To The Girl With The Hello Kitty Window Decal:
You don’t know me, but I’m sure you meet someone like me at least a few times every day, particularly with the way you drive. I’m the woman you almost crashed into at the stop sign in our neighborhood because I had the audacity to so rudely drive the speed limit. When you failed to get my attention, I became the woman and child you almost murdered as you whipped around my car, cutting me off only moments later in a screech of tires and loud jeers from your buddies. I’m the woman you flipped off in your haste to impress your immaturely young friends.
In your teenage youth you are ambivalent to the fact that other people exist and have lives outside of yours. It doesn’t matter that we all have somewhere to go; we all have someplace to be. Your destination clearly takes precendence, and my pokey, old woman driving obviously encroached on your haste.
It doesn’t matter to you that you nearly destroyed the life of my child and myself today. I’m guessing this isn’t the first juvenile, irrational decision you’ve made in your short driving career. You were too quick to heed the peer pressures from your friends to “get around me.”
Unfortunately, this won’t be your last bad driving decision. I won’t be your only near-casualty. Most likely, you won’t always be sober when you decide someone is in your way on the road.
But, I digress.
Let me take a moment to introduce myself, so that you can possibly stop to ponder reality—my reality. The lives you nearly snuffed out because you just had to “be cool” in your daddy-bought white car filled with teenage friends, and that Hello Kitty decal proudly displayed on your rearview window … which I saw as you screeched away on two wheels.
My name is Jaime; my son’s name is Conner. I’m 34, I’m a single mom, and just last week I was rear-ended by a 20-something year old boy who drove off after smashing into my vehicle. You see, like you, he was very self-involved. I already ran into you last week, but somehow survived that incident. You aren’t special in your speed, haste, inconsideration, or rudeness.
However, today was my first relatively pain-free day since that accident. I had taken my son out for a snow cone, and then we went to play at the park. My son, my wonderful baby boy, has been cooped up since my accident because his mommy has been too afraid to drive, wanting to avoid lunatics like yourself.
My son, the one you tried to crash into to make me “speed up,” and the one you nearly sideswiped in your haste to get around me, is four years old. He’s the happiest, sweetest, most adorable child on the planet. His hero is Iron Man. He loves all things dinosaur. He loves playing baseball. He wants to be a fireman when he grows up. He is learning to write, and today he wrote the word “mommy” without assistance.
You almost stole that from me today.
You could have taken my whole world away in your haste to be cool. It didn’t matter to you, though; you didn’t care. In your teenage youth, you laughed with your buddies making hand gestures and speeding down the road.
Trying to kill me was a game to you; one you probably repeat for lark a few times a week.
But, here’s the deal, young girl: you’re playing with human lives in a speeding bullet every time you get behind the wheel. One day, you will harm yourself, or kill someone like me. Someone who is a mother; someone whose whole world belongs in the eyes of a child.
I know you won’t read this letter, because I won’t give it to you. Though, technically, I know where you live. But, perhaps through this letter someone like you will open their eyes to the way that they drive, and perhaps it will make them pause the next time they try to beat their way home twenty seconds faster.
Is twenty seconds even worth it? Is that twenty seconds of knee-jerk, lunatic driving worth taking a random stranger’s life?
Is it worth your life, girl with the Hello Kitty decal?
The Woman Who Drove The Speed Limit