Springtime has seen a rise in people leaving their homes. After getting the COVID vaccination, I jumped in my car and drove around with the windows down. My senses were on high alert, with the amazing springtime colors of the blossoming trees, bushes and garden flowers forming a kaleidoscope background. With the radio turned up loudly, I sang at the top of my lungs to songs of the ’70s; “Hotel California” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The absurdity of it all hit me when I was stuck in traffic. My lane was stopped, and the cars from the other direction were stopped next to me. Times like that have always been humorous because there I would be, a sweet little old lady, sitting across a late model Dodge Challenger a lovely shade of puke yellow with bass sounds pounding so loud my car would shake, and very loud, offensive rap lyrics would drown out my own songs on the radio. The close quarters were generally brief, but unforgettable. However, the other day when I was driving in my old GMC, bellowing the words to “YMCA,” MY car was stuck in traffic next to cars going in the opposite direction and all they could hear was ME with my loud and offensive pop lyrics.
Patience is generally a virtue I have in abundance. I have been known to politely listen to people with mental health issues who are off their medication and rambling nonsensically, all the while offering assistance. I have stood in lines at Disney World longer than most movies I have watched. I have waited three hours to see a doctor for an appointment and eight hours for one of my children to see a doctor in the emergency room. I have patiently sat with a few of my children for hours as they have tried to muddle through new math. My mother used to say that Patience is my middle name. (It is not. It is Lorraine.)
I finally lost it the other day. Marie had a medical appointment at Thundermist in West Warwick. Normally a 20-minute drive, we left 45 minutes early just to be on the safe side. I knew we were in trouble when it took almost 20 minutes to get down West Shore Road, and another 20 minutes to get down Main Avenue.
Waiting through each red light for three or four turns, I good-naturedly sang along to the radio as Marie played pretend drums to the bass beat vibrations. Toll Gate Road appeared to have the densest traffic, stopped all the way back to the beginning. Like a snail, we crept past Kent Hospital.
Officially late for the appointment, I was somewhat encouraged that Thundermist was just down the street, and it was OK to be a little late. But it was not OK. Oh, it would have been fine to be a little late, but LITTLE late was not in the cards. It took an additional 45 minutes to get to the Route 2 red light!
My patience held for a while because visions of a massive car accident with injured bodies flashed through my head. It was the only explanation, wasn’t it? Alas, it was NOT the only explanation. The reality is the cars on Route 2 were so backed up that there was no place for the cars to go straight through the green light. It was an impossible challenge to cross a road that had four lanes of traffic at a standstill in either direction.
When I finagled my way closer to the light and found myself unable to move forward, my patience exploded. My hand rose and pounded the horn so long and so loudly it must have been heard by all the boats in the bay. All those years of perfect patience was finally broken by impossible traffic.
I am a shell of my former self and will be spending the summer watching favorite shows on Hulu in my air-conditioned home.