I don't know about you, but when it comes to driving, a majority of my frustrations and intolerance towards other drivers come from sitting at traffic lights or attempting to cross through intersections. Whether it's annoying drivers who take cuts and can't obey the "keep intersection clear" rules or the guy who blasts his poor excuse for music at an ungodly volume, there are just far too many opportunities for annoyance at an intersection. Of all these things, I think what bothers me the most is the uncomfortable feeling I get from awkward car alignment. For the most part, awkward car alignment isn't much of an issue. With all the permutations of car designs on the market, vehicles stopped at an intersection always seem to stagger themselves. One driver will stop a little short, the next a little long, and pretty soon no single vehicle is perfectly aligned with another.
Sometimes, however, something incredibly awkward happens. Sometimes, two cars come to a stop at the same intersection at the exact same time. Sometimes, both those two cars happen to be driving with all their windows rolled down. Sometimes, both those cars also happen to be driving without any music or the radio playing. Sometimes, the position of both cars at the time they stop causes the front driver-side window of one car to perfectly align with the front passenger-side window of the other car. And sometimes, this puts both drivers so close together that if one of them were to sneeze, his proximity to the other would be such that it would require the other driver to say "God, bless you".
I absolutely hate it when this happens to me. I don't know why, but it just makes me feel really uncomfortable. I almost want to look over and see who's next to me, but at that point we're so close that the head movement would be too obvious. So I try not to look, but then it seems like it's obvious that I'm trying to pretend they're not there. In the end, I usually squirm for a moment and then pull out my iPhone and catch up on twitter feeds or anything else that will give me somewhere to look and something to take my mind off the situation. Someone tell me I'm not the only one who hates this.
posted by Christopher Schnese