Mama, I’ve lived in New York for nearly two years now. For the past few months, I’ve been traveling more frequently through New Jersey. Let me tell you something about Jersey: those drivers are crazy. Not the normal kind of crazy – the “can’t make a number 2 for a while” crazy. It’s like a sport for them to violate as many responsible driving and road courtesy laws as possible between point A and point B. Oh, you thought it would be a day-long or a week-long mission? NO. Every time you enter your vehicle, it’s a fresh irresponsible driving game. My closest New York friend calls it “the dirty Jerz” and oh is that accurate in transit.
It’s Never Your Lane. Especially When It’s Your Lane.
Isn’t the general rule, when you drive your vehicle down the street, that you are entitled to the next 10 feet in front of your vehicle? NOT. IN. JERSEY. And this isn’t just in the extremely crowded lanes or rush hour when every lane is packed and no one is getting there fast enough. It’s allllll the time. Same rules sort of apply in Manhattan, depending on how close to rush hour you’re driving, and whether you dare merge onto FDR (lord have mercy on you in those tight little skinny lanes).
Riding In Cars With Boys.
This is apparently not a new discovery (large cities and their surrounding areas often spawn crazy driving habits). I remember our recent trip to Chicago, where I stayed with my male cousin. He said he was an expert at navigating Chicago traffic. It was my introduction to CMDS (Crazy Metro Driver Syndrome). I had to avert my eyes and trust that we would arrive across town because all the aggressive driving was threatening to give me a heart attack!
Moving to New York involved driving past Philadelphia. Oh my goodness, mama, those cartoons where Goofy gets stuck in a spaghetti junction maze? That’s a hundred percent true. Of course I got lost passing through Philly, and of course I got even more krufluffled when other motorists were laying on their horns and jerking their vehicles around mine, multiplying the danger.
Here in New York, outside NYC, crazy driving is generally not done. Until you hit the interstate that connects NY & NJ. And that is where the crazy drivers come up for air. Heading toward NYC is fine. But the closer I get, the more I fill with anxiety, thinking “who’s going to try to road-murder me today?” I enlist the driving buddy services of my male counterparts. Coworkers, mostly, since work is the predominate reason for my visiting that cramped, grumpy island. I think they all deserve a Christmas card this year for that reason alone.
Comparing Manhattan drivers to New Jersey drivers….I’d still place the title of “scariest crazy” squarely on New Jersey road maniacs. You know I’ve grown pretty nervous about driving in general, but CMDS notwithstanding, mama, things are okay.