Dear Woman in the SUV Behind Me:
Over the course of my mother-in-law's radiation treatment, we have had good days and bad days. There are days when I roll with the punches, focus on the positive, and remain upbeat and positive, for my mother-in-law's sake if nothing else. She's got enough on her plate without worrying about my sarcastic remarks and temper tantrums. On those days things go smoothly, she and I still manage to laugh and joke and make fun of perfect strangers, and it is easy to forget that she has cancer and only half of the roof of her mouth remaining.
Today was not one of those days.
We arrived for her radiation treatment early, as is our habit, because that generally means we get out early. Today we NEEDED to get out early, because she had an appointment to have i.v. fluids upstairs in the chemotherapy clinic, and the girl at the scheduling desk is ADAMANT that we not interfere with her lunch. (Aside: The REST of the staff members are very kind, sympathetic, professional, and polite. This one is none of those, plus she is ignorant enough to think that radiation is administered intravenously. Hell, I'm not even in the medical profession, and I know better than that.)
Alas, that is NOT how our morning went. We got there half an hour before her appointment time, and they finally called her back half an hour AFTER her appointment. That meant we got upstairs right smack dab in the middle of their sacred lunch hour (I know, I know, they have to eat too), and we had to wait. We had to wait a long time.
Mother-in-law is in a weakened condition not only due to the radiation, but she hasn't been able to keep anything on her stomach. Not eating upsets her stomach, so naturally she doesn't want to eat even more, and the cycle continues. She doesn't feel much like joking these days.
To exit the clinic (which I do via a driveway in the back just so I can come out at a traffic light), I have to turn right onto a VERY VERY VERY busy highway. Then I have to make it across two lanes of traffic and into the left turn lane before I get to the next traffic light. It is not an option for me to turn right, get in the right hand turn lane that is about to end anyway, and hope I can make my way over to the left with all lanes full of traffic. I prefer to wait until there is a gap in all lanes. Not a gap as in "I might be able to sidle through there if I suck my gut in," but a real car-sized gap.
It is equally unacceptable for you to get behind me at the traffic light and continue to BLOW YOUR HORN because I'm not easing out into the bajillion cars already occupying the lane(s) I need to be in. The first time you blew your horn, I turned around in my seat, made eye contact with you, and hopefully communicated to you that blowing your horn was not acceptable. I did NOT gesture (though sorely tempted) because I think that particular gesture, while sometimes justified, shows a lack of class.
The second time you blew your horn and threw your hands up in despair (disgust?), this is what ALMOST occurred:
I put the car in park, exited my mother-in-law's car (clearly displaying a "disabled person" license plate, have you NO respect?), and approached your SUV. At that point, I would have explained that I had been sitting in some combination of a radiology waiting room and a chemotherapy treatment room for five hours and offered you two choices: A) stop blowing your $!#*$*! horn; or B) step out of that vehicle and let me teach you some respect for the ill and elderly by proceeding to kick. your. ass.
I kept myself in check because I didn't want to upset my mother-in-law. She's frail enough already, and I was afraid a side trip to jail wouldn't do her health any good. See how easy it is to show some respect?
Get you some.
Respectfully (**snort, snort**),
P.S. I've never been in a fight in my life, so I don't know how skillful I would be, but some days lend themselves to satisfying my curiosity.