Note: I seldom ride with other people these days. Perhaps I have forgotten what it is like? I am known to be a horrid front seat passenger and prefer to sit in the back if possible. Additionally, up until recently I spent the last two years being driven by a male friend who drives so carefully that twice now, he has reached his destination with my gorgeous tuxedo cat having ridden the entire trip on the outside of his car, in the dark, on state highways. He drives as though he is 180 years old although he is younger than I. Am I spoiled?
A dear teacher friend and neighbor graciously offers to transport me to an appointment in another town. It is an area of the city which is unfamiliar to me. The next morning, her male friend (domestic partner) pulls into my driveway looking a bit disheveled while I wonder if he’s recently wakened, and by the way, just where is my friend? (I am under the impression she is coming and I have made special carafes of coffees for us.)
Smiling, he informs me my teacher friend is not coming. He will take me to my appointment. Getting into the car, front seat passenger side, I notice his cell in his hand. I am too embarrassed to crawl into the back seat while explaining my fear of being driven. We begin our journey taking a back way and I make note of the different roads and turns ~ he is very kind and wants to teach me a new scenic way to travel. He is a lovely man and entertains me with human interest stories from his musical band gigs.
It is soon clear to me that our journey may be more than a little stressful. While talking to me, my friend is on his phone, scrolling, texting, and is all over the road ~ both lanes. I stay as calm as possible although I jump and gasp a few times when it looks as though we are staring down a few head-on collisions (in my opinion ~ although I am told I can be overly dramatic).
Finally, after I cannot breathe, I offer to drive. He puts his phone away and we continue on our way.
Later, after my appointment, he takes me to a Cuban lunch stand, gets out of the car, and goes to talk to a total stranger in another car. I wait. About 20 minutes pass and then we share a wonderful lunch made by the two Cuban brothers. It is sumptuous.
On the way home he pulls into a restaurant, says he will be right back, and runs in to pick up an order for his significant other, my friend.
After thirty minutes of waiting I walk into the restaurant where I find him in a corner, on his cell phone.
Hmm…is there a message here? Technology addictions haunting me? I do not know. We wearily make our way home and say farewell.
Later on this same say, another dear friend (another male) gives me a ride to a meeting. He even allows my new rescue dogs to go and places a covering carefully over the back seat for them. I am grateful and touched at his kindness.
At the end of our meeting, he is assisting clean-up. I ask for the car keys to walk my rescue dogs. It is dark. He is cautious and warns me not to allow them to hurt anyone. This caution mildly offends me. Changing my mind I return his keys. I go outside and wait at a picnic table.
Thirty-five minutes later I go back inside to once again ask for the keys. Having sat alone with various people offering me rides, the parking lot has emptied. It is dark. I see he is still talking and I get the keys this time.
As I get to the car I turn and see he is behind me. We leave without walking the dogs. I find this frustrating. I find it odd. I mention, “Two whacked men in one day!”
Hmm…am I asking too much of others? Am I too set in my ways? Are the normal rules of courtesy simply non-existent today?
Two wracked men in one day is two too many for me. Perhaps I will stay & problem-solve on my own for now. Aaaaack.
Added note (12.05.2016): While frustrating at the time because I am reluctant to drive at night (2nd incident) and I have been blacking out for the last five years, I think I can now handle all these issues by myself. I am a silly girl. A bit.