There's something about driving in Southern California that has left me permanently scarred as a driver. Maybe all of those hours stuck in traffic, feeling impatient and out of control, have damaged my driver psyche.
Whenever I've gone more than a week without driving, it takes me a while to get back in the swing of things. Last week, I was in Philadelphia for work. Since I was gone, I had not driven in a while. My first day driving in over a week was this past Saturday. I was plenty tense and anxious just getting into the vehicle.
While driving around in Arlington, I got cut off 5 times and was nearly hit twice in a short 15 minute drive (just going to the bank and then coming home). I noticed something about getting cut off--if the car (that eventually got) in front of me had a bumper sticker with a message that I didn't like, I was more apt to keep fuming in anger. However, if the car in front of me had a bumper sticker espousing some idea that I supported, my anger dissipated.
My name is Lizzie and I judge people by their bumper stickers.
Tis true. People who cut me off bearing "W '04" or "Don't blame me! I voted for Sarah!" stickers I cursed at repeatedly (don't worry, the windows were closed so no one heard me). On the other hand, the one driver who cut me off and then just stopped, causing me to brake suddenly and almost hit her (because she just had to get into the farthest left lane to make a turn and she was in the farthest right and her turn was coming up) had an Obama sticker on her car. Normally, an incident such as this would have made me not only angry but incredibly stressed and anxious, enough to trigger a panic attack and pop a Xanax. Instead, I noticed the sticker and forgave the woman for not just making a U-turn up ahead.
Moreover, it's not just political bumper stickers. If the car who cuts me off is bearing a USC Alumni sticker on the bumper, the driver is getting a free pass. However, if the car belongs to a Bruin, it's a whole different story.
I don't have a car now (I drive Jesse's) but if I did, I don't think I would put a bumper sticker on it. Unless I buy a car matching this sticker...