Thursday, October 22, 2009

Theme Thursday -  Traffic

This week's theme was suggested by C.M. Jackson. As many things do, these days, the theme made me think of my mother.

My mother was not a patient woman. In fact, she had a reputation as a hothead. The reputation was well-deserved. When I read today's assignment, my mind went immediately to memories of sitting in the back seat of my mother's enormous car. She had a Studebaker, then a Buick, and finally a 1959 pink Cadillac with huge tail fins. At one time or another, I sat in the back of each of them, being ferried to school or somewhere else, trying to be invisible. My younger sister would often be sitting beside me, being annoying in a little-sisterly fashion and, I would imagine, also trying to be invisible. This is why.

First of all, my mother saw no reason why she should not drive around while wearing her pajamas. Nor did she see any reason to take the bobby pins out of her hair (or the scarf, Rosie the Riveter-style, from around her head) before we left the house. That was problem number one.

Then, there was her impatience with traffic. I remember her pulling up to a stop sign, second in line behind some poor, unsuspecting soul. If said soul did not move out from the stop sign fast enough to suit my mother, Mom would roll down the window, lean out, and yell "There's a bus leaving Tijuana in half an hour. You gonna wait for that, too?" (Odd. I'm almost sure I remember her saying 'gonna.' If we, her children, ever said 'gonna,' we had to put our allowance in the cuss box on top of the fridge. Hmmm.)

On the other hand, she was not easily intimidated by other drivers. If she happened to be first in line at the stop sign and a driver behind her had the nerve to honk at her, she would put her car in Park, turn off the ignition, take the keys out of the ignition, get out of the car (IN HER PAJAMAS!), walk back to the offending driver, dangle the keys from her fingers at about eye level, and ask sweetly,

"Would you like to drive?"

Now it must be said that my mother died young, probably at least in part because of her temper, but I have always found it rather impressive that she lived as long as she did, given the road rage she both felt and inspired.

Meanwhile, my younger sister and I would be sinking lower and lower into our seat, trying to get our heads down below the level of the windows. Although we did at least a normal amount of wrangling, I think these vehicular excursions may have brought us closer together, in the long run.

Ha! As I write, my husband has turned on the television to watch Jeopardy. One of the answers was a fill-in-the-blank -- "_____ the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet!"  Is anybody old enough to remember Dinah Shore doing those ads?  See the U.S.A...

 So I went to You Tube and found this ad. It made me laugh because there's hardly any traffic on the roads in it. It reminded me of Angel May's TT post, in which she remembered fondly a time when traffic was much lighter than it is today. Nowadays, I often wonder where on earth all those people are going, and why they all have to go at once. Then I remember that I'm out there in my car, too.

p.s. Speaking of traffic, I installed a counter on The Turtle earlier this month, and it tells me that there have been over 1,000 hits since Oct. 4 (1066 as of a minute ago.) Holy crow. I had no idea traffic was so heavy out here.

For more Theme Thursday posts, click here.


John Hayes said...

Wow--the bit about stopping the car & walking back to the "honker" is mind-boggling. I can definitely see why you & your sister might have shrunk down in the seat.

A delightful read!

liza said...

My mother is a very impatient woman with a mean road rage, too. Even as a passenger she has yells a drivers. What is that all about? In any case, wonderful memory.

AngelMay said...

Sandra I believe our mothers must have been related. MY mother would yell out the window that they were damned yankees and should take the highway back up north. :)

T. Clear said...

Love the details of the pajamas and the hair rollers. Ha! No messing with your mom!1

Skip Simpson said...

Great post, and great imagery! And yes, I am old enough to remember Dinah Shore and that song. Remember that great big kiss she'd do? "Mmmmmwahhh!!!"

Baino said...

HIlarious, your mother may well have been the founder of road rage! Love the Tijuana line, I wonder if I can replace it with Wagga Wagga!

Karen said...

She may have embarrassed you, but all I can think is: How cool is that? That's the kinda gal we admire here in West Virginia. She'd have been legend! (..and yes, I said "kinda" - more for the cuss box!)

Sandra Leigh said...

Thanks, everyone. I've just gotten home after a long day, and now I must quickly put together my Friday Photo Shootout post. Sorry not to reply individually, but if I do, it won't be Friday anymore!

tony said...

I,m Going To Try Shouting "There's a bus leaving Tijuana in half an hour. You gonna wait for that, too?" the next Time I,m in an English Traffic Jam!

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