A day late, but here’s my road rage tale.
When LG was about 3, she and I were stopped at a redlight near my office. When the light turned green, I inched forward into the intersection, preparing to turn left, when the cars coming from the other direction were through the light. I sat there in the middle of the intersection with my turn signal on, while the lady facing me, who clearly had the right of way, sat there glaring at me. I can only imagine that she just didn’t trust me. She apparently thought that if she proceeded through her green light, I would just cut in front of her to make my left turn.
I waited patiently. She didn’t move. She started yelling things I couldn’t hear, and shook her fist at me. My child was in the car, and I wanted to be a good example. I made the universal gesture for “please, after you,” also known as the “look at the fabulous prize you could win, if The Price is Right” gesture — basically an exaggerated, sweeping hand motion. Come on, already, lady. She was having none of my chivalry, nor my game show etiquette. She introduced a new gesture to the equation, the one involving only one finger. Which she thrust up repeatedly, as she continued to yell silently behind her windshield.
As I said, my kid was in the car. I replied with still another hand gesture. This one involved two fingers, and was, in fact, the “peace” sign. I upped the ante with a smile. She became enraged and started giving me the universal symbol for “I am a lunatic and I might just run right into you for the hell of it, and YOUR KID IS IN THE CAR” (this symbol involves banging both hands on the stirring wheel, then wildly swinging arms, clutching hair, etc.) so I just went in front of her and got outta there.
LG had observed all of this, and she asked me what the lady’s one finger meant. “It was a rude gesture that people sometimes do when they’re angry.” She asked me what my two fingers meant. “That means ‘peace.’ I was trying to tell her that I was not angry with her, that I felt peaceful toward her, and that I hoped she would feel peaceful, too.”
LG said, “Oh. I thought two fingers meant, ‘Hey, mean lady, you better watch out, because there are TWO OF US in this car!”