Jumping to conclusions

Gracie: I absolutely did not put my cat blankie in the wash making everything else full of cat hair!

The beloved husband and I were driving behind someone who would repeatedly slow down and speed up for no apparent (to us) reason. I said, “they must be texting or on their phone.” We always make up a story if one is not apparent. Then I remembered my own car accident.

Anyone behind me would have thought I was distracted by some device. In a sense, I was distracted but it was because my brakes failed and I was frantic. A casual passerby would have thought I was a dotty old lady who shouldn’t be driving.

There may be some truth to that but not in this case. I was tooling along, perfectly alert, when my brakes gave out unexpectedly. Not that you ever expect that but it’s a shock when they do. I remember the split-second thinking and how that didn’t work out.

There was no cell phone, texting or anything going on. I wasn’t even singing to the radio! Just mechanical failure yet I’m sure people driving by thought it was another case of a distracted driver getting what they deserved.

The whole episode has made me more sensitive to filling in the blanks, jumping to a conclusion, blaming it on something I know nothing about. How many times do we do that?

A long time ago I was in a car with a friend driving on the interstate. It was a complicated exit with lanes going to different roads. Everyone was driving too fast. My friend was so angry as someone in front was driving down the center of two lanes. No one could pass. It was obvious to me that they weren’t sure which lane to take. Out of state license plates were a clue but my driver friend missed that. After some cussing, I pointed out the obvious just as the driver chose a lane.

How many times in life do we forget to look for the small signs like an out of state plate, that would help us to understand? Far too often.

Editor’s note: We blame the cats for most things that happen in this house and it works for us!

53 thoughts on “Jumping to conclusions

  1. Our neighbor had the brakes fail on their car too. Not sure about the make/model. I am not a pokey driver and it bugs me to no end when a car doesn’t take its turn at a 4-way BUT I was worried on my way to a dental appointment and sat at a 4-way like I was waiting on it to turn green. Just mind somewhere else. You never know what other people are going thru so I attempt to be more patient.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. My dad was a terrible driver who miraculously never caused an accident. He would start cursing and run up on the tail of the car in front of us when they just touched their brakes but didn’t slow down. Of course, they were likely turning off speed control but the man wouldn’t listen. I used to just assume I was going to die when I got in the car with him. If I survived, I counted it as a win.

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  4. Yes, the first thing I look for is an out of state license. I drive on interstates to get just about everywhere, so I’m on high alert for *mistakes* and have mellowed over the years. Everyone is frazzled.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patience is a virtue, that’s for sure. We have so many issues these days with road rage that every time you back out of the driveway in your vehicle, you don’t know if someone will shoot your car (and possibly you), or graze and bump you out of your lane. Texting and driving or watching a movie and driving are also commonplace. Driving is not a pleasure in my opinion, not since the family Sunday drives out in the country to look for roadside stands to buy beefsteak tomatoes and new potatoes after Labor Day. The good ol’ days.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SSNS and I always have something to say about other drivers and constantly wonder what they were thinking. It’s true about Florida drivers but most of them are transplanted from other states. I think the native Floridians lose patience with all the visitors. We are transplants from Missouri and it is certainly a mix of drivers and the age of most drivers here doesn’t help. I can’t imagine the feeling of finding out I had no brakes. Gracie, I believe you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know you are innocent because no cat would do house chores. 🙂
    My mom and I always try to guess why people are doing something and eventually I ask her why we are wasting our time discussing something we know nothing about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m like that too. If someone would rather be in front of me, it’s all good. I was driving on the service road at the mall to get to Starbucks. I had about a half block to go to pull into their parking lot. Speed limit was 25 and I was doing maybe 28. A car that had been in back of me on the highway pulls around me to pass (in a no passing zone). She pulled into SB a second before I did. I had preordered on the app so I walked in, picked up my drink and left. I was pulling out of the parking lot while she was still waiting to put her order in. I was laughing all the way home. It made no sense.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. I’m amazed how many people I see with their phones attached to their ears as they drive along. Actually I’m amazed people are so attached to their phones PERIOD. They’re texting as they grocery shop, or walking on the sidewalk, at a table in a restaurant, it’s almost as if it’s a lifeline or something. I remember when people said HI to each other in the grocery aisles – they weren’t too busy texting or talking on their phones back then…..they were actually HUMAN! LOL As bad as your accident was we’re all so happy it wasn’t worse. Mechanical failures are scary and unpredictable!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    • Most cars have a hands free cell option so I was surprised to see someone actually holding a phone to their ear while driving. To be honest, even hands free, talking on the phone and driving is very distracting for me. Fortunately, that happens very rarely and only when my husband is calling as he may need something from the store.


  9. I dropped a tie-rod on the interstate once. I had no idea what had happened, but I did all the right things and somehow avoided wrecking the car. None of the mechanics knew how I avoided it either. I was very lucky. I’m sorry you weren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, I don’t remember how I even got home. I was a little pissed off and a little rattled. I wasn’t frightened until I figured out what happened and how close I came to an accident. I thought I had a blow out and pumped my breaks like I’d been told to do. I didn’t have any steering, though….. That was a long time ago, thank goodness. I’m so glad you are okay and you didn’t hit anyone else. A pole sounds safe, from that perspective. I don’t know how you have the courage to drive. I’d be struggling with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Spouse and I make a quick assessment of our fellow drivers and then, when we invariably pass them, one of us (i.e., whomever is NOT driving) checks to see if we are right: “Yep, holding the phone IN THEIR HAND,” “Lost!” “Old!” “Young male!” “Just another damned entitled BMW/ Audi/ Tesla driver!”

    I always check the license plate, too. Floridians are THE WORST.

    Liked by 1 person

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