By Bob Groeneveld
It used to be that “woman driver” was a pejorative that crazy aggressive male drivers used to describe anyone who was driving too slowly or too cautiously for their liking.
The insult sort of worked for the kind of guys who used it, because women back then tended to drive more slowly and cautiously than wannabe mechanics driving muscle cars soaked in testosterone.
Basically, it was an insult that jerks hurled at defensive drivers.
Now if you’re cut off by a speeding lane-changer, or you have a bumper-hugger staring in your rear-view mirror, trying to push you faster with Darth Vader-like mind control, the driver is as likely to be female as male.
In fact, if you want to see aggressive driving at its chaotic worst, you need to go to school.
The story can be told, now that Mothers Day is another year away.
For a week, we heard nothing but how wonderful mothers are, how they’ll do anything – anything! – to keep their children safe, how they are filled to the brim with wisdom, and how the best of children absorb that wisdom and carry it with them into adulthood and pass it on to the next generation.
And then the children may also be lauded as wonderful and awesome and full of wisdom – especially, that is, if they are of the future mom persuasion, although absorbing and regurgitating a mom’s wisdom can also make future dads wonderful and awesome and full of wisdom (after all, Fathers Day is only a month away).
So where does all that motherly wisdom and fierce protective instinct for their children go when they’re dropping them off and picking them up at the schoolyard?
Maybe it doesn’t fit in the SUV when they’re packing in the kids and lunches and books and science projects and things.
I had the eye-opening experience last week of driving though a school zone just as the kids were getting out of class.
Almost as though to underline the irony of what I was witnessing just days before Mothers Day, my car radio was at that moment airing an array of stories exemplifying the kinds of mom-wisdom that effectively saved now-grown children’s lives.
Moms driving vehicles big enough to ferry whole classrooms jockeyed for position – a couple of them sped by me and two slowpokes ahead of me on the right – in their quest to be first in line to pick up their precious bundles.
It looked like some were Dads… but when it comes to drivers, you really can’t tell for sure.
Especially in school zones.
Aggressive driving has become as non-gender-specific as earthworms.
BTW: if your idea of a Mothers Day gift this year was to tell Mom not to bother with cleaning up after dinner – until tomorrow… you only have a year to figure what you did wrong so you can get it right next time.