

THAT SAIDm, i do hope you encounter one of those fancy Pink Cadillacs on the road someday, there are a few in Pittsburgh...with the drivers being Mary Kay Sales Directors, most of whom have built their businesses based on the Golden Rule (the foundation of our company)...these fancy car drivers should be VERY courteous...and if they aren't, write down their license plate number and let me know...i'll take care of them for ya :) Love ya! :)