Thursday, October 3, 2013

Uptight Seattlites

At least I'm happier today than the last two days. I can think of the situation I am stuck in and not far (today).

I can't figure out how to have conversations with these people. The West coast is full of people that feel like they are being attacked (with words) when life could go much more smoothly for them (and anyone/everyone) if they would remove their emotion or their self from every single conversation.

The latest conversation I tried to have was when I got pulled over for turning left apparently when I shouldn't have. The state of Washington is seriously lacking signage so no one knows where they are going until they have to make the turn/merge. Far too many people make right turns from the left lane (I see it happen daily) and left turns from the right lane or jut over from the left lane to merge onto an exit they could have seen coming if their were signs. I've been noticing this since I started driving up here (that there aren't enough signs that could help me and anyone else that doesn't know their way around) and I have noticed a few more signs up so that's in the right direction. I have learned from every encounter that you and I are simply supposed to know what we are doing. It's too much work for anyone to help when help is asked for, they want to help on their time (they love to say they love to help others). The sum of what I have learned about westerners: wait until help is offered, never ask, which goes against everything I think people should do. No wonder my aunt kept forcing help onto us. If help is offered and it works then they need not offer more help (sometimes it's 'yay! we did it together!' whether you wanted the help or not), but if it doesn't work then something is wrong with you, the one in need.

I have been wondering where I can go or who I can speak with about what could help Washington aid its drivers. Then (several months after I began to notice the lack of signage) I heard about Allstate's study and report on where the best and worst drivers are. Seattle doesn't fair well. Aside from a lack of signage, these people think it's perfectly fine to drive in the passing lane(s). I had someone in a low-rider get on the highway, immediately get into the left/passing lane that I was in as I was trying to pass a group of really slow drivers, and this vehicle (the low-rider) traveled at 40mph when the speed limit is 60. That's only one instance and this is normal for some reason. Then you have people that know the left lane(s) is for passing and when they can't get out of a group of bad drivers, they have to change lanes, getting ahead as quickly or slowly as they can, until they get out of that group where there is wide open space sometimes half a mile or even 3/4 of a mile before the next group(saying to me that it doesn't need to happen in the first place if the slow-goers would drive right... in their proper lane). I had to learn how to drive like an asshole (changing lanes to get ahead is something that seemed pointless back home because eventually the group will shift and the passing lane usually becomes the passing lane again...not here in Seattle). My momma raised me to know every vehicle around me and any vehicle that's coming. She said that when you are behind bad drivers, you want to get ahead of them so you aren't caught in the accident they might cause. Of the few things my mom said/did that were right, this makes perfect sense and I use it.

When the officer handed me a ticket, I put it aside and mentally moved on, not at all frustrated or upset in any way. I asked him if he knew who I could talk to about road signs and he did what every Seattlite has done so far...turned it around onto me and gave it a meaning it didn't have. Me, "...Okay, thank you (for the ticket), Hey, do you know who I can talk to about signage? Like WADoT maybe?" He said, "You're supposed to watch the road, not look around for signs." Me, "Obviously." Officer, "This is a divided highway and it is illegal to turn left across it. (There aren't any no-left turn signs posted.) You must have felt the rumbling as you turned." Me, "No. I didn't notice anything (because there are lots of potholes and I assumed I got one...I also want to bring up lighting as there is a serious lack of lights on highways and that road is no different whether it is a street or a major highway...with stop lights and strip malls just like Lindbergh back home in St. Louis)." Officer, "Well I felt the rumble as I drove across it (saying to himself he's glad he gave me a $674 ticket because I'm a horrible driver with his body language), they look like little yellow turtles." I tried to get the conversation back on track and reword my question, but he stayed on the defense/offense thing that these people do so I gave up. As he walked back to his car I told Johnny that he thought I was challenging him and why do these people act this way and How do I get my questions answered? All before the cop got in his car so I hope he heard and can take into account that not all people are out to attack. I don't know how to get that message across to these people that have this idea ingrained in their personal core fabric of who they are. They get their feelings hurt So easily! Even local talk radio hosts emanate the behavior. Locals don't see that they don't need to put emotion into everything. Normal conversation doesn't occur here. I don't know what they like to talk about except for sunny weather. It's really hard to find out what anyone likes because they are afraid of being made to feel wrong for liking this or that activity.

What I have learned in my year here is that WA does things their own way and they don't like it when people have questions because it makes them feel like they are doing things wrong. Locals fail to realize that when someone has a question, they are trying to learn how to fit in and they like the place enough to want to help. To Washingtonians a question posed is a statement of attack, possibly one saying You're inferior for doing things this way. I can't take much  more of this.

Now I'm going to search for The Uptight Seattlite to try and put some humor into all of this.