Few know this about me, but when I drive, I change into another person. I have no patience for stupidity and seem to find endless stupidity on these roads. People who are slow to go when the light turns green make me crazy. If you honk at me without good reason -- and you'll be hard pressed to find a good reason -- you'll hear me spew words that would turn a construction worker's head.
Noah met me in NY and didn't see me drive until a good four months into our relationship. Imagine his surprise to see this soft-voiced woman suddenly turn into Linda Blair. Lila, for her part, routinely tells me "Mommy, it's not nice to call people an idiot" when she's in the back seat.
"You're right, honey. I shouldn't say that."
"You really shouldn't," adds Noah quiety with fear in his eyes.
I am more than lucky that she has chosen not to repeat many of the other choice morsels she's heard (at least not yet).
Atlanta drivers, in particular, make me crazy.
Most of the day -- while people are at work -- traffic moves clearly and quickly. But then, then, the work day releases and thousands upon thousands of people scurry out of their offices into their cars and start navigating their vehicles on the streets with wild abandon.
They horrify me.
"But aren't NYC drivers so much worse?" you're probably asking. No.
See, people in NY drive like lunatics, too. They think nothing of leaning out the window to scream obscenties at a neighboring car. Or swerving from lane to lane just to meet their destination a few moments earlier. But at least with all that, you have this underlying feeling that these drivers know what they're doing.
In Atlanta, and indeed the south in general, somehow i'm not instilled with the same confidence. Example. The next time you drive on the highways here, notice all the skid marks. Now notice the roads are straight, not a curve in sight. There are very few cars on the road as compared to a NYC street any time of day. And the weather is rarely bad enough to warrant the skids and broken tire shards littering the highway.
What are these people doing?
I guess you can take me out of NY, put me on the beach, show me the beauty of Buffalo or the tastes of the south of France and Italy. I may be happy to have left the disjointed, moves-too-fast-to see life in NY, but a part of me will always be a New Yorker. A Brooklyn girl.
I'm kind of proud of that.