I try not to live my life according to stereotypes. Every so often, however, I encounter a particular individual, environment, or stream of speeding motor vehicles that affirm a stereotype I try so vehemently to deny. For example, today, on route to the train station, I encountered the infamous Massachusetts driver.
And I specifically use the term “infamous” because it carries a negative connotation. Mass drivers are known to be the worst in the entire country (Beloved Roommate excluded from this sweeping generalization). They are drivers who hesitate to enter an intersection, then determine to take the risk as the light turns yellow, but fail to make their move before the light changes to red. As a result, they block both the pedestrian path and part of the aforementioned intersection.
As my grandmother would say, “You take your life into your seat belt when you step foot in a moving vehicle in Boston.” And while my last four years of college have affirmed this reality time and time again, today particularly stood out.
Amidst the rush hour traffic on I-95, Massachusetts motorists determined to sidestep the jam by driving in the emergency vehicle lane. The Beloved Roommate, the Awesomeist Sophomore, and your truly were beside ourselves. What in Moses, Mary, Mohammad’s name did these Mass motorists think they were doing?
Aside from endangering the lives of drivers and passengers in legitimate lanes of traffic, it reinforced a stereotype I had tried to dismiss as invalid– that Massachusetts drivers drive like today’s their last day on Earth, and hence all fear of reprimand or speeding ticket disappears.
While the Roommate and Sophomore contemplated sudden death, I reminded them of the pact I had made with G-d last week when I determined not to pursue my assailant: You can’t take me from this Earth until I have tried the Starbucks trenta. “In that case,” the Sophomore reasoned, “you better not drink that trenta anytime soon.”
After twenty minutes of exchanging expletives, we arrived at the Route 128 Amtrak station. I would live another day to drink a skinny vanilla latte, and so after a brief goodbye, I parted ways with my Wellesley women and boarded a New York-bound train. While on the train, I received a text message from the Sophomore, “Hey, just for your sanity, apparently it’s legal to drive in the breakdown lane during rush hour. They’re trying to open up more lanes.”
While, in theory, there is some logic in opening up additional lanes during rush hour, it ignores a critical factor– that in the event of an actual emergency, emergency vehicles would be unable to reach the motorist in distress. And that, avid readers, is why I have departed this state for Spring Break.
London, get ready ’cause here I come!