When Getting Flipped Off

It has been a few years since I can recall being flipped off.  I never really ran in any bad groups while growing up, but sometimes somebody was sufficiently offended they deemed a “flipoff” necessary.  (I have no active memory of every having flipped anyone off.  Call me very forgetful or a person with some restraint….)

Today, while dropping my son off for his job at Chick-Fil-A, I was driving on the “outer” mall ring. (The Chick-Fil-A is in the food court.) I may have been going a little over the speed limit when I came upon a guy who wanted to pull out onto the “ring”.  Fortunately, he stopped and I kept going.  As I passed him through his heavily tinted windows, I realized he flipped me off.  It is for this reason, I am hoping to determine what the “new” rules for flipping off are:

  1. If someone is about to pull out in front of you and you have the right away but may give them a look like “Really?”, is that worthy of a flip-off?
  2. If the infraction takes place behind a tinted window is it done just to relieve the tension of the driver OR are flip-offs always meant to be seen by the one who incited the flipper?
  3. The driver was male.  Do males flip-off more often then women?  My guess is “yes”, but it seems both genders get pretty sensitive when their driving skills are questioned.
  4. Is there something worse then a flip-off to release driving frustration?  Was the driver REALLY mad at me or was it just the reaction I might give if I touched something hot.  My hand pulls away from heat while his brain tells his hand to do the “gesture” when his pride is slightly to moderately bruised.
  5. Do drivers in bigger cars have a greater or lesser tendency to do the gesture?  This driver was in a White (Does car color reflect the temperament of the driver?) SUV.  Maybe, he just graduated to a larger car and is still trying to go through his hypnosis(biofeedback or psychiatry) sessions to manage his anger and flagrant use of the gesture.  Or, maybe he thought a minivan should know its place and stoop to his more awesome ride…

When I make driving errors, I typically am angry with myself.  Is our society setup now so that when someone catches you doing something you know is wrong the anger needs to be purged from your system by doing the gesture?  I was taught that you are responsible for your own actions.  I was taught to be a responsible driver–realizing some of my decisions can effect others.  It is a responsibility not for the faint-hearted.

Is it possible the way we drive has been influenced by the selfish decisions many of us make in other parts of our lives?  Do many more of us need therapy than realize it?  Is the “tool” we call a car only an outward agent to act out our deep feelings of loss and disappointment?

Or, is the story as simple as, “I got flipped off while driving my son to work!”?  The long-winded version certainly gave my brain a better workout! 😉

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