14 July 2013

why i want to yell at other people

I want to yell things at drivers.

This is my confession, although it probably doesn't seem like a very worthy/juicy one, given that everyone wants to yell at other drivers at some point.

So let's call this more of my declaration of empathy with others, which sounds like something the United Nations would pass.

Here is what I want to yell at drivers: I am a person!

It is not because I'm feeling unsure of my personhood; it is because people in my town do not understand crosswalks.

When you're in a car, you're supposed to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. This is the rule, as well as a generally non-mean-person thing to do.

Below is a list of mean people behaviors I want to yell about:
  1. Ignoring the fact that if I am walking, that means I am outside in the elements, unlike a Mean Driver in their climate-controlled car. I know you may want to get to where you're going faster because it is starting to rain, but did you notice that I am in the rain and that my umbrella is not as sturdy as Mary Poppins' and does not give me the ability to fly home?
  2. Glaring at me as I cross the road, as if I were a chicken in a bad joke. Why are you angry, Mean Driver? Is NPR telling you all bad news? Did your favorite song from high school just come on the radio and you were still able to sing along with every word—but then you realized it was on the oldies station? I mean, you can't possibly be upset with me for using the crosswalk. I'm not jaywalking. I'm even smiling at you. Please smile back; it'll make you feel better.
  3. Speeding up when I have obviously started crossing the street. A block away from one of the crosswalks I use every day on my walk home from the train is a stop sign. I'm a smart pedestrian: I look both ways approximately 112 times before deciding it's safe enough to cross. The number of drivers who are sitting at the stop sign, see me start to cross, and then gun it through the intersection—if you knew how high that number was, you would yell, too.

I would like to warn you: If you do any of these things, I will yell* at you and put you on my Mean List.

*The yelling will be in my head. All this talk of yelling, and let's be honest, I would never actually yell at Mean Drivers. I mostly just smile at them more broadly and remind myself to be charitable towards others, even in my thoughts. And then I scurry across the road because no matter how Pollyanna/Anne of Green Gables your thoughts are, you still run a large risk of being run over in my town if you're in a crosswalk.

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