First off, let me start by saying, sincerely, ‘I Am Sorry.’ It’s amazing how quickly things will get out of hand these days when we aren’t diligent about minding our frustrations.
And yesterday certainly was a frustrating day. The Rodeo Parade had the most travelled bi-ways of town packed and crazy. Picking kids up from their marching band performance didn’t help any, as the officers directing traffic were doing so without the assistance of any road-blocks or signs and were already frustrated to the point of screaming at people.
When you pulled up to that stop sign, at N. Waco and Spring Street, with me behind you, it appeared as if you were turning right into the waiting traffic. I saw an opportunity to go around you, continue down Waco and avoid the chaotic mess of the backup. When I took that opportunity I did so safely, putting no one in danger and obeying all laws in the process. I had no idea that your intention was the do the same and that, despite there being no real inconvenience to yourself you would get angry about it. Angry enough to pursue me down the street, steadily blowing your horn at me.
This moment, was the moment I truly failed. This is the moment where I should have considered the infinite possibilities of what lead us to this event. The possibility that something had already happened, in your day, to make you frustrated enough to pursue an unknown vehicle down the street in anger over something that, in the grand scheme of things, was totally irrelevant. The possibility that I, in my haste and impatience, had truly offended you by unintentionally cutting you off from your course of action. The likelihood that we were both aggravated about are day, or the traffic or any other number of things, neither of us could have known about, that caused us both to react badly. If I had considered all the infinite possibilities, what came next likely wouldn’t have.
So here I am, with you now behind me, honking your horn repeatedly. I suppose I should let you know, at this point, that I have no rear-view mirror on my truck at the moment. My windshield is due to be replaced and I’m waiting until then to have it reinstalled. So, I had no idea if you were a man or a woman. All I knew was that a vehicle was pursuing me down the street, honking angrily at me, while I had my teenage step-daughter in the truck with me. Regardless, I made a bad choice to return your (perceived) aggression with anger. I shouldn’t have done that, regardless of who was driving the vehicle. You can imagine my surprise, and my immediate guilt, when I put the truck in park, stepped out and with arms opened wide shouted “What the hell do you want,” only to see a woman staring at me in a mix of anger and fear. I could see you reaching frantically for what I can only assume was a cell phone or a gun. If it was the later I guess I should thank you for not shooting me, though I didn’t approach your vehicle I know it was likely intimidating and scary; I’m not a small guy.
My behavior is my behavior and I behaved incorrectly by stepping out of my vehicle yesterday. Your horn blowing, although frustrating, posed no real threat to me and I should have dealt with it as such. It set a terrible example of how not to act in a confrontational situation in front of an impressionable teenager. I didn’t see if you had kids in the car, but if you did, it set a horrible example with them and I’m sure it was more than a little scary for them as well. It weighed heavy on me last night as I sat replaying it in my head and this morning it was the first thing on my mind.
Although I own my behavior and the consequences that come with it I have another hope of this message as well. I hope, in all of this, you take this as a learning experience – as I have done – and you do not pursue vehicles down the road blasting your horn at them in anger over irrelevant choices. In a much ‘worse case’ scenario I could have been a crazy person. I could have been a drugged out, nut job or a gun toting, bad attitude toting a-hole with zero tolerance and an itchy finger. Thankfully I am neither kind of person. What I am, or what I liked to believe myself to be is a person who was raised to not be threatening to women, something I (obviously) failed at and for that I am ashamed of my behavior yesterday.
For that, I am truly sorry.