Monday, February 7, 2011

The Crossing

Another post already?
Yes, my dear readers. I have recently emerged from a very deep depression and am beginning to see the world anew. Naturally, my response to this is to leap online and restore the flow of nonsense from my fingers to you brain. I gots priorities, dudes.
On to business:

There is an eternal battle going on between myself and the cars on the road when I come to a crosswalk. I'm talking about the kind of crosswalk that isn't at a stop light, btw -- the kind where the cars are obligated to stop and wait for you just because you're walking there. There is a special kind of awkward that exists between you and a driver when you're making them wait on you to cross the street: They see you waiting on the corner and slow to a halt. You look at them and they look at you and then you give an uncomfortable little wave and hurry across the street with your head down, all the while feeling the eyes of the driver on you as they calculate the precise moment when you'll be out of the way so they can gun it. I hate those moments. So much so that every crossing of the street becomes a battle of wits.

The game is to trick the driver into thinking that I'm not going to cross. Sometimes I'll bend down to tie my shoe at the curb, sometimes I'll slow my walking before I reach the curb, and sometimes I'll round the corner and then double back to the crosswalk as soon as the car has passed. It's a subtle art because if the driver perceives in the slightest that you're going to try to cross then they'll slow down and you'll be forced to do it. Even if you're walking past the crosswalk but your gaze is set on the other side of the street, the driver will sense it and that means they win.

There is an inordinate sense of triumph that comes from winning this game. If I can get a car to pass without stopping as I approach the crosswalk then it is a cause for great smugness, followed by a mad dash across the street before the next car comes -- An ever raging struggle between pride and paranoia.

This exact same battle takes place when I'm going through a door behind someone closely enough to obligate them to hold it open for me. I've been known to alter course or slow way down to avoid such situations.

I'm pretty sure this all stemmed from my extreme aversion to making people wait for me (because I'm just an awesome person, dangit!) but eventually over time it's warped into a fierce competition. But that's totally the drivers' fault; they can sense I don't want them to stop and they do it anyway. Those jerks.

And I'm totally not the only one who does this. I can name a whole... one or two other people who have imaginary battles with cars just like me. I'm not crazy, I swear!


Jessica Grosland said...

Cars don't stop for me at crosswalks.


They haven't since I was in junior high. I'm always diving out of the way to avoid being squished into the pavement. Something about me growing up and losing that adorable little girl look, and suddenly cars feel no need not to kill me.

But I understand ultra-competitive complexes. I once drew blood in Seminary trying to win a scripture mastery game. (*blushes*)

Beth said...

DUDE, I actually totally recognize this game. I do the exact same thing. Random diversions to try and get there JUST as a car passes and it's clear...we think alike. 0_o

And Gros, you are so cool....

The Erin said...

Dangit, Gros, you make me so proud.
I think that you would make the best Quiddich Chaser ever (no idea where that thought came from, but it just popped into my head and I decided to roll with it.)

misssrobin said...

Okay, you guys had better start learning how to make the world stop for you instead of avoiding it. Otherwise you're never going to get what you want because you're avoiding allowing anyone to offer it. Kind of doing the shoot yourself in the foot thing.

And, Jess, you didn't even mention how many bloody noses you gave out in P.E.

Octavian said...

I do the same thing, Erin. But the only reason its a competition for me is not because I love competing but because I feel triumph whenever I succeed in avoiding an awkward crossing.