Friday, February 05, 2021

What a Day for a Day Dream or Pandemic Road Rage

 Melinda Palacio

Santa Barbara received a few days of rain last week. The clouds teased and threatened to drop more water. The crisp sunny day told me to go outside and the bonus was that the latest pandemic’s Stay At Home Order had been lifted. I ventured outside to try something I hadn’t attempted since before I broke my leg several years ago: ride a bicycle. I couldn’t resist with the near perfect weather that drives tourists here in droves during the summer, or any break. I planned a short jaunt around the neighborhood knowing that the hard part would be the return trip. I live at the the top of a hill so going anywhere is the easy part. I rode to the natural history museum and stopped to admire the blue whale skeleton out front. I wasn’t alone in my desire for escape and exercise. Plenty of neighbors had the same idea. My pandemic body, now accustomed to long hours of sitting indoors with little exercise, felt the rush of endorphins and burn of a good but manageable workout. I admit I’ve had a hard time adjusting to group exercise classes on zoom. Life during the plague is all about doing everything we used to do online or on zoom.  I’m fortunate I don’t live where there’s snow and I can go outside and walk my dog and bike. 

Today’s would have gone down as the perfect outing and the beginning of a new and productive regiment. Except that there had to be someone around who tried to ruin it for me. 

    Living in a small town doesn’t exempt you from road rage. I’m always shocked when it happens. I was riding as far to the right, trying to stay out of the way of cars who were obviously not looking out for me. Some guy in a white truck yelled at me, ‘Are you stupid?’. 

    I pedaled too fast to stop or respond. I didn't engage with the man full of road rage, who had a chip on his shoulder because I was on a bicycle and he had to wait an extra minute to make his turn. I don’t know what his life is like, but I did not do anything wrong, or stupid. It still hurt my feelings, but his comments will not deter me from enjoying the outdoors on my green bicycle with a frog bell. 

I hope everyone enjoys the short month of February with all its holidays safely. I’m still waiting  for a vaccine to reach my arm. Santa Barbara has been painfully slow on its rollout. 

    For those celebrating, happy Chinese New Year, hope you get lots of red envelopes filled with lucky money. Happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s day, may you get all the chocolates, flowers and fuzzy gifts. Happy President’s Day (at least we have a real president now). Happy Fat Tuesday. If you’re in New Orleans, parades may be cancelled but house floats saved the holiday. May you enjoy all the king cake, music, and Mardi Gras magic during this time of plague. For all of my holiday Catholic friends, I don’t think we need to give up anything for lent, considering we’ve already given up so much. 

    And for everyone just trying to get through the short month, continue to stay safe, social distance, wash your hands, double mask and enjoy the short month with lots of holidays alone. 

    Ride a bike; it will bring a smile to your face, even if it enrages someone driving a car. Enjoy. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Well done! You showed admirable restraint with that caveman. He deserved some expletives!!!