Rough Monday morning on the freeway. A little rain in Southern California sure brings out the worst in west coast drivers. The freeway was a parking lot! I can usually make it about halfway to work before I’m forced to get off at Sunflower Ave and take side streets but today it was an absolute crush. It was so bad that I couldn’t even get over to the right lane in time to get off at Sunflower. It’s amazing how courtesy among morning commuters is practically non existence. It seems no one wants to give up even a single car length of space. Sometimes you just have to sort of dive right into the lane and face near collision to change lanes. It’s ridiculous.
The real problem is the San Dimas Curve where the 57 freeway ends and tees into the 210 freeway. In the morning the two westbound lanes converging with the 210 are an endless stream of vehicles. In the afternoon it’s the same way on the eastbound side. Yeah it’s a real mess! Even with the signal on the ramp that allows two cars per green to merge onto the 57, the lanes were clogged. This morning the signal was changing about every 5 seconds which did nothing to help congestion. At that rate they might as well have left it green. It was totally useless!
As I inched my way forward I watched as several frustrated drivers tried desperately to negotiate their vehicles over to the far right lane so they could exit the freeway. I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve come a long way in practicing my driving courtesy skills, I actually backed off on four occasions to allow vehicles to move into my lane. Of the four only one had the decency to acknowledge my kindness with a ‘thank you’ courtesy wave of the hand but then that’s about par for the course. Southern Californian’s gotta love em.
Thanks to the driver of a huge truck and trailer rig who was kind enough to let me in front of him I finally managed to move into the slow lane just after passing Sunflower. Too late to make my usual freeway escape, but in position for the Grand Ave exit a little over a mile ahead. Yeah this guy had been riding the bumper of the car ahead of him for awhile but as I slowly moved ahead of him on the left with my signal on, he actually flashed his lights several times and slowed down to let me in! Immediately after pulling into the lane I powered down the window just enough to stick my hand through and give him a thank you wave which was followed by a single flash of his lights. I’m not sure why he let me in, but I figure he must have been able to see me in his side view mirror for awhile and noticed that I was being patient and wasn’t aggressively trying to enter the lane. Perhaps that’s why he decided to give me a break, either that or maybe he just likes silver Hondas.
We were just crawling along like a massive herd of snails or would that be a pack of snails? Whatever. Anyway, I looked at the clock and realized that there was no way I was going to make it to work on time, so I picked up my phone and sent a quick voice text to let school know I was going to be late. Yes I know, texting and driving are against the law, but I swear, in the few seconds it took to send the text I actually wasn’t moving! I’m glad I contacted them though, it took me nearly 10 minutes to get to the Grand Ave exit and another 10 to get to work from there, 35 minutes total to go 6.5 miles, pretty sad.
Then something happened as I was approaching the off-ramp. I was several car lengths from the ramp when this white Lexus to my left tried to pull into the slow lane so she could get off at Grand. One thing I learned long ago in driver’s training is that you don’t began to move over into a lane until it’s clear. Apparently the young female teen who was driving the Lexus missed that class. Her rear passenger door was directly across from my window when she began making her move to the right. Thank God I was paying attention and we were moving slowly. I was able to hit the horn and move onto the shoulder as she cut into the lane, then quickly back out again. I proceeded forward and off the freeway as she cut right again and got off behind me which prompted the truck driver to give her a well deserved blast of his air horn.
At the end of the two lane off-ramp there is a signal from which you may turn left from either lane. As we sat waiting for the light to change I could clearly see the young driver and two other teen females behind me laughing and talking. Judging from the matching sweaters the two in the front seat were wearing I figured they were probably students at St Lucy’s Priory High School in North Glendora. Just 3 Catholic school girls running a little late for school. Sometimes better to be a little late than getting yourself killed trying to get there in time. I’m sure her mom and dad wouldn’t be too thrilled if they knew how their darling daughter was driving their Lexus but then again I suppose it could be hers. Either way, I still don’t think they’d be too happy.
When the light turned green we turned left toward Grand Ave. Although we were in the left lane and should have turned into the left lane the young driver cut directly in front of a car so that she could get all the way over to the right turn lane. Of course her move prompted yet another blast of the horn from the driver she had cut off, but it didn’t seem to affect the girls much.
At the Grand signal I was right next to the Lexus as they waited to make a right turn. They were still just laughing and having a gay old time. While I watched, the driver turned her head and looked in my direction. Her car was pulled up further than mine and we could see each other through the windshield. I smirked at her and and shook my head. Her reaction surprised me although it shouldn’t have. Without hesitation she raised her right hand and flipped me off! I tried not to look stunned but probably did. She then quickly made her turn and sped off up Grand Ave. laughing.
Although getting the finger waved at me was highly undeserved, at least in this particular instance, it wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but I tell you I did have to smile as they drove away. There in the bottom center of the back window was a SLPHS logo. Just as I suspected they were Lucy girls! And girls just wanna have fun! Always have always will! Believe me, I knew plenty of Lucy girls back in the day, even dated a few, but that’s a whole other story. Typical So Cal teens, speeding their way through life without a care in the world except maybe getting detention for being late to school again! Ya just gottal love em!