Right is Right, Right?

Dear Husband,

I am not sure if you are actually aware but I just thought I’d mention that right of way in a vehicle is not your God given gift. The road rules do allow you to be in the position of “power” (and I use that term loosely) a portion of the time but this is not something that falls automatically to you all the time by divine right. Take the following cases in point:

  1. You are driving in the left lane of two lanes travelling straight ahead. You are gaining slowly on the car ahead of you in the left lane (who is a good 5 car lengths ahead of you) and incidentally also on the car travelling in the right lane (who is about 4 car lengths ahead of you). The car in the right lane merges left, into your lane and maintains his speed which is pretty much just shy of the car ahead of him (oh, the audacity). This does however mean that you have to slow down sooner than you wanted in order to stay in that same lane. Somebody call the police! A driver was going the speed limit and “keeping to the left unless overtaking” with clear indicator signals which meant another driver did not have to break suddenly…
  2. You are driving at a somewhat sedate pace (below 60kph) in a lane leading up to a major intersection and you allow someone in a slip lane to merge in ahead of you. After letting them in however, they don’t really speed up to the full speed limit but cruise along until they reach the intersection which is a set of (red) traffic lights upon which everyone in the lane ahead of you must pull up and stop. The light does not go green before you are stopped. Should the person that drove to the conditions ahead of them and didn’t inconvenience you in any way other than the fact that you couldn’t speed up fast enough to break harder than you did be flogged for their perceived insubordination in your eyes? I think not.
  3. You are driving into the drop off bay at the local train station after having had to slow down for a roundabout and you see someone turn a little too tightly as they are driving out of the drop off bay. This unfortunately means that they momentarily end up in your lane (on a bit you haven’t reached yet) before correcting by which time you have thrown up your hands in a visible gesture of disgust as if to say “What do you think this is, idiot? Your personal driveway!?”.

    Now I will grant you that in case number 3, you technically did have the right of way and the other driver was technically in the wrong but I would also like to point out that:

  • at no time were we in any real danger of a collision,
  • there are no lane markings on the road,
  • there was full visibility (ie no nasty surprises), and
  • the other driver didn’t actually hold you up from dropping me off.

So I personally felt that your reaction, like those which resulted from the other two scenarios, was a trifle unwarranted. And just for the record, I did not yell at you.

I will admit that I can be selfish and occasionally inconsiderate but I have you to constantly remind me that just because I happen to be feeling tired or under the weather, this does not actually give me carte blanch to act like an arse. Just because I feel bad does not mean that I get to take it out on everyone else and I should be more tolerant of those around me instead of seemingly flying off the handle about things that wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I was feeling more with it. Which is what I tried to point out to you when you appeared to behave as though the other driver committed some cardinal sin. Until you chewed me out for yelling at you.

I may have changed my tone of voice or emphasised my point more than you appreciated. You could even say that I would have sounded snippy with you. I probably used language that you didn’t care for and I will admit that I did (technically) raise my voice to a level that would have been above my normal conversational volume. I did not however use excessive lung capacity to loudly vocalise anything and I did not yell. I was P.O.’d when you then had a go at me though and I seethed for a good five minutes on the train to work but I maintain that I didn’t yell. That was just your sore head talking.

But I am sorry that you’re feeling sick and exhausted. You did apologise and say that you didn’t mean to have a go at me, you were just feeling really crappy. I know you don’t like being Mr Cranky Pants either and you hope that I can be a safe person whom you can vent to without being judged too much when you happen to be at your worst. And for the record I am trying to be more understanding of the fact that you don’t say the same things to people’s faces that you do in enclosed cars and houses. Sometimes however, I watch you berate other drivers and just think, I do that, would you get that mad at me?

Driving you mad no doubt but yours,

Your Loving Wife

*Photo taken at Sculptures By The Sea


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