One of my east coast tells is the fact that I only really learned to drive in my 30s. I didn’t drive at all before I moved to L.A. (My native friends, I know, regard this disclosure as only slightly more bizarre than a statement like “I used to breathe through gills before moving here” or “My parasitic twin did not survive the surgery.”) I’m still not crazy about driving (I will always accept a ride from a friend when I can), and I take surface streets pretty much everywhere. (Cut me a break. I blew a tire on the 405 and crashed my car and collapsed my lung–I’m not just paranoid; I have empirical evidence freeways are a bad idea). Even so, I’ve learned a lot about life while behind the wheel in L.A. I was thinking about it this morning when I was lodged in a clump of folks determined to traverse Victory Boulevard just slightly below the speed limit. I started to let the fact that THESE MORONS DON’T KNOW HOW TO F***ING DRIVE ruin my whole morning, but then I caught myself. Why? Really, why give a group of random, clueless strangers so much power over my mood?
So here is my everything I need to know I learned in kindergarden my Scion list:
- Stress is usually a choice. Most of the time, I really can decide to just mellow the f*** out.
- That said, fortune favors the aggressive. Timidity is simply confusing and annoying.
- Most people ignore the few simple communication devices available to them (e.g., turn signals).
- Much of the time, other people’s crappy behavior has absolutely nothing to do with me.
- Bad behavior is contagious.
- Similarly–random bad shit happens no matter how good or careful you are.
- It’s good to have a contingency plan.
- Punk rock makes almost everything more tolerable.
What about you? What have you learned from L.A. traffic?