Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life is too short for traffic jams…

I am not a fan of traffic. I say that as if some people really are fans of traffic. Like they wake up in the morning and enthusiastically grab their commuter mug and say, “See you later honey, I’m off to my traffic jam!” You know, there may be people like that, but I’m not one of them.

I have been pretty fortunate in my life that I never had to commute. Other than one notable job on a gambling boat in Mississippi, I have always worked less than five miles from home. In the suburbs.

Well, I don’t live in the suburbs anymore.

I took CGMan to his job yesterday so I could have the truck. We turn out of the driveway, right. into. traffic. CGMan tells me this isn’t bad because we’re going against traffic. As if traffic only goes a certain way? It looked to me like traffic was going both ways, but what do I know?

So we go against traffic all the way to his work, which is only about 10 miles from the house. Ten miles of downtown commuter and bus filled streets, to the freeway to get to another freeway, traffic. People are on the phone, drinking coffee and putting on make-up, sometimes all at the same time! I am freaking right out. If these are the people who aren’t in “real” traffic, what must it be like for the real commuters? The people who have to go with traffic? CGMan tells me to be calm and just plow through. I managed to navigate the freeways and distracted drivers to drop him off in front of his building. So proud of myself, I asked where was the nearest Wal-Mart. I was going to charge back out into traffic and make my own way. He tells me to ask the lady in the GPS because he doesn’t know.

Here’s a little bit of information you might not know…Wal-Marts only live in the suburbs. GPS lady sent me waaaay out into some suburb (which was a really pretty suburb!) to a tiny little Wal-Mart that had nobody in it. I love that about her! And then she took me right home, through more traffic, of course. Because by now, I was going with traffic. These people in DC must work some funky hours, because rush hour apparently lasts from 6am to around noon.

All of that is to tell you about the trip back to pick CGMan up from work. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, he works outside the city a little ways, so always goes against traffic. Well, I was on my way out of the city to pick him up. Along with 2376254385938 people who just got off work in DC (even the ones who came in at noon). OMG! The traffic! I kept a stiff upper lip and followed the directions of my husband (note, he told me not to listen to my new BFF, the GPS lady, because his way was better) and got back on the traffic filled freeway. Bumper to bumper, people cutting off other people in a mad dash to get back to the faraway land of the suburbs. I kept both hands on the steering wheel and held my ground. I was actually pretty proud of myself as I took the final exit off the freeway near his work. I did it! I managed traffic and didn’t swear once.

And I didn’t even swear when a policeman waved me over to the side of the road, right there on the exit ramp. I noticed quite a few other cars, as well. My first thought was “Oh, a check point. Good idea. Don’t want people having happy hour during rush hour, right?”

That was not the case. When I handed my driver’s license and registration, he asked me if I lived here. I told him I had been here for literally 2 days. He then says he hates to be the bearer of bad news, but I had just been on a freeway designated as HOV between the hours of 4 and 6pm. He then proceeded, very nicely, to give me the first ticket I’ve had in 15 years.

When told CGMan, he was all “I drive that every day and only have one person in the car” at which point I had to remind him – you are going against traffic! I was going with traffic! Per your instructions! (let’s take a poll right here, shall we? Who says CGMan should pay my ticket?)

So there you have it. Dawn has been in DC for two days and has managed to do several things she hasn’t done in almost twenty years…commute, fight traffic and break the law.

This morning, I handed CGMan his commuter mug and keys, kissed him good-bye and told him to enjoy his commute, I’m staying home.

Maybe the foot traffic won’t be so bad.


  1. Wow, I've lived where there were HOV lanes during certain hours, but never the WHOLE freeway! That's some crazy traffic. Time for you to get that Segway!

  2. I vote no on CGman paying the ticket. Do the the fine. Sorry. Oh, thanks for picking me up. I love you...big smile.

  3. That just sucks the air right out of any good day! Yes he should pay! And pay dearly!
    Smiles for a better day!

  4. OMG!!!! He had you go out 66 after 3pm???? The lady on the GPS would have stopped you from doing that!!!! CGMan owes the ticket and has some major sucking up to do!!!!

  5. I hate traffic. But I also hate WalMart. That sounded like the worst day ever. Topped off with a stupid ticket.

    He should most definitely pay the ticket. Not only that, there should have never been a question about it! And what's up with the grumpy cop not just giving you a warning and sending you on your way.

    Poor Dawn, that was a really bad, horrible and awful day. It will get better, I am sure.

  6. Ummm...what's an HOV lane? And yes, CGMan should pay it for sure!

  7. Meg, when there are 20 gamillion people living in an area slightly larger than a football stadium, it causes awful traffic jams. So an HOV lane (or in this case, whole freeway) is made for the purpose of letting carpoolers get through faster (High Occupancy Vehicle- usually 2 or more passengers, but in this case it is 3 or more)

  8. You need to get your vehicle out there, stat! And CGMan owes you big time in case he ever wants you to do anything for him again. I thought all husbands knew that.

    Even Houston doesn't have a HOV freeway. Good grief!

  9. Of course I'm not a big fan of traffic, but it doesn't usually bother me unless I'm in a major hurry, which I'm usually not. I live in Portland, OR and it's not so much traffic, just giving myself the time to get there.

    My sister on the other hand? We used to road trip a lot on Friday afternoons and (even though I was driving) you could not believe the scene she would create! She is what you call "bad in traffic".

  10. Dawn, I must say, you handled that well. The last time I drove in DC was around 7 years ago near Thanksgiving. Since that time, I have always flown to my destination no matter what the cost is. Another one of my blogger friends just moved to DC and she has had the same exact experiences. Adaptation is the key, I think.

  11. Maybe it's different in DC, but I would plead not guilty to the ticket and maybe also ask for an adjournment of the first date you are given. Chances are, with a new date, the cop won't show up and the ticket will be thrown out. If he does, meet with him ahead of time and see if you can get the "crime" reduced. He was a jerk anyway; you are NEW to the AREA!!

  12. Charlie Sheen knows about traffic, he has one speed, he has one gear. Go!

  13. I'm looking forward to hearing of all your new adventures in DC. Good luck on the transition.

  14. DC traffic is the worst in my opinion! That is one part you might not ever get used to!


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