Saturday, May 14, 2011

Seriously? You Have a Driver's License? (Part 1 of 3--"Meet Suzanne")

Throughout our decades spent behind the "wheel," we have more than likely encountered instances of disbelief by what a driver said or did. It wasn't until we moved to the east coast that I discovered just how many people didn't know how to maneuver their automobile in traffic (or out of traffic for that matter). Of course, with more than a million cars a day traveling the "Beltway," (Interstate) surrounding Washington, D.C., it amazed me how anyone was able to find his or her way home safely.

Meet Suzanne

Suzanne was a co-worker of mine, whom I didn't particularly like. In my mind, she was a "Yuppie!" In her mid-thirties, she displayed an arrogance, prancing through the office in her newly purchased, expensive, brand-name clothing, her nose rising above her eyebrows if that is at all possible, and snubbing anyone and everyone who might have an idea better than her own.

However, in one respect, she was NOT a "Yuppie." She didn't drive a Lexus, a Mercedes Benz, a BMW, or a Porsche, but drove what eastern Montanans would refer to as a "beater" car. Her faded red Subaru station wagon had definitely seen better days--small crinkles, dents, and bumps gave it quite a unique personality. But, Hey!...who am I to question what she drives?

Oh! but the truth would soon be revealed! Every Christmas season, Jan, my boss, would treat the staff (all five of us) to a nice luncheon, followed by an afternoon of late-minute holiday shopping. On this particular day, we were to meet at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson's Corner, Falls Church, VA (the shopping mecca of the entire east coast, no doubt!)

I was contemplating my driving route when Suzanne appeared in my office doorway and casually inquired, "Would you like to ride with me to lunch?" Wow! This was so out-of-character for her so without any hesitation, I replied, "Sure...would love to!" After she left, I thought, "Oh, that means I'm going to have to ride in that station wagon. Yuck! Oh, well! It's a free ride and can't be all THAT bad."

As I slid into the passenger seat and searched for the seat belt, I was thinking: "This woman leads a double life...she's a total slob in the worst way. Look at the papers on the floor, the candy wrappers on the dashboard, and the empty water bottles layered on the floor in the back. Did she not know these were here when she invited me to ride along?"

But my thoughts were interrupted by her commenting, "I should tell you something before we leave." (What? Does she think I don't see the mess?) She continued as she started the car and buckled her seat belt, "I've had seven accidents, all of which were my fault. BUT...the good news is that six of them were in parking lots." (Holy crap! She has to be joking! And why did she wait until now to tell me? AND...why would she ever TELL anyone that? To make me feel better? What an idiot!! But it definitely explained the crinkles, dents and bumps! and undoubtedly why her husband hadn't bought her a new car!)

At this point I was hoping for three wishes to come true:

1.) That the restaurant has Valet Parking.

2.) That she NEVER decides to park near MY car.

3.) That she will NOT have the urge to invite me to ride anywhere with her again.

Fortunately for all of us, she quit her job shortly thereafter; and our vehicles were left unscathed!

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