The most stressful part of my day is typically driving my son to school. I would say my current location has the second worst drivers I have ever encountered. (New Jersey drivers are number one. In case you were wondering I think Montana and central Texas have the most polite drivers.) Driving in Arizona sucks for lots of reasons but today we’ll just focus on “Dennis the Menace”.*
Two doors down a high school teenage boy gets picked up by one of his friends. Not everyday (thank goodness) but some mornings our paths intersect. This kid is always on his phone and he is always driving too fast.
One day he came around the corner and drove right down the middle of the street. I was able to squeeze over to the right. The kid never saw me, never looked up from his phone.
Another day he swung wide around the corner and narrowly missed the front corner of my car. He saw me that day, a panicked look on his face as he jerked the wheel.
The worst days are when he picks up his friend and is just behind me. Then I have to worry for about a mile that I am going to get rear ended. When we get just past the first traffic light we go briefly from one lane to two. The second lane is really for people turning right into a small shopping plaza and some housing areas. It is a short lane but sometimes it is used to pass extra slow trucks or cars. Typically in the morning there is too much traffic to make it worthwhile to pass a car or two. But not for Dennis the Menace. He goes tearing up as fast as he can, passing as many cars as he can before squeezing back into traffic as it goes back to a single lane.
And then we get to the next traffic light where it becomes two lanes for good. I get in the left turn lane and 90% of the time the kid is sitting there at the light which makes me laugh.
This morning I was puzzling over how crappy that morning drive is and realized, duh, he’s not the only teenager zooming off to school at that time. I am probably surrounded by them and just haven’t been paying attention (’cause I am too busy trying not to get run into!).
When I get home each morning without incident I find myself thinking, if that drive is the worst part of my day I’ll take it and be a happy camper for the rest of the day.
*I don’t know the kid’s real name, I just call him Dennis the Menace.