Saturday, September 16, 2006

elder rage

Whence this anti-elderly aggression? Today, an elderly man pulls up beside me, zooming up behind the stopped car next to me, then jamming on his brakes. He powers down his window, and waits eagerly as I fiddle for the controls. I don't know what he's going to say, but I know I won't like it.

He tells me: "Turn on your lights. It's raining." He is a bit agitated. I roll my eyes and turn the lights on. He says: "It's the law!" I say "okay. Then, as he's rolling up his window, I blurt "Thanks, you old coot." His window is almost all the way up, and he waves me off, as if to say "No need to thank me. I'm just doing my job."

If he heard me, he pretended he didn't. At least part of me had hoped to provoke him further.


vacuous said...

Usually I get resentful at people silently and for no good reason, not because of some overt action directed at me, like someone chastising me for not having my lights on, but because I'm envious, or because I'm thin skinned and I perceive a slight where none exists. An antidote that I've found works is for me to apologize to the person, in my head, as soon as i realize that I'm trashing them, in my head. I've found that this preserves my equanimity quite a bit while driving.

Laura V. said...

bah. anyway, old coot is a pretty dainty insult as insults go. you young cuss.

La Misma said...

I analyze this thus: You are immersed in studying law which is taught by old men in tweed suits (well, perhaps some) and their assumed authority over you is causing rebellious feelings and the wish to yell insults at them.

Or maybe the rain had you in a foul mood. Freud/weather. You choose.

beckett said...

It had been a long drive and a lot of traffic. The driver had immediately before chastising me done something I found irritating. And there had been hundreds o'hardships and irritations on the road to that point.

My profs aren't really that old. (Except one, and he's the gentle sort.) And the one I really can;t stand is a woman...

So, I would have to say the rain analysis is probably closer to the truth: though I would admit that my general stress and anxiety level from school probably contributed to my near insult.