Just say “No”

Peer pressure can be a tough thing, but we all need to just say, “No.” Stand your ground.

Especially when someone in a big 4-wheel drive pickup comes roaring up behind your little Chevy Malibu and proceeds to drive about two inches behind your bumper for the next six miles. They obviously want you to go faster, but you have survived the last several days of absolutely cruddy driving by taking it slow and easy, so why rush things now? Just because they want you to?

Don’t do it. Don’t fold under the peer pressure. Just say, “No.”

I don’t understand why people in big trucks feel the need to do this. Zoom up behind you and stay right there, big bright lights shining in your rear-view mirror and blinding you the whole time.

It’s relatively obvious that my little car does not have 4-wheel drive, so I’m not going to suddenly perk up and floor it just to please some person that’s sitting on my bumper in a monster truck. In fact, I generally slow down, hoping they will get fed up and go around me.

I didn’t have a choice. I had to go to work during this last blast of weather. Sometimes that’s just the way life goes. So I took it slowly and carefully. On the way to work, freezing rain was falling and things were pretty slick. To me, that means no sudden moves, no quick braking.

The guy that came flying up behind me in his big truck and proceeded to sit on my tail for the next few miles didn’t get that memo, because if I would have touched my brake in the least bit he would have been sitting in back seat. The roads were almost deserted, so he could have passed me at any time, but apparently preferred to seethe with impatience a mere inch or two away from my back bumper.

I almost gave in and stepped harder on the gas, but I could feel the tenuous grip that my tires had on the road, and I realized going faster just make the moron behind me happy was stupid. My drive had been safe thus far — why mess with something that was working? So I eased my foot off the gas a bit instead, and eventually the annoying monster went around and away.

Sure enough, he was sitting in the ditch a few miles up the road. Four-wheel drive does not make a vehicle invincible to ice. The guy turned down my offer of assistance.

On the way home, I had managed to get a good two-thirds of the way without any problems, but somebody in a big old truck came off a county road a few miles from home and sucked right up to my bumper. Again, no oncoming traffic. Again, no attempt to go around, just constant lights in my eyes. This was especially annoying because the challenge on the way home was seeing the road. Visibility wasn’t a problem, but figuring out which side of the road I was supposed to be on was a bit tricky.

So, when did the guy finally wait to pass me? After I slowed down and turned on my blinker, preparing to make a left-hand turn onto the road where I live. Then he came flying around me. Luckily I hadn’t started to turn yet, because he would have smashed right into me as he passed.

Those that don’t own big monster trucks, stand your ground and take it at your own speed when the weather calls for it. Those that do own monster trucks, please quit trying to kill the rest of us with your He-Man ways. We may not be going as fast as you’d like, but it’s not to irritate you, it’s just in the interest of arriving alive or at least staying out of a ditch.

And if a big bully comes up behind you and tries to intimidate you into going faster than you are comfortable with when the roads are slick and snowy and bad, just say, “No.”