Letter to the Editor: Reader Wants Harried Drivers To Be Patient

A reader writes:

I have written a letter to whomever was the Harried Driver I had to deal with recently. I thought it might be a good reminder for all harried drivers.

Dear Harried Driver,

I want to apologize for my daughter’s behavior recently when she gave you the finger.

At 24, she certainly knows better than to exhibit this kind of sign, especially given the holiday season.

She probably didn’t consider what a hurry you were in to roll through the intersection at Valley and Bellevue avenues in Upper Montclair. Maybe you had to let your dog out or maybe you were running late for a hair appointment. Or maybe you were rushing to work. I get it. And who wants to slow down for a woman scraping along on an aluminum walker?

Why isn’t she moving faster, you must have wondered. Or get an electric wheelchair?

My daughter tries to hurry me along, I assure you, but she was also supervising her own toddler, my granddaughter, to cross the street before the light changed.

I admit to being less diligent about counting the seconds on the crossing signals that may enable a person with two good legs to cross quickly. I’m trying to increase my speed but I’m a bit less daring since I recently had a fall. I wasn’t always so slow but post radiation treatment for cancer left me in such a pickle!

I know I should just stay home or move to Florida with older geezers but my family is here and I do love walking in this lovely community for the time I’m able.

So next time, I’ll try to look out for you. And if you’re still so impatient, I will deliver the message with my own finger.

Yours truly,
Wacky Wheeling Woman

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.


  1. Apologize? Hah! I’ve flipped off ‘harried drivers’ (I have a different word, but I’m keeping it clean) in Montclair more times than I can count, most recently at the McLean Avenue/Valley Road intersection, across from the Pie Store, where a car zoomed through the crosswalk as my wife and I stood there. If I’d had a rock in my hand, I’d have thrown it through the idiot’s rear window. Your daughter was actually restrained.

  2. Ugh. This letter is so–meaningless. So snide. So…unenlightened. Yeah, drivers around here are often rude, distracted, “harried.” But this just doesn’t add any insight. It could have been published 30 years ago or 10 years ago. An old person with no self-awareness, someone who thinks “young people” (young women?) speed because they have nothing better to do than run to a “hair appointment.”

    People act like idiots in their cars because we live in a crowded, expensive, competitive place. Because there’s NOT enough enforcement. I’m an excellent driver with a 40-year record of no accidents and one moving violation. Yet I too can be impatient and stressed and even RUDE sometimes. Usually, it’s when I have sooo much on my plate, so many demands, when picking my kid up on time or making it to an appointment seems the most important thing in the world. I’ve worked hard to be more patient and not do stupid things behind the wheel, yet sometimes, I do. Also, I’ve seen absolutely crazy pedestrian behavior at the very spot you mention. People walking from behind a car, in my blind spot, coming around in front of my own vehicle. If I hadn’t been aware in those moments, someone would have been killed. Kids riding bicycles like there are alone on the street because…KIDS. I try to be careful, but it really works both ways.

    I kinda wish B-net would post sharper, more thoughtful stuff than this. It divides and doesn’t empower.

  3. @ihateplaydates – I find YOUR lecture quite meaningless. Regardless of your pressing issues to justify your occasional “doing stupid things while driving,” they do not excuse the fact that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right-of-way in the crosswalk. It is your duty as a responsible driver to be situationally aware at all times, and to yield. I wonder if you’d be so bold as to recite this soliloquy to the police after hitting a pedestrian whom you deem as wreckless. Also, how do population density, cost of living and competition correlate with wreckless driving? One moving violation is one too many…

Comments are closed.