Monday, June 06, 2005

Traffic Laws in Boston

The short answer is: NONE.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of driving in Boston, it is a FUCKING NIGHTMARE. Pardon my language, but it is true. The first time my mom and I visited to look at colleges, she cried about 3 times on the first day because we kept ending up on some bridge or another, always headed in the wrong direction. There are very few signs, the road construction keeps changing all of the streets and where they lead, and drivers are mean mean mean. We are talking- keep your blinker on for half an hour but they'll never let you in- mean.

When Josh and I got married, one of his groomsmen decorated our car with condoms and white paint. On every window was some reference to the fact that we were "Just Married" or "Newlyweds". The inside of the car was covered in lubricant from all the condoms (about 100) that he had placed on the seatbelts, door handles, knobs, and antenna, but that's another story.

When we returned from our honeymoon, I took the car over to the car wash to get all the paint off, and on the drive I noticed an astounding thing. People were being NICE to me. When I put my blinker on, THEY LET ME IN. Some honked, or waved, and at an intersection, the other driver smiled. I was shocked. So I did what any normal person would do, and I went back home without washing the car off. And then? I kept the paint on for 9 MONTHS.

It became a running joke amongst friends. A girlfriend and I went to grab a coffee and an elderly couple came over and told us congratulations and that they "were so happy to see YOU people making it work." Sweet. Odd, but sweet. I kept the paint on when leaves covered the car in the fall, when snow covered it in the winter, when bird poop hit it in the spring. I would wash any parts that got excessively dirty, but I lived without washing it until the next summer started. It was fun. I felt like such a newlywed whenever people would comment on the paint, and the honking and smiles and nice drivers continued throughout the 9 months.

I remembered this today because I drove downtown for the first time today, instead of taking the subway. The traffic was horrendous and no one would let anyone in when they needed to change lanes. I got stuck behind a taxi that pulled to a stop to wait for passengers in the middle of the lane, so I put my blinker on and resigned myself to waiting 5 minutes until I could wedge my way in. Until a red jeep paused for a moment to allow me to cut in. It caught me off guard and I had to jam my foot onto the accelerator to not make her wait, so I raised my hand in thanks, and she raised her hand back as a "you're welcome" sign.

She must be an out-of-towner. Sucker.


SpookyRach said...

Haaaa! This is great! Have you considered re-painting the wedding graffiti?

Sol said...

This was very funny ... And, I am sure that even if Bostonians drivers sound mean, they are far more civilized than the crazy Buenos Aires traffic... They pull the strangest stunts and would never let you pass, no matter if you are "newlyweds" or not.

I recently found your blog (thanks for your comment, BTW) and I am glad I did - you rock! Best of luck in your new job. I will keep reading your archives now.