I’m now driving a Scion IQ, a car so tiny it elicits guffaws from small children who think it’s child-sized and therefore funny, like seeing Uncle Clyde in a too-tight shirt. That’s fine, as it should be for a clown; I don’t mind being laughed at. But the responses from other drivers have led me to believe I have a lot of apologizing to do. To wit:
Dear other soccer parent in the enormous truck, I’m sorry that you felt a little insecure today, and needed to pull up so close to me in the parking lot, despite there being no lack of spaces all over, as you blocked my view of the players and made it impossible for the prince to see me once practice was over. I imagine there are other days when you sidle up to pre-adolescent boys at the bank of urinals to compare and reassure yourself that your unit is, really, bigger than a 12 year old’s.
Dear gay couple behind me the other week, I apologize for (apparently) starting an argument between you; I could not of course hear exactly what you were saying but the way you kept gesturing at my car and then slamming a palm on the dash of your SUV led me to believe that someone wanted the more fuel-efficient car, and someone else said “no, we need more room,” and someone lost that battle.
Dear guy in the Escalade, I’m so sorry that you’re late to work. I know you think that my rather sedate 72 mph is what is angering you but while I’m sorry to be exceeding the speed limit by only 7 miles per hour I know it goes deeper than that, deep down to why you lease your car, and why I bought mine. Your car is indeed impressive, but I know re-fueling every third day because you get 17 miles to the gallon is eating away at you, and seeing my car reminds you that you really need to stop for gas before you get to work, and that going past 80 mph is burning through even more fuel, and today your getting, like, only 12 mpg. That must hurt, and I’m sorry.
Dear stupid guy in the beater truck, I’m sorry that you will never be aware enough to know why your making fun of my car is not demeaning to me but rather further validates my choice. By the way, you’re overdue for inspection and I’m quite sure you won’t pass emissions this year. Sorry about that.
Dear young lady in the Lexus who does not understand basic physics, I’m sorry that it escapes your understanding that being right on my butt will not make the car in front of me go any faster. I’m sorry also that you lack the empathy to imagine what it feels like to have your front bumper about seven feet from my spinal cord as we’re going 68 mph in dense afternoon traffic. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses and for you to have been blessed only with beauty and money is heart-wrenching. I’m so sorry.
Finally: Dear almost every 18 wheeler driver, I’m sorry if I annoy or puzzle you, but thank you for always leaving enough room between your forty tons, and my one.