Driving While Animated

Friday, July 22, 2011

I’d like to begin with a statement of full disclosure.  Do I talk on my cell phone while driving?  Yes, I have a Bluetooth connection in my car and comply with the hands-free rules.  Do I ever text while driving, or create a Facebook post while driving?  Well, I’m pretty sure that there’s a law against that.  Anyway, that’s the subject of another story.

It was an ordinary day.  She could have been anyone.  I first saw her in my rear view mirror.  I see a lot of people in my rear view mirror, but this woman happened to catch my attention.  She was talking on her cell phone.  My first thought was to look around to see if there was a police officer nearby.  (There wasn’t).  She had a look in her face that challenged me to take notice.  Her facial expression was one that at first glance could have been interpreted as either laughter or extreme sadness. 

At a stop light I had an opportunity to examine her face more closely.  She was definitely crying.  The slight glisten of a tear had been wiped across her cheek by her free hand.  Had a loved one just gotten hurt, or even worse, died?  What could be so upsetting to her?

As my curiosity had been piqued, I observed further and came to the quick realization that she was not experiencing sadness but rather rage.  She began yelling and flailing her arm around in grand gestures.  Lip reading is only a passing hobby of mine, but I could clearly see in my rear view mirror that she was getting a little colorful with her language.  There are a few words in the English vocabulary that are fairly easy to distinguish – even if they’re seen in reverse through a rear view mirror. 

She remained behind me, as we drove up the road in fairly heavy traffic.  She continued to vent with abandon to the caller on the other end of the phone.  At a few of the stop lights, her SUV came very close to my car and the difference in car height made it impossible for me to see her through my rear view mirror.  I had to divert my glance to the side view mirror.  I looked over as nonchalantly as I could so I wouldn't be accused of staring at her.  She continued crying, arguing and waving her arm around in Broadway style.

Why do I write this?  What is the point?

Everyone’s got a private life.  Everyone’s got a story.  I’ll never know what happened to this woman, triggering the response that she so publicly displayed on the road that day.  It really doesn’t even matter. 

Maybe this is just a veiled public service message:  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t write text messages while driving.  Take ownership and responsibility not only for the passengers in your vehicle, but for the drivers and passengers in the shared road around you.  If you are so emotionally invested in a life event that you are unable to focus on your task of driving, please pull over and continue the conversation safely on the sidelines.  You can be just as animated and perhaps more persuasive in your argument.


Product Overload

Friday, July 8, 2011

“I’m not a metrosexual.  I just like to be clean.” –author unknown

There are 19 bottles of ‘product’ in my shower.  I noticed that it looked a little crowded, but I had no idea of the number of items until I counted them out this morning.  I actually counted them out twice because I couldn’t believe the total number after my first count. 

I’m not an expert in these things, but I’m pretty sure that this number is on the higher end of the national average.  I immediately performed a spot inventory to determine the source of this blatant clutter.  One, two, three, four, five - Oh my God, five of these items belong to me.  I’m hesitant to mention that this number doesn’t even include my shampoo or conditioner. 

What do I have that is so important that needs to occupy the valuable real estate in our shower?  I’ve got the face scrub.  I don’t use it every day, but I really like the way it smells.  Then there’s the shaving cream; I’ve got to have that.  I also have an alternate shaving ‘solution’ that was a gift to myself.  I was in one of those shaving quandaries, when a men’s product representative talked me into this state-of-the-art shaving process.  This consists of one bottle of pre-shave oil and another jar of matching fragranced shaving cream.  I don’t use either one of these shaving systems every day.  Sometimes I just use soap, a fact that visibly upset the men’s product representative.  Last but not least, there is a bottle of AXE shower gel that came with a special double sided scrubbing brush.  I won this at a bingo game while at a baby shower with my wife.  My daughters were very excited to see this new addition to my bathing regimen.  They love this brand, presumably influenced by some commercial ads on MTV.  As I recall, there is always a mob of attractive women that seem drawn to men who use AXE products.  This hasn’t happened to me yet, but as a man, I still hold out hope that it might happen someday.  I’ve only used this shower gel about three times.  Maybe I should give this product the ‘axe’ (sorry).  Let’s be honest; it’s way easier to just use an old fashioned bar of soap to rid oneself of any dirt molecules. 

Looking around the shower, I also see some ancillary items.  I’ve got two shaving brushes.  One is a cheap drug store model that I bought for about $3.00.  It smells bad and always leaves artificial bristles all over my face.  I should probably throw it away as soon as I finish writing this telling account of personal grooming rapture.  I’ve got a second shaving brush that I paid good money for, which is everything that it is supposed to be.  I think it’s made out of English Badger hair.  It’s probably not on a Vegan’s list of approved items, but it works just fine for me when I use it. 

I’ve got two razors.  One has three blades and another has four blades.  When my Dad taught me to shave, I used a razor with only one blade.  I don’t see those types of razors anymore.  I think that they are now either obsolete or illegal to own in California.  I think razor companies should be limited to the number of blades that they are allowed to use on a single razor. I’ve decided that when the razor companies get up to seven blades, I’m going to begin growing a beard.   You may laugh; but trust me, that day will come.  

We should all start playing a game called “Take a Shower.”  It will be loosely based on the TV game show “Name That Tune.”  The first contestant would begin with a number, let’s say five, declaring “I can take a shower with only five products.” One of the kids, being naive in the ways of bathing might chime in, “I can take a shower with only four products.” (Kids are allowed to shower with dolls, so each doll counts as a product.)  I would nervously participate by saying, “I can take a shower with only three products.”  Those that feel like roughing it might go down to two products, and heaven help the poor slob that can bathe with only one product.  Can we really call the one-product contestant “the winner?”


  © 2013 Marchland. Site by Friendlier.

Back to TOP