Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taking Turns


Today was one of those days where I felt like I was in my car all day - haven't even read a single page of GONE GIRL. Every turn I tried to make was thwarted by traffic, detours, construction, bridge building, or faulty directions by Siri. So rattled, at one point I very nearly turned right onto a one-way street going the opposite way, and I would have, too, had it not been for the urgent and persistent honking of the car directly behind me, warning me of my almost-disaster. I did wave a thank you to her upon correction and redirection, then quickly turned at the next possible corner to avoid any sort of awkward eye contact from mirrors.

I tried to run into Safeway just to get a few things, and everything was moved, as in, every thing. Scratch that, the bread was where it supposed to be, likewise the produce, but everything else had moved since the last time I was there. Just like all the roads I'd so gratefully gotten off of to come into the store, there was nothing but one way streets and road blocks, detours, poor directions and inherent frustration.

A few hours and multi-errands later, I crossed the Sellwood bridge to take Wil to the doctor. The Sellwood bridge is not fun on a good day, and these days there ain't nothing but bad days, as the ancient bridge is being replaced right next to the existing/temporary one. I almost always go over the bridge and turn right/north but this time I went under the clover-leaf and drove south. I'd forgotten because of the massive construction project, the zone is now 25 MPH, down from 45 MPH. I got too close to the car in front of me and then realized she was not just trying to drive me crazy, she was indeed, following the speed limit. I slowed way down, put a respectful amount of distance between us, and thought we were done with the matter, but she rolled down her window and flashed her hands dramatically, first holding up two fingers, then five, then back to two, then back to five.

Got it.

Tried to find a nearby frozen yogurt shop after Wil finished at the doctor and Siri fervently insisted I turn left on a street where no left turn was allowed. Had to drive forever to get myself going in the right direction. Ate my yogurt grumpily outside on the beautiful day, as someone inconsiderately sat and smoked nearby.

Loaded back into the car and packed it full of my black mood, heading on the freeway near rush hour. We limped along, finally got off on our exit, hit more construction and traffic, before heading back over the Sellwood bridge. This time I was in the lane with the right-of-way, and the traffic coming from the other direction, trying also to get on the bridge, had a yield sign. Every time I cross that bridge from either direction I marvel that the city of Portland has created its own "rule" that you take turns at that point. Invariably, the car without the yield, lets one car with the yield go, then he/she goes, and on and on it continues, taking turns beautifully, systematically, without "having" to,  without signage, without monitoring, just because it's the right thing to do - take turns.

And just like that, my good mood got its turn.

4 comments:

Laurie Harper said...

AIAIAI - I get a headache just reading about this day! I know that kind of day - had one recently. Whew--it got better. :-)

fullsoulahead.com said...

Better days ahead Care!

We have a zillion 4 way stops where we live and people also take turns without being told. If your wheels were first to stop, it's your turn, and so on. I marveled at it when we first moved here.

kario said...

I think you've earned yourself a day in bed reading Gone Girl! Those days are crazy-making for sure, but I'm glad you had some space to let in the "taking turns" lesson - many people wouldn't have.

Seattle, too, is a city of 'taking turns' and it is so great to be reminded of that from time to time.

Elizabeth said...

There are days sometimes, here in Los Angeles, that I feel like I've narrowly missed dying in an accident over and over. It's weird.

I'm glad that your day took a turn and hope that today is still on that good path!