Commit to the Intersection!

My first car, the Buick Skylark (circa 1981). Ours looked like this one but was kind of yellowish/tan with a brown roof. One of my sister’s friends dubbed it, “the family size sports car.” I think I lost count how many times it was wrecked.

I really have a lot of fond memories around cars in high school.

Did you play “freeze out”? When it’s really cold outside, you roll down all the windows and turn on the A/C full blast. You see how long you can go before someone says, “enough.” We’d play “heat out,” too, in the summer.

One friend, David, got his grandmother’s (how’s that for humility–a high school boy gets his grandmother’s car?) little baby blue hatchback wagon. I’m not sure what make and model it was. But it was oblong. He nicknamed it, “the Little Blue Suppository,” and that it was. My friend Sherry reminded me the other day that once when David was riding us all around, someone (probably me) chastised him for driving too fast. So, he started driving slowly. Much more slowly. Like 20 miles an hour. And Sherry remembered that he drove the Little Blue Suppository (LBS) at 20 miles an hour all the way across town.

My friend, Hunter, could always make me laugh. He had a real impatience with other drivers. (If Hunter was in the car during the SLOW LBS ride, I’m sure he was fuming!) Unfortunately, most of these were older persons who were in no particular hurry and probably a little bit indecisive anyway. He was perpetually waiting on some car in front of him or facing him at an intersection to decide what to do. Was the car turning left or right? Would the car take his turn at the 4-way stop? When could Hunter go?

“Commit to the intersection!!!” Hunter would yell, hoping to spur on the indecisive driver in front of him.

I would just laugh and laugh.

Now, Hunter’s words play over and again every time I inch up to a 4-way stop or red light. I am committed to the intersection and all its rules! My biggest pet peeve lately is when it is not my turn to go at the 4-way stop, yet the driver of another car waves me through. I throw up the obligatory hand wave, as if to acquiesce that I am the dumbest driver on the planet who needs the driver opposite me to tell me when to go.

But that’s not the case, and going through the intersection out of turn just messes up the whole thing. I don’t know, like throwing off the balance of the universe or something. Like wearing mismatched socks and eating breakfast for dinner (yes, I’ve done it but it still doesn’t feel right to me).

Heed Hunter’s words, people, and “Commit to the intersection!”