Saturday, March 26, 2011

Apology Accepted

A couple of weeks ago, (yes, I'm a million years behind on my blogging) I was waiting to cross the street at a large intersection on my way home from work.

A car had pulled into the intersection and was sitting there with its left turn signal on, the driver apparently oblivious to the large, no left turn sign hanging from the traffic light ahead.

Not so oblivious however, was the woman seated on the passenger side of the car directly behind. Down came her window.

"There's no left turn, ASSHOLE!"

Up went her window, leaving those of us a couple of feet from her a little shell-shocked having absorbed the full blast of her words while the driver of the offending car continued to enjoy their airbag-equipped cone of silence, turn signal resolutely blinking on.

That's a little harsh, I thought. Everyone misses a sign now and then, it doesn't necessarily mean you're an asshole...

As though she'd read my mind (or my face, more likely), down again came the automatic window.

"He's been driving recklessly this whole time!" she yelled, by way of explanation to her stunned audience, who smiled and nodded and haven't-we-all-been-there-ed their understanding from the kerb.

Window up.

Window down.

"Sorry for using profanity!"

Window up.

And scene, I thought.

If she'd checked the rear view as they finally drove away, she would have seen me laughing my head off.

I don't know why exactly it struck me as so funny. Maybe you had to be there or maybe you'd have to hear me tell it complete with my impressions and car window noises to get the full effect. But I just love that this woman not only felt the need to explain but to apologize for her choice of words to a group of complete strangers.

It was a good reminder of what a little communication can do to change your perspective.

Or maybe just a reminder of how hilariously polite Canadians can be, even when attempting to be rude.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dear men

Dear men/that guy behind me on the way home,

I'm sure many of you already do this, but in case you don't, just a thought.

If you are walking close behind a woman at night on an otherwise deserted street, it would be a kindness to either slow down or cross to the other side so that she knows she's not being followed.

I know that women are perfectly capable of crossing the street ourselves, as I did tonight, but it's so much nicer for everyone if you do this out of courtesy so she doesn't have to cross the street or speed up out of fear.