we need to have to answer to someone

Posted: June 29, 2013 in Uncategorized


(Okay, here is yesterday’s blog, written while I was falling asleep last night.  I am purposely NOT proofing it, as I haven’t even started today’s yet and have no earthly idea what I’m going to write…)

It was a perfect Friday afternoon. I had gotten off of work before lunch. I was driving Interstate 80 toward Chicago, on my way to see my fiance and many other people I love. The sky was bright blue, the clouds were puffy, and my road bike, Wilma, was strapped to my bike rack and visible in my rearview mirror. I had a podcast – “This American Life,” even, playing on my phone as I drove. My belly was full from the salty-licious Mediterranean veggie wrap I had enjoyed at lunch. Really…how does life get more perfect than that?


Until that jerk in the semi came along. I was driving in a construction zone. The lanes were all closed off, except for the one I was in. Big orange signs reminded me that the speed limit was 45 MPH…that this was “photo enforced” – and all the usual dire warnings about increased fines for violations in trafic zones. Hey – I can read, and I grasp the concept of consequence. So I set my cruise for 45 MPH and rolled happily along.


Then, in my rearview mirror, here he came. Barrelling up behind me fast, seeming not to touch his brakes until he was very near my bumper. I could feel him willing me, pushing me. His irritation with me was palpable as his enormous grill crowded my entire view in the rearview mirror. He was trying to intimidate me into driving faster.


I don’t respond well to intimidation. So I set my chin, muttered a bit to myself, and stayed the course.


When he figured out I wasn’t going to move faster, he laid on the horn, long and repeatedly. Because I was so tuned in to him, the sound didn’t startle me into an accident, for which I am very grateful. Up to this point, I hadn’t thought I was afraid – only irritated. Suddenly, I noticed: my heart was pounding. My arms and hands were shaking. Oh. Apparently I was a lot more afraid than my strong-willed mind was willing to admit to or acknowledge.


So I sped up another 5 MPH, just trying to get out of his way without incurring hundreds of dollars in speeding fines, and I wished for an attentive police officer. None came.


Once we got out of the construction zone, I pulled over into the far right lane. The semi roared around me, and I was jawing at him the whole way by. “Pull by me – go ahead. Give me a chance to see the “How’s My Driving” number on the back of your truck. You’re going DOWN budy!” I’ve never been tempted to call those numbers. But as sure as I was breathing, that was my plan, this time.


Of course, there was no “How’s My Driving” sign on the back of his truck. No easy information for thepublic to use to report bad behavior by this fine, upstanidng individual who thinks he has the right to terrorize people who don’t drive the speed he expects. This made me mutter some more. But it also helped me to let go of the issue. Nothing to do but get on with my day. Okay.


I think we NEED accountability – things like the “How’s My Drivng” signs in our lives. We need to know that we are seen by people who notice, who care, wo will call us on our crap. I sure wish that truck driver was accountable to someone that the general public could easily contact with reports.


I can’t change that few seconds of interaction that scared me so badly. All I can do is be grateful that it ended well…and resolve to make myself accountable enough that if I go all out of pocket like that truck driver, someone will hold me to a better standard until I bend. In this case, accountability is for sure my FRIEND.


  1. Sherri says:

    You are a better woman than I… if I get tail gated by anyone – including a semi, I SLOW down not speed up. (perhaps this should be a “true confession”) 😉 But, seriously, I agree. If possible I would have tried to see what truck company he worked for and tried to get a license plate or something, but I’m sure in the midst of the fear of the moment I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that either. I am glad you are safe and agree… accountability is important!

  2. Cala says:

    I80 is notorious for terrible ignorant semi drivers. I’m allowed to say that given my familial profession. lol To make a long story short, Some Ahole with something to prove passed our car and tried to run us off the road (in our tiny Toyota, pregnant belly and a 2 year old). Daniels response? As I cheered him on of course, he got up to 95 in that vibrating toyota (cuz that’s how fast the guy was going, and speeding up), got his plates and company name. Called the state police right then and there just before Iowa City, but couldn’t find the number for the company. Yay adrenaline!

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