batnandu (batnandu) wrote,
batnandu
batnandu

Look into my eye

Yesterday I was leaving a parking garage (in Buckhead) around 5pm, so traffic was starting to get nasty. Cars were backing up well into the garage. At a 4-way intersection, a woman was stopped in a way that would allow traffic to continue through the intersection. I was stopped in preparation to turn right and make my exit at some point:



            |     |
        ----+     +-----------

   her -> ###      ### ### ### <- more cars

        ----+     +-----------
            |  #  |
            |  #  |
            |     |
               ^
               |
         me  --+



Once some of the other cars had moved enough, she moved into the intersection, past the point where she'd be blocking cross traffic, but not so far that she was out of my way. It took several minutes for her to get this opportunity, so I can't blame her. She was there first and she had been sitting there awhile. What irks me is that never once did she look at me. You've seen this behavior before, and probably been guilty of it yourself. I have certainly done both.

Someone is a little ashamed of some (usually automobile-related) action, and fears--what? the other driver's reaction? what Mom would say were she present?--so they don't even look. I mean, she was very obviously trying to avoid eye contact with me. I saw her eyes twitch in my direction a couple of times while she kept her neck rigid.

She was completely in the right, but totally rude about it. If she felt bad about it, couldn't she at least have looked at me, smiled sheepishly and mouthed, "Sorry"? Was she afraid I'd jump ahead of her? Could she have prevented that by giving me a stern glare instead of blocking me? Granted, the road-rage-afflicted are plentiful (right, thepeopleseason?), but people tend to be reasonable. A little politeness and/or friendliness (a simple smile can perform miracles) usually helps people stay reasonable.

Here's my challenge to you: the next time you feel like you shouldn't look at someone, look them directly in the eye, with confidence. Stand your ground. Smile if it's even slightly appropriate. And if you did something wrong, make some gesture of apology. At the very least, the next time you see me, look me in the eye.
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