It’s not much of a secret that when it comes to being passive-aggressive, Pacific Northwesterners, specifically Seattleites, really take the cake. They take it and smear it all over their bodies and shoot it into their veins and gargle with it, too. Seattle loves cake. Know what else, apparently, Seattle loves? Driving badly. Now, I love Seattle. I live in Seattle. I was born in Seattle. But, I moved away to learn how to drive. And, so many drivers in Seattle really, really, really suck at driving.
It finally dawned on me the other day that Seattle drivers are passive-aggressive drivers. I was sitting at a four-way stop waiting for the driver with the right-of-way to go so the rest of us could then proceed in the proper order. The driver on the right, instead of engaging her transmission and throttle, engaged in a staredown with the driver on the left. According to the rules of the road, the driver on the right should, and does, have the right-of-way. After a thirty-second standoff, the driver on the right finally rolled down the window and irritatedly waved the other driver through. It was like she was saying to other driver, “I prefer to be polite and nice rather than a good driver, and now I’m pissed at you since you refuse to read my mind and recognize that and proceed through the intersection at your peril…now I might just T-bone you out of spite.” When someone is polite to you, you’d better appreciate it. Or, else! Gotta love the Jet City.
About a million years ago I wrote about how people in this town don’t know how to merge onto the freeway, or let others merge. I touched upon how if someone is trying to merge, they really should use the on-ramp as it is meant to be used and SPEED UP TO MATCH THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC. They should not expect the 60mph tide of traffic to stop and let them on. Conversely, it doesn’t help when those already on the freeway speed up to beat the driver getting ready to merge. That 1/10 of a second that you’ll be saving by being ahead of that one car out of thousands, isn’t going to factor into your day…other than making traffic worse for other folks–folks, by the way, who’ll be cursing you from the passive-aggressive safety of their locked Hondas.
So, I say to all of you overly cautious, clueless, polite-but-angry drivers: Be aggressive! You want to anyway…just do it. Aggressively follow the rules of the road. It can be done both safely and politely. But don’t sacrifice right-of-way, etc., just so that people you will never see again will like you. Aggressively set your cruise-control at 63mph and aggressively take a chill pill. Let us all put the AGGRESSIVE back in passive-aggressive! Don’t make me say that California drivers are better than Seattle drivers.
Anyway, I have to drive to work now. If you see me waving at you, just get out of my way…I’m only being polite, not friendly.