Monday, April 20, 2009

Making an Impression

When my children were toddlers, their main goal in life was to travel from point A to point Z fast. So they'd run from room to room, as if time were running out. It was a sweet brand of impatience as curiosity led the way. Like a garden brimming with promise, each day presented new changes. Life was carefree and silly, filled with adventure.

Eventually, though, they learned when to accelerate those little legs, and when to wait; when to shift into a higher gear and when to stay put. Life involves a lot of hurry-ups and wait-your-turns, and those lessons are best learned early.

Some of us never quite get the waiting part, though, like the obnoxious forty-something guy we met on the interstate yesterday. We were approaching a mountainous stretch, and when we rounded a corner we found a long line of big rigs blocking the right lane. Naturally, we pulled into the left lane to pass them.

A minute or so later, a white sportscar sped into view from behind. He must have been doing 75 mph, and apparently didn't want to have to brake. So he used his horn instead. It was obvious that we had no options--nowhere to pull over, with that solid wall of 18-wheelers inching uphill--but he was a man in a hurry. He had important places to be and a passenger to impress, so every few seconds, this moron would blast his horn and offer us the international peace sign.

When we'd finally made it around the trucks and could pull back into the right lane, he passed us...but not before he leaned across his passenger, stuck his hand close to the window, and offered that peace sign once again.

We ignored him, which made him madder. Just so we could appreciate his IQ in all its glory, he continued that peace sign in his rearview mirror until he crested the hill.

Yep, he made quite an impression.

"A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." - Henrik Ibsen