Last night was a lot of fun. We took the kids to a special Frozen party at my sister in law's office in Cincinnati. On the way in traffic was bad, the roads were bad, and people were, er… um… cranky? I admit to not being the best driver. I make mistakes and I usually sign sorry in ASL to the other drivers, but then realize hardly anyone knows what that means. People probably yell at me and potentially do select gestures, but if so, I am completely oblivious. Between watching the road and my kids I certainly do not have time to engage in that kind of nonsense. So I have never seen anyone give me the finger, however, I was not the one driving last night. J was, and he is a good driver. Not perfect though, and he did cut off a shiny black Escalade. I really didn't think anything of it until a few minute later when the guy comes charging up behind us waving his middle finger. Luckily all three kids were asleep in the back (this is rare, and thank you Jesus that they were protected because it got worse).
Then the car comes ripping up right next to us with the window rolled down and the driver's gracious middle aged wife is hanging out the window in the freezing cold, speeding down the HIGHWAY, waving her middle fingers at us and shouting obscenities that fortunately we couldn't hear. All I could do in that moment was give her an SJ face and mutter that's not nice.
However, seconds later I started signing that she should learn some real ASL (and I did sign dummy, which was not appropriate). I told J next time that's what I would do.
The "road rager" would probably just be confused, but there is a slight chance that it could diffuse their anger and they are the smarty pants that initiated the conversation with their hands. For me signing is a very natural response to bad behavior, because I sign "no no no, not nice, stop that..." all day long when I am correcting my children. So if someone wants to say bad words with their hands, bring it on. The messy mom is ready. In all seriousness though, we all have ways we vent our emotions. For some of us it's blogging about our experience the next day, for others it's cursing at a beat up car carrying young children to see a free Disney movie. Which I still think is not very nice.
Hopefully, I won't have anymore encounters like this again, but if so, I'll be ready.
For those wondering, I did mess up my signs a little bit in the video above, but it's better than the interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral I can tell you that! Here is what I said-
"You need to be careful! I have my kids in the car with me. Stop. Stop it now. That's bad. You are a very bad lady. What's wrong with you!?"