My neighborhood this morning.
I have a love-hate relationship with snow. I love the way it muffles every sound and blankets everything in clean white. And I like staying in my warm house and looking out, knowing that I don’t have to do a damn thing or go out.
Because “out” is where the jackasses are. Aside from marking the definite end of Indian Summer, the first snow heralds what I call Jackass Season, shortened from Jackasses-Who-Drive-SUVs-and-Think-They-Are-Invincible-Until-They-Hit-Ice-and-Slam-into-Innocent-Drivers Season. You know these people. You may even be one of them.
I don’t know how it is in other places, but here in Denver, people are maniacs. When it rains, they like to drive like baby seaturtles making their way slowly across the beach, praying to God the whole trip they don’t get eaten by a seagull. Which is how it should be. You should be careful in the rain, lest you hydroplane or hit an oil slick. But- and this is what makes me wonder about how suicidal-homicidal the average Denverite is- when it snows, these same people drive like bats out of hell.
Especially the SUV drivers. These guys (and gals) like to speed by in a blur of slush and mag chloride, convinced that their four-wheel drive and All-Season Radials are going to keep them safe and sound as they honk and swerve their way from Point A to Point B. Screw you if you get in the way, you pansy. Get a real Colorado vehicle and learn to drive in the snow!
Two days ago.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me a little twinge of pleasure to see one of these morons stuck in a ditch.
Or, rather, their parents.
I don’t know if it’s just the fact that I’m getting older so I notice it more, or if children today are a lot ruder than they were when I was one (for the record, I’m 32). Granted, kids will be kids, which means even the best of them will act out from time to time, but it seems like these days parents just don’t teach their children how to behave.
I have some theories about the different types of parents I see when I’m out and about, and they may explain why some kids act they way they do.
Being one of the Sheeple, I recently read The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I had sort of wanted to read it when I had first heard about it (when the movie came out, okay?), but I wasn’t going to shell out $11.20 at Wal*Mart for a book I probably wasn’t going to like, since it didn’t fall into the genre I usually read. But, the other day, I happened upon a copy at the ARC, so I picked it up. Hey, for $1.99, I’ll read almost anything.
I never saw the movie, so I had no idea what I was in for. Based on what I had heard, it was about a white woman who made friends with a black maid, and that very well might be the case for the movie (I have no plans to see it), but the book went much deeper than that. I won’t go into plot details, but I will say one thing: when I finished reading, I wondered what I would have been like had I grown up in Jackson in the “separate and not even close to being equal” years, and this bothered me. It’s not the so-called White Guilt speaking; it’s an honest fear of not knowing if I would have treated my hypothetical help like wild savages or as fellow human beings. I would like to think it’s the latter, but I didn’t grow up in a time when being friendly with a black person could result in losing my job, my oh-so-important social standing, or even my life. It scares me to think of the kind of person I would have been, due to my own ignorance, social pressure, or both.
The Help broke my heart. It embarrassed me. And I’m glad I read it.