Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to stay home the past 3 days, unable to drive or leave home for that matter. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went 3 days without driving somewhere, even if just to the market down the road. Even when I take a vacation, I’m often driving for some of the time or at minimum someone transports me so I never fully escape being in a car. Three days may not sound like a lot to you, but for me, it’s an eternity when you “live” in your car like I do. So, what happened? Did I go through withdrawal? Was I longing to get behind the steering wheel and head anywhere? Would I be more relaxed and passive in the car come Monday when it was time to resume my routine?
In truth, I’ve been dreading today — Monday. It’s the Monday after we go on daylight savings time. We spring forward, but let me tell you, I don’t really spring when the alarm clock sounds. You know that song, “Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” where the guy bemoans the military Bugler’s morning wake up song “Reveille?” There’s a verse in the song that goes:
One day I’m going to strangle the Bugler.
One day they are going to find him dead.
I’ll amputate his reveille
And step upon it heavily
And spend the rest of my life in bed
Irving Berlin and I share that in common. That’s how I feel when my alarm sounds. If I kept an anvil next to my night stand, I’d have to create a line item in my budget for alarm clocks. It’s really that bad. I’m not a morning person despite living a morning person’s schedule, never have been, never will be. So, for me, while I love that it’s not dark when I go home from work after we go on daylight savings time, I abhor waking up an hour earlier! It takes me weeks to adjust. Truly. If not for coffee, I’d be doomed. And it really doesn’t matter if I go to bed early. It’s just the morning. I don’t like sunrises unless I’ve been up all night for the right reasons :=). I’m more of a sunset person. Anyway, I think I’ve made the point.
So, back to Monday. I got in the car to head to work and it seemed at first as though traffic was fairly light. I was pleased. I suspected people were like me, having a hard time adjusting to that loss of an hour. But it seems that was short lived; we all fell into our usual patterns. 1.) A car in front of me was creeping along sloooowly, approaching a busy intersection with a 5 minute light. I hate 5 minute lights. If the light turns red, you have to wait a full 5 minutes until the next green signal. I managed to get past him so I wouldn’t get stuck. I was pleased. He was left behind of course. 2.) Then, a car turning right onto the street I’m driving down cut right in front of me, causing me to brake. Not so pleased. Then, strike three – you’re out! A white car (an Altima not a Prius) just sat at another signal despite the light turning green. He was fiddling with his phone. Normally I would give a gentle tap of the horn to wake him up, but I sounded the horn fully, not excessively. The Bugler would have approved. I saw him jump and look up. He looked back at me annoyed in the rear view mirror and then accelerated. Finally, I made it to the freeway. I did get stuck for a bit behind a cluster of cars on the freeway. It wasn’t a cluster fu** by my driving term definition. There was no patrol car to be found. It took a bit of maneuvering to get out of the cluster so I could go the full speed limit. I was once again pleased. In the end it wasn’t a particularly bad commute, but it wasn’t good either.
So, in answer to the above questions – I’m afraid the answer is a resounding NO on all counts. On my three day hiatus, I didn’t go through driving withdrawal. I wasn’t longing to go somewhere or anywhere. And, clearly I was not more relaxed and passive as a result of the time off the road. It was a nice thought though. On reflection, it was just another day in the life of a commuter driving in Los Angeles.
Hope your Daylight Savings Monday goes well.