Plus I live in Los Angeles, which is an extremely stressful driving environment.
Nevertheless, I’m staunchly opposed to rude hand gestures and punitive honking. Even when other drivers are gesticulating wildly and shaking their fists at me.
Still, we all lose our cool sometimes, as I did this past weekend. I was driving in a residential part of Beverly Hills with a million stop signs. At one of them, I noticed a middle-school aged boy on a skateboard next to me. He was texting intently, and I could see he had no idea what was going on around him.
Instead of plowing through the intersection, I sat still, waiting for him to look up. Maybe ten seconds elapsed before the driver behind me slammed on her horn and stayed there, apparently planning to honk until I got out of her way.
That’s when it happened.
I made eye contact in the mirror, gestured to the kid, and, um, gave her the finger.
I mean, what did she want me to do? Charge past the oblivious little boy skateboarding without a helmet?
Naturally, all that honking got the skater’s attention. He looked up just in time to see my breach of etiquette, which of course he found hilarious.
I wanted to roll down the window and shout, “I never do that! Honestly! It’s vulgar, lowbrow, and not my style at all!”
Actually, it felt great in the moment. But I believe in grace, civility, and taking the high road.
I’ll try not to do it again for at least ten years.