Monday, November 02, 2009

Sunday before last, my car got hit from behind while stopped at a stoplight. By a guy in a big pickup truck on his cell phone. With his kids in the car.

As of today, his insurance company still hasn't gotten a hold of him. So I'm in limbo until that happens. And, before anyone asks, I was stupid and didn't call the police when the accident happens. I figured nobody seemed to be injured, our vehicles were driveable, and the police have better things to do with their time. And, before anyone asks, I realize now that was stupid, and will probably end up causing me huge frustration and problems.

I hate that we live in a world where the police aren't just there to protect us against crime and enforce the law. We need them to make people do the right thing, to just stand up and be honest.

The other day I was driving down to the insurance place to have the damage to my car appraised. The freeway on-ramp is metered, and there's a carpool lane for cars with more than one person in them. And as I sat in the line of cars waiting to get onto the freeway, I saw one car after another zip down the carpool lane with only one person in them. And that's when I think I snapped. Or just broke.

I try to be a nice guy. I try to be polite and courteous and follow the rules. And what's the point? People push in front of me in lines, they race past me on the freeway, they get whatever they want in stores and restaurants and wherever because they know that if they push and shove and shout they can pretty much bully the rest of the world into giving them whatever they want. And they know that, because it totally works for them.

A friend of mine told me that she's reading a book that says just that: if you raise your kids to be polite and caring and to follow the rules, they're just going to get screwed later in life, because nobody else is raising their kids like that. And that upsets me on a fundamental level.

Don't get me wrong; being who I am has benefited me in the only ways that are really important. I have people who respect and love me because I'm not a pushy jerk. Lura wouldn't be with me if I was that sort of person.

More importantly, I can live with myself. Maybe I feel bad or tiny or powerless because I can't even get a fucking store clerk to back me up when I ask people to not cut in front of me in line, but I'd rather feel all those things than how I know I'd feel if I pushed in front of people or treated them badly. And I'd rather live with the frustration of getting stepped on all the time than the knowledge that I had chosen to be a jerk.

But that doesn't make it any more fun.

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