I am the type of person who will react to a situation and then immediately think: “Is that how I should have reacted? Maybe I should have done “x” and “y” would have happened instead of “z”.” Yesterday I had two incidents of this nature where it left me thinking “what would have happened if I had acted, or reacted differently?” One involved a grandpa with a “support the troops” ribbon on his bumper, and the other involved a wounded warrior. What would you have done? I’m fairly certain I reacted right in the firs scenario, but it shakes me to the core not knowing if I acted right in the second.
As my tweeps will know, yesterday I was run off the road by grandpa who I am convinced was either on his way to or from the VFW. I was on my way to base to hit the track with hubby. The main road here in town has two lanes and curves shortly after I turn onto it. BOTH lanes make the left hand turn. I was in the right lane and grandpa started off in the left. I say started off because as he made the turn he merged over, almost right into me, and into my lane. I’m not going to lie, there was that split second where all of the following took place in my head: “Do I let him hit me? If I let him hit me will he do enough damage to make it “worth” my time and effort? What if he needs to pick up prescriptions for his elderly wife and she doesn’t drive and if he hits me he gets his license revoked? Oh screw it Elizabeth, get out of the way!”
I tapped on my horn a polite little “hello! Do you see me, sir?” He kept coming over. I laid on my horn as I shifted over into a kind of parking shoulder/the sidewalk. The first thing that popped into my mind was: If you want to support the troops, don’t run their wives off the road!
I made it to base with no more problems. This is where the second scenario comes into play. All my life, er, all my driving life, I have felt the undeniable urge to pick up young service men and women I see walking on the side of the road. You’ll see them making what seems like the longest trek to the NEX and just want to help… especially if it’s raining. My heart tells me to help these young men and women out. My rational side tells me “ARE YOU CRAZY? Just because they wear a uniform doesn’t mean they’re not a psycho killer!”
Yesterday, as I drove down the stretch to the Naval Hospital I passed a man with a shopping bag. He was in full camo uniform and walking with a cane. It pulls my heartstrings every time I pass the Wounded Warrior unit building, but for those who have been on Camp Pendleton and down Margarita Road, heading towards the hospital you’ll know it’s pretty desolate! Where was this man walking? How far did he have to go? Should I have pulled over and asked him for a ride?
Needless to say I did not because I am the “worst case scenario” thinker and in my mind this man was not only trained how to kill somebody 32 different ways using only his thumbs, but he was also a serial rapist and nobody would ever be able to find my body and the last thing I needed was to be an episode of NCIS. Yes friends: that is my thought process.
Are you the same kind of thinker or do you offer the man a ride? I can’t help but shake the feeling I should have offered. Hubs reassured me that in today’s day and age there is no reason a young woman driving by herself should put herself in that situation and you never know who someone is, but I still feel awful. I can’t say I would stop next time, either. Just because you have a cane and are in a military uniform does not mean, in my mind, you are not an infiltrator here to commit crimes of murder on unsuspecting motorists. Yep, that’s the way this brain works