Stuck in Traffic When Your Life Is a Sad Country Song

After Wednesday, I spent too much time listening to music I really, really like, which, as it turns out is full of lyrics about love and loss. I think every single song resonated with me in some part (some just a line, some the whole song). The one that made me feel like my life was a country western song was You + Me’s self-titled song, “You And Me”:

This verse resonated:

hey say everything it happens for a reason
You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person
Someone who will be there for you when you fall apart
Guiding your direction when you’re riding through the dark

So my life has become a sad country western song (at least no trucks are involved in the making of that song). I am waiting for you to reach a decision, and I respect that, but it’s extraordinarily hard waiting for you to let me know one way or the other. I am standing at a crossroads with my hand outstretched to you. Fear is such a particular construct. I’m scared of spiders and I sure as heck need someone to either whack the beasts, or capture them and take them out of my sight before they eat me. It’s easy to deal with your fear when you have someone with a large slipper size at your side. Why do all the catchy tunes on the radio have to deal with love? Superbly depressing when you are stuck in traffic and trying to find a station to which to listen.

So today I decided to go out and see if I could sell some of the penny novels I own, as I’m not reading them anymore and they’re just taking up shelving space. Traffic was very amusing, so I decided to share my road angst with you for a lark. I’m house sitting again out in the wealthy neighbourhood of Caulfeild, and the poor dog was cooped up all day yesterday before I was able to make my way to her so when I arrived at the house at 5pm, I found two turds by the door, which she promptly stepped into, in her excitement to see a person…I think should would have settled for a burglar to be fair. I think those turds were a subtle reflection of my life at the moment. So on the weekends, the narrow lanes and narrower curves of Marine Drive tend to be taken over by weekend warrior cyclists, in their tight Lululemon bike shorts Designed in Vancouver and Made in China, squishing their nethers so they can no longer have children (mind you, most of them are baby-boomers). Of course it was my luck to have some fifty year old on his bike thinking that he could race a car and damn the car to hell for not letting him go down the centre of the lane, rather than hugging the right side of the lane to make room for the larger hunk of metal.

I’m surprised that there actually hasn’t been a more serious accident along that stretch of Marine, like one involving an angry motorist edging a cyclists off one of the more scenic points along the route, which is indicative of a cliff down one side. Just saying.

My next driving beef, on this merry route to the booksellers, was navigating the line-up onto Lions Gate Bridge. For those of you who don’t know Vancouver at all, this bridge was built by the Guinness family back in the 1920’s or 30’s to provide some sort of link between the North Shore (read: mountainside) and Vancouver proper. In its time, this bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the British Commonwealth (because the rest of the world didn’t count). Right now, it’s four lanes of traffic merging into either one or two lanes, depending on the time of day and whether you are travelling north or south at that point. The etiquette is for two lanes to merge into one; the drivers in the left lane are supposed to let the drivers in the right lane merge, one and one, like a zipper, and then to two zippered lanes subsequently zipper into one, and thus you have four lanes of traffic politely merging into one with no honking or showing of the No. 1 finger. I don’t think such civilized merging would ever happen elsewhere.

I always do the ‘wave’ to the driver who’s let me in, even though they are supposed to; I feel it’s common driving courtesy. What irked me today was the other side of the bridge, when the one lane parts into three, and when I reached Denman. I believe in driving karma and will allow some drivers in if they need; I’d hope for the same extended courtesy if the driving shoe was on the other foot. And damn them if they didn’t even thank me. I let in three cars on that portion of the drive, from the bridge to West 4th. Not. A. Single. Wave. I like the wave, I think it’s a nice acknowledgement that someone has done you a favour. We usually say ‘thank you’ if someone holds the door open for us; is having someone let you merge in front of them any different, particularly because you were trying to be clever and thought the right lane was empty but had a car parked there so you could go the full run of the lane? I think a ‘thank you’ is in order. Douche drivers with a sense of entitlement that they deserve to be allowed to merge; it’s a courtesy, people! Remember that.

Then there are pedestrians. I firmly believe extra points are awarded when you nick a pedestrian who is not obeying the road rules (I’ve yet to collect any points). Today, it was a game of timing, to see if the pedestrian would be able to cross the street illegally without me having to slow down. He won, and shot me a dirty look. Really buddy? I weight more than you. Not me, personally, that’s the car talking there.

So those were my driving beefs today. I felt like I’d been served up a full roast beef dinner with Yorkshire puddings (still inflated) and peas. I didn’t manage to interest the guy at the bookstore in any of the books. Penny novels from the turn of the 20th century are still, apparently, worth pennies. Anybody want a collection?

The theme of today: A Simple Song (courtesy of Lions Gate Traffic for No Good Reason):

I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone
Don’t go thinking you gotta be tough, to play like a stone

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