Driving Miss Crazy … August 3, 2012

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If I had a nickel for every mile I’ve driven across this world since I was sixteen years old, well … Well, yes. I would have enough funds to actually go to the grocery store and get PINK grapefruit instead of getting stuck with those pale yellow ones. (A very long story … )

I will not be so cruel as to try to target some areas of the country as having worse drivers than others (Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta…) but I will tell you that over the years I have learned an interesting parallel.

Driving in traffic with other vehicles is very similar to dating–at least, the way I remember dating, after all these years. (I do realize that “dating” may be an outdated concept. Young humans today have other names for everything, as well they should, but since most of them still know what a dinosaur is, I thought I would risk the term.)

Let me tell you where I see the similarities between driving a car on the road with other human beings and trying to make a connection of the loving sort:

1. It’s very important in driving. Don’t go too fast.As you can see, this also crosses over into the realm of interaction with one you are trying to impress and not scare away–because after all, the important thing to remember about not going too fast is that it’s very embarrassing to get stopped.

2. Don’t go too slow. Do you see it? If you don’t advance your intentions quickly enough in the realm of romance, you can leave the impression that you’re not interested, or worse yet, that you just want to be a friend. I’ve always found that if you’re driving along and bicycles are passing you, you might want to give it a little more gas.

3. Here’s a good one. Watch where you’re going. One of the classic turnoffs when accompanying someone on a date is to let your eyes rove and look at other cars (more stylish models), if you know what I mean. Very important. Keep your eyes on the prize.

4. Try to be sensitive to the wishes and inclinations of others around you. Here’s a clue. If someone has their turn signal on, they probably want to get into your lane. You CAN keep them out. You CAN forbid their desires, but you’re not only going to make them angry, you’re going to turn them into a sourpuss. I’ll let you draw your own parallels with dating on that one.

5. This is a very obvious one, but needs to be mentioned. Watch for the signals. Flashing lights. Hand gestures, even. Anything that lets you know the tendency and direction of those who are driving around you. It’s also a good idea to read the signs that come up along the way, warning you of danger ahead. Ahh! The great dance of romance–full of signals. Learn them all.

6. This is a very important one–don’t get sleepy. Most accidents occur because people get drowsy behind the wheel, lose their attention, doze off and fall off the road. Likewise, it’s an amazing thing that in the realm of interaction between the members of our species, that expressing boredom or weariness, followed by a yawn, normally does not take you to Kissy Lane.

7. Which leads to an all-important climax. Don’t be horny. Yes–people who use their horns all the time when they’re driving are the most obnoxious folks in the world, hands down. They would insist they’re just trying to help out or express their great yearnings and desires, but it comes across way too desperate, way too pushy and way too arrogant. I suppose I don’t need to tell you that the same thing applies when trying to get to know another person as a human being, and then all of a sudden, telegraphing that your intentions are purely biological.

No wonder we have so much trouble with driving–because it’s so much like dating, which drives a sane man crazy and takes a young debutante to the point of insanity. So it truly IS Driving Miss Crazy, and the more I understand that operating a car is very similar to maintaining the kind of hygiene, intelligence, respect, fortitude and manners that were necessary the first time I took out a pretty cheerleader, the more likely it is that I will probably be able to keep myself from crashing and burning–or from ending up in traffic court.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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