Tell me if this was mean. I was on my way to the post office yesterday, driving on a rather short street, when I came upon a car driving exceedingly slowly. I looked down at my speedometer and determined that I was driving at the speed limit (35 MPH) and guessed that the car in front of me was probably going about 20 MPH.
Though annoyed, I maintained a safe distance from the slowpoke, fearing that his reduced speed might be an indication of his poor driving skill. Then the car’s right directional began flashing and the car pulled over to the side of the road.
There was nothing at this point on the road to indicate that the man driving the car had reached his destination, so I assumed that he was pulling aside to let me pass.
I decided to take action. Though it doesn’t happen often, I have always been infuriated by these drivers who pull over to allow me to pass when I am driving the speed limit and maintaining a safe distance. There is a posted speed limit on every street, and it’s expected that you will drive at or near this speed. In fact, you can be ticketed for driving too slow.
And 35 MPH is hardly breakneck speed.
Had I been speeding or tailgating, I would understand the man’s desire to pull over. but to do so when the car behind you is clearing driving the speed limit at a safe distance is like a vehicular accusation of what he perceived to be my substandard driving proficiency.
“Hell no,” I thought. “Not this time.”
So instead of passing, I also switched on my directional and pulled over to the side of the road behind the man, bringing my car to a halt about two car lengths from my accuser. A second later the man rolled down his window and waved his arm to indicate that I should pass.
I shook my hand and smiled as if to say, “No, that’s quite alright” and proceeded to check my email on my phone.
He waved more insistently, and I once again indicated that I was perfectly fine where I was.
After a minute or two, the man switched on his the left turn signal and pulled back out on to the road.
I did the same, following the man for about less than a mile before turning into the post office.
I felt good about my decision as I crossed the parking lot and entered the post office, but I also thought that some might find my actions overly cruel, finding reason to side with the man and make excuses for his slow driving.
I still feel good about my decision a day later. I did not break any laws. I did not yell or curse at the man. I did not waste any time.
Best of all, it was fun.