So, yesterday morning, I was watching the news while I slept, and they were talking about how yesterday was the first day ever of enforcing the new No Texting while Driving Law in the great state of Kentucky. I support this. Texting and driving is bad. Studies show it's worse than drunk driving. Although, I still side with the Mythbusters in that I can drop the damn phone, but I can't just stop being drunk, so I'm not sure it's a fair comparison.
Then when I was driving home I was trying to surf the internet on my phone to find the phone number for the water park where my kid left one shoe. I'm not even sure how one manages to leave one shoe at a water park, but I was working hard to track it down. It occurred to me that perhaps this was more dangerous than texting. I stopped and called 411. $2, sure. But on the other hand, no death and destruction. Plus, no ticket. I'm pretty sure they'd count it, after all.
This morning, I had a whole different distracted driving experience. Almost as soon as we get in the car in the morning, Maren takes off her shoes and crosses her legs in the carseat. Proof positive that my need to constantly have a leg under me is not a bad habit, but some sort of weird genetic imperative.
Anyway, we had Johnny Cougar on the radio and Maren was grooving to "Jack and Diane." She had her nightie on and her bare feet pulled up in the seat and was bobbing her head, dancing like a fool while momma sang a little ditty at the top of her lungs. It struck me as so beautiful and cute and silly and amazing and Kentucky all at once and I *had* to have a picture. I could have pulled over, but then she would have started trying to pose or take my camera away. So, in a stroke of absolute insanity, I started trying to photograph my daughter over my shoulder with my phone WHILE DRIVING.
Sometimes the insanity of these decisions doesn't strike me until a bit late. I'm good now. I'll never do it again. Lesson learned. Good thing no one (including piece of crap car) was injured.
In the meantime, it got me thinking about the things that I've done that are stupider than driving and texting. And, because I am totally looking to get arrested this weekend (please, no, officer, it's a blog, it's made up, I swear) (no, readers, really, it's aaaalllll true, I swear) and because I'm sure that some of you have never so much as taken your hands from ten and two, but some of you will make me look like driver of the year, I am going to share my worst distracted driving sins.
1. Grooming - I know people who do their make-up in the car. I may or may not be related to someone who may or may not have used to own a curling iron that plugged into your cigarette lighter. It's not like I do that. I just, sometimes, brush my hair in the car. While driving with my knees. I don't do it nearly as much as I used to. But it takes both hands to brush my hair because I have this wicked sensitive scalp, like a baby and I can't take hair brushing without holding my scalp to minimize pulling.
2. Dancing - Once, long ago, before the state let me drive, I was in a car with Suze and her dad. I may have mentioned this before. There was a long, sort of mocking monologue about people who sing/dance/talk to themselves in the car. I do all of these to a great degree, but I've never gotten over thinking, "Please, don't let Suze's dad see me do this." It's distressing. But I digress. Dancing in the car isn't usually that big of a deal. A little shoulder wiggle, a little head bob. But I have, on occasion had a carful of people who were all dancing together with enough oomph to make the car wiggle around on the road. Bad. I've mostly outgrown this. Mostly.
3. Reading - What can I say, sometimes you literally cannot seem to put a book down. I've been a lot better about this since the kids were born, because even I (the idiot who didn't figure out that photography and driving don't mix until my hand was clicking the stupid the button) know that this is terrible, terrible behavior. But, sometimes I cannot resist cracking the book open on the passenger seat at stoplights. Or bad traffic. Wow. There was once a wreck on the Interstate and I read like 100 pages in 4 miles.
4. Dining - Let's face it, there are just some foods that are better to nibble behind the wheel than others. For instance, fast food hamburgers - little mess, paper wrapper, one hand hold. Good to go. Taco salad - fork required, dressing dripping, cracking shell - bad plan. Through the years, I have mostly figured this out. When you are driving, it matters less what you want and more what you can handle. Knowing this has saved me a couple of wrecks and about half a head of lettuce down my bra. Let's just say I learned the hard way.
5. Ranting - Often the course of my conversations with myself will take a dramatic and violent turn. Often, I hold my temper in the company of people who are really driving me over the edge with nothing more than the promise to myself to say EVERYTHING that I want to say, only by myself and on the way home. On these occasions, my wit is sharp, my tongue is acid and if words would kill, the subject of my rage would be in a fridge in the morgue. Except that they can't hear me. This is good for me on many levels. I don't burn many bridges, I keep my falsely earned reputation as a "nice girl," and I vent my frustration and rage before the pressure builds to submarine proportions and I blow steam from my ears as my hair lights afire. The down side is that sometimes I become so intent on telling the person who isn't there what a face melting moron that they are, I kinda forget things like traffic laws. Especially speed limits. What can I say, it just feels better to yell at 70 than it does at 35.
Okay, your turn! Share. Repent. Laugh. We'll all assume that this is stuff you would never, never do anymore and that you have totally grown out of, shall we. As you are currently assuming about everything written above. Seriously. Occasional present tense is for dramatic purposes only!