A friendly note to the gentleman who nearly killed me today. (Caution: Contains swearing.)

Dear Sir,

I can only assume that the text message that you were avidly sending was far more important than safely transporting yourself from point A to point B. (Where were you coming from, and where were you going? Home to work, and back again? Are there people that will miss you in either place? Are there people who would reject you if you had, as you nearly did, become a murderer?)

I am the woman in the red minivan – the Very Nice Mom – that you nearly murdered today. There were four kids in the car as well – Nice Children, all.

Look. You can’t pretend that you weren’t texting. You were. I know you were. I can see it a mile off. I can see the telltale swerve, the lack of spacial awareness, the sudden loss of speed control. I can tell by the ghastly pallor thrown upon your face by the tiny but powerful screen’s ghoulish glow. And really, that’s a blessing. Because I was ready for you.

Had I not been – had I not been prepared to employ my well-trained Jedi Mom Car Tricks (there are special schools. every mom in a minivan is well versed in how to turn their cars into physics-defying, futuristic bits of magic. But perhaps you knew this. Perhaps this is why you didn’t care to be safe.) – you surely would have slammed your sedan into the side of my car, sending me off the bridge. It nearly happened. Here is who you might have killed.

1. A Very Nice Mom. She bakes cookies and cooks excellent soup and welcomes strangers into her home and makes them feel welcome. She tells jokes and writes books and loves her neighbors and is loved in return.

2. Four Very Nice Kids. These kids, of course, both outnumber and outweigh the Very Nice Mom. They are precious – both to me, and to the world. And they should be precious to you. These kids are the ones who may restart your stopped heart on the operating table someday. Or invent the drug that restores your granddaughter’s sight. Or write the book that makes you believe in God again. Or marry your nephew. Or spoon soup into your withered lips during your last, waning days of life. But you don’t care about that. Your text, apparently, was far more important.

Look. I get it that you’re afraid – afraid of loneliness, afraid of inadequacy, afraid of irrelevancy. I understand your fears. There should be another fear at play though. Fear of assholery. Because make no mistake: you are a fucking asshole. I do hope that’s clear.

You went careening from one side of the freeway to the other as you went flying out of the cloverleaf entrance. You did not look. You did not care. You nearly killed us, but I was faster, smarter, and more nimble. Yay, me. What you did, sir, can only be classified as a dick move. And I hate you for it.

Look, you are not alone. There are other assholes. Hell, I counted eight on my drive home. But make no mistake. IF YOU TEXT AND DRIVE YOU ARE A FUCKING ASSHOLE. And if you harm another person while texting and driving, you are a fucking asshole forever. And I fear this is in the cards for you, sir. I mean, Dick.

Fuck you.

Love,

Kelly

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10 thoughts on “A friendly note to the gentleman who nearly killed me today. (Caution: Contains swearing.)

  1. I loved reading this Kelly, wonderful balance of passion, eloquence and white hot rage. Particularly liked the paragraph about this idiot being the possible beneficiary of your children’s achievements. I try to remember how I felt about this sort of thing before I became a parent but I’m stuck with the idea that I was probably like the guy who nearly ran into you.
    Well done for turning this incident into something so uplifting and thoughtful, all I feel is rage when this happens to me, it never spawns creativity.
    Well done for keeping all your kids safe, as a parent that’s not everything its the only thing.

    • One of the great ah-ha moments in parenting is the realization of how interconnected we all are – not just to our own children, but to every child. I know in my case, I’m a better person because of my kids, and I have the same protective instinct with my children as I do with other kids with whom I come into contact. It’s a good way to live, I think.

  2. Oh man, the video at the end just cracked me up! It was perfect for this post.

    I’ve only ever texted and driven once before. When I saw how bad I was at it, I never did it again. Even still, this post shamed me something fierce. I know that if I am ever tempted to be so selfish in the future, I will think of this and leave my phone alone. Thank you.

    • Seriously, I LOVE that guy!

      But really, that’s the thing about texting and driving – NO ONE DOES IT WELL. And people who think they can are lying to themselves. It’s like the guy who buys a bad rug because the toupee salesman assured him he looks perfectly natural. Good for you for realizing your limitations and leaving the thing in your purse where it belongs. Seriously, it takes an incredible amount of self-knowledge to buck our culture’s “well, the rules don’t apply to ME because I am SOOPER SPESHAL!” mentality. Now if we can just reform the rest of those jokers, we’ll be all set. :-)

      • Gosh, lady, you crack me up. The things you say… how do you come up with this stuff! Toupee salesman lol. Ya know, it was easy for me to realize my limitations in this case because I’m an Aries. So I’ve always had this mentality of “Look, you’re calling me, texting me, you can wait till I’m good and ready to give you my attention.” lol Seriously. Being cocky saves lives ;P

  3. Your letter to this “gentleman” is a lot more polite than mine would have been. Glad you and the clan are okay. People who text while driving deserve a special bonfire in hell.

  4. I wonder if writing this tempered your white hot rage? Because I still am furious at the woman who rear-ended me at a stoplight at 40 mph AND WAS STILL ON THE PHONE WHEN SHE GOT OUT OF THE CAR. If my kid hadn’t been my main focus, I possibly would have ripped her face off. Please note that I am a reasonably calm and quiet individual.

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