Flipping The Bird

Yesterday was Monday. The beginning of a new week. I began this week with a new focus and a better attitude. I’m trying harder to remember what I’ve learned in therapy and do more practicing of what I’m preaching.

Overall yesterday was a pretty good day at work considering I had to leave at 3 to go to the Dentist. I haven’t had my teeth cleaned professionally in quite some time. It actually wasn’t that bad. The hard part is now the fluoride rinse I have to do the next 4 weeks until I come back for another cleaning. I have to swish for a minute with this gross solution twice a day for a minute. I tell ya, those are the longest minutes of my day.

The story I want to tell today though is what happened on the way to the Dentist.

I was driving down 2nd street in Jacksonville Beach when as I was approaching an intersection (where I did not have a stop sign) this young kid on a skateboard comes flying out in front of me. Doesn’t even look. Continues to skate in front of me in the middle of the road.

First, I almost hit him. It scared me to death thinking that I almost hit a kid. Second, he wasn’t paying attention at all so assumed maybe he had headphones in and wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings.

So I honked.

Yes, I’m that person.

He doesn’t turn around and look or move out of the way at all.

So I honk again.

He turns around and sees me and ever so slightly moves a bit more to one side of the road.

So I drive around him.

As I pass him he looks right at me and flips me the bird with both hands.

He couldn’t have been more than 15 years old.

I hope my look of shock and disgust made him think twice but I doubt it. I seriously almost pulled over my car and got out and gave him a what for. I swear I was SO close to doing that. Not that it would have done much good but I doubt that any one has taken the time to speak with this kid about right and wrong and about not being disrespectful. I seriously was shaken up by this event.

I’m still shaken up.

I don’t get it. I was worried for his safety. I didn’t want to hit him and I don’t think he was paying attention. Yet he felt that I was being unreasonable. I believe he must have thought that I should have just gone around him and allowed him to have the right of way. Ridiculous.

So, I told Craig about this story last night. Craig works out at the beach. He said that he’s seen that a lot actually. One time a kid actually followed one of the cars into the center where he works and almost approached a poor lady in her car. Yelling and cussing the entire time about how she needed to “watch out” and that he had the right to ride wherever he liked.

What is this world coming to?

I asked Craig last night if anyone he knows would have done that in high school. He said no. I said no. I really think that kids might have felt like they owned the road a bit at times but they never would have verbally assaulted anyone because of it.

Strange times we live in. I mean, I never hung out with any jerk kids like that in high school so I may not be the best person to judge whether kids were doing stuff like that in the 90s but I feel like they wouldn’t have. As we become more selfish with each generation, as we become more and more concerned with “me” and “mine” and less about community, we run the risk of these issues just continuing to escalate. This saddens me.

So, I ask you… what do you think about all this? Do you think I’m overreacting? Actually don’t answer that because I know I’m overreacting. Heck, I’m still fuming about this a day later. I’ll probably still be fuming about this next week. UGH. I just expect better from people and I’m constantly let down. I wish I had more of a realist attitude but I want better for this world.