a moment of chagrin

“What a dumb driver!  What is WRONG with you??  Don’t you get these roundabout things?  They do not take a brain surgeon!”  All of this was said to myself, in my car, totally alone.  I was directing it to the obviously incapable driver ahead of me who had stopped when they should have kept going.  When I got to that yield sign, I just kept going…just like I was supposed to.  I thought.

It wasn’t until a day later that I realized that I…ME…I was the wrong one. I was supposed to yield to the person on my left.  For some reason, I got confused and thought the person on my left was to yield to me.  I wondered what interesting words the driver that I pulled out in front of  had to say to ME, as he drove in his car, all alone.  I was glad I couldn’t hear them!   My face is turning red and hot, even as I write this.  I realize I was the “dumb driver”.

Anyone else ever do stupid things like that?  I still can’t even imagine how I did that?  I KNEW what was the correct etiquette for that stupid roundabout.   Why did my brain freeze and let me down completely?

I will tell you why…because I am getting old.  BUT I think there is more to it than that.  I think it is because sometimes I can start to get a little high and mighty.  You see, on more than one occasion I had thought unkind thoughts about the drivers I have followed through that roundabout.  Why can’t that incompetent driver understand something as simple as driving around a roundabout??  I mean really–how dumb are they?  AND then, on that fateful day, I was the dumb one.  Yep.  Me.

And, all of a sudden, I was knocked down quite a few pegs.  And you know what?  I am glad that it happened–red-faced–but glad.  And I will tell you why.  Because no one likes a know-it-all.  No one likes someone who thinks they have all of the answers and that anyone who doesn’t have the answer is unintelligent.  It is moments like these that keep us from becoming one of these arrogant bores.  If we choose to learn from them.

You may wonder why I am choosing to share such an embarrassing moment with you.  I could keep it completely to myself and no one would be the wiser.  After all, I was totally alone in my car when it happened.   But maybe…just maybe…someone else has had this happen to them.  Maybe they, too, have learned from some stupid moments like I have.  And if not, maybe one day there will be a stupid moment they need to learn from.  Whatever the case, if my ridiculous, embarrassing moment can help someone realize they are not alone in their humanity with all its faults and ridiculousness,  it is worth it.

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