• J Mess


She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes.

When we moved to the suburbs, besides being excited about more space and a yard, I was most excited about having a car. I lived in the city for 15 years and that was what I missed the most. My car. I love driving. I love the freedom. I love singing at the top of my lungs to the radio while cruising around town. I love the open road. My friend and I used to drive down to Florida over Christmas break and we'd joke about becoming long-haul truck drivers. That's how much I love driving. Did I mention I love driving? I just hate other drivers.

After not really driving for 15 years, when I got to Long Island I was shocked. Were people always this terrible at driving and I hadn't noticed, or had it become way worse in the last decade. I always thought the joke was that people in New Jersey were bad drivers, but these Long Islanders were really taking the cake. Speeding, tailgating, illegal maneuvering. People these days are entitled, impatient, extremely rude, and if I wasn't so scared that they were also completely psychotic and might road rage assault me, I'd enjoy nothing more than giving them a piece of my mind. Especially when I know they live in my neighborhood.

I think we should bring back public shaming. It would do some people some real good.

I was on my way back from dropping off Nathan at daycare one morning, and attempting to make a left into my neighborhood. There's a dedicated left-turn- only lane because it's a pretty busy intersection but there's no traffic light. I was waiting patiently as the stream of traffic seemed pretty heavy coming at me, when all of a sudden someone pulled up behind me, decided I wasn't turning quickly enough for him, and made the left from behind me. HOLD UP NOW. I was here first and I'm waiting to turn, I'm pretty sure if it's not illegal, it's just downright unnecessary and dangerous to go around me because you wanted to get there 5 seconds faster. I wasn't asleep at the wheel. Or on my phone. Or driving like a grandma. I was safely waiting for enough room to turn without cutting anyone off. Needless to say I WAS PISSED. I have really been trying to not let stupid things and stupid people get under my skin lately, because their stupidity is their problem not mine. But this really made me mad. So I made my left and then in a fit of irrationality, I drove right past my house and followed him home.

Guys, I know how crazy that sounds. But for some reason I was really enraged and I just wanted to see where this person lived. I wanted to drive by and look at him shamefully as he realized he got to his house 2 seconds faster by cutting off a tiny, tired suburban mom who lives down the street from him. I just wanted to see his face and for him to see mine, so that I'd recognize him if he came to slash my tires that night. He didn't look sorry as he strolled into his house while I did my revenge drive by, but that's okay. I've marked you dude. You're on my list now. I know where you live.

CAR-ma will get you. I'm sure of it.

I let the anger dissipate and only thought about how much I wanted that guy to get pooped on by a pigeon or attacked by a stray cat a couple more times that day, and then moved on with my life. Until a couple weeks later on my way to daycare dropoff. This time I was making a right turn out of my neighborhood and for some reason there was an immense amount of traffic. Bumper to bumper. I was waiting patiently, it had only been maybe 30 seconds, and it looked like someone was going to let me into the lane. In the span of the second it took for the person in front of me to move up enough for me to start my turn, the guy behind me HONKED AT ME. A line of bumper to bumper traffic and YOU HONKED AT ME??? I have my baby in the car and YOU HONKED AT ME??? BOY, OH NO YOU DIDN'T.

You've got to be kidding me. Why are there so many jerks who live in my neighborhood!? Mr. Mercedes knows how to use his horn. Hooray for us all. As fate would have it, he also cut into the traffic and ended up pulling up right next to me at the stoplight. I turned my head slowly, scornfully, to see a young, well-dressed man in a suit, who immediately looked in my eyes and then down into his lap shamefully. He knew he had screwed up because you do not mess with a sleep-deprived, toddler-mom who hasn't showered in 3 days. He took one look at me, saw my crazy hair and crazy eyes and knew if he even tried to meet my hateful gaze, I might get out of my car and put him in a time out. Forget figuring out where all these men live, I should find their parents, because clearly they weren't raised right...

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