I have always suspected that that phrase would never really apply to me in the figurative sense, and I have recently determined that I am also really not cut out for living life in the fast lane literally, either.
Houston driving scares me. Houston drivers scare me. As such, I avoid all major highways and the road raging Houstonites (is this the right term?) that drive on them as much as possible. However, the powers that be recently opened up part of 59 and as a result, coerced me to give the freeway a shot. You see, I have 2 route options to/from work— (1) Highway 90 (straight shot, speed limit maxes at 55 mph, lots of cows to look at, a few lights to slow me down) and (2) Southwest Freeway/Highway 59 (speed limit allegedly maxes at 70 mph, no stop lights, the commuters are much more hardcore).
Up until the construction was finished on 59, I took 90 on a daily basis and never gave it a second thought. In fact, I have avoided 59 like it’s the plague. Now that they have opened it up, however, it is a much faster and more efficient route to work. If you know me at all, you know that I am slightly impatient (understatement) and all about being efficient, so the temptation was just too much to resist. I tried 59 on the way home yesterday and it shaved 10 whole minutes off of my commute. I took it to work this morning and shaved 8 or so minutes off of that commute. I am now a changed woman.
What struck me this morning was the bravery of the other commuters. I saw at least 3 or 4 different speed limit signs that said 55 mph, so I thought I would give 60 a try. Apparently only grandmothers and blind people drive this “slowly,” so I upped it to 65. Before I knew it, I was going 70 mph (FIFTEEN miles above the speed limit) and EVERYONE was passing me. Seriously. A whole group of cars passed me and I was left to drive alone. Talk about peer pressure.
I wouldn’t normally call myself a people pleaser, but I have discovered that I have this pathetic need for everyone else’s approval when I’m driving. I want to drive fast enough so that I’m not slowing everyone down, but not so fast that I am deemed a maniac. I have found in Houston, however, that I will never be able to please anyone. No matter how I drive in this town, someone will always be angry and frustrated with me.
It’s sad, because I always thought of myself as a left-lane kind of gal, but I’m just not cut out for it here. And I would try the middle lane, but that lane just screams “INDECISIVE!” in my opinion. And we all know what a loser you are if you spend your whole commute in the right lane. So I think I’ll just buy a helicopter.