The Seventh Sense

Neither my husband nor I are huge car fans, but when you spend a year of Fridays and Sundays driving for six hours straight, you start to get a little obsessed. We're newlyweds, and we just finished spending our engagement in different states. We are one of those hopelessly clingy couples, so every single Friday night he would drive from Boston to Connecticut then home to New Hampshire, so we could spend weekends together. Then he would do it all over again on Sunday night, so I could collapse into bed and go to class on Monday morning, and he could collapse into bed and go to work.

With all this driving, you can imagine that we saw some pretty funny and freaky driving. We had more than our share of old ladies who looked like the witch on a bicycle from the Wizard of Oz: "You just try to pass me. Just try." It was always so satisfying when my now-husband left them in the dust…or it would have been if they had noticed that their obnoxiously slow driving was pissing people off.

We made this design after a pretty scary incident with a Scion just outside of Boston. This guy decided to pass us on the right and cut us off leaving us only two inches of space between our cars instead of the courteous Boston standard of three. He, of course, had no idea why this was a problem, and spent a good ten minutes with his finger in the air. The incident sparked a long discussion about idiot drivers—especially idiot drivers from Connecticut.

We like to joke that Connecticut drivers are Massachusetts drivers without the skill and New York drivers without the attention span. The closer you get to the New York or Massachusetts lines, the worse the drivers get. Everyone I've ever talked to about it seems to agree on this, though, there are a million opinions on what this actually looks like. Since I spent 3,120 hours driving last year, I consider myself an expert on the subject.

Massachusetts drivers are ruthless, but at least they have skill if they're from Boston—and every driver east of Worcester swears they're from "Bah-ston". If you enter the state expecting Survival of the Fittest to be the rule of the road, and you're sure that your Civic is the fittest, you'll be fine. Connecticut drivers are rude, too, but they have the added bonus of not just being obnoxious but also completely clueless. Maybe it's the cell phones. Maybe it's the toxic fumes coming from the constant construction on every single road in the whole entire state. If you don't get out these drivers' way, you're toast, especially if you're still in that tough little Civic, and they're driving an SUV—and most Connecticutians drive SUVs.

When you get to the New York border of Fairfield County in Connecticut (think Stepford Wives) you meet an entirely different brand of driver—the Wanna-Be New Yorker. Massachusetts drivers drive at least 20 M.P.H. over the speed limit, but New York drivers crawl. Maybe it's because they're used to grid-lock in "the city"; or maybe it's because of the infamous New York traffic cops; but New York drivers drive way below the speed limit, talk on their cell phones, and slam on their brakes for absolutely no reason at all. You'd think this style of driving would be the recipe for an accident, right? Well, in all my driving, I have yet to see a New York plate on a smashed up car. Maybe this is because New Yorkers are highly skilled, but I doubt it. My theory is that it's because they're consistent. They always drive the same speed—even if it is 35 MPH on the highway.

New York drivers might pull this kind of insanity off; but, you guessed it, Connecticut drivers do not. These New York influenced drivers might drive slowly, but this isn't because they're afraid of hefty tickets. Oh, no. They drive slowly because they're so distracted by the cell phone that's been surgically attached to their ear that they gradually take their foot off the gas until they stop. When there's a Massachusetts driver tailgating them, this is when accidents happen—causing the infamous Connecticut Accordion Effect. It's not a pretty sight. However, if you've spent 1/3 of a year driving like me, watching accidents is sometimes the only entertainment available—creating the also infamous Connecticut Rubber-Neck Syndrome

see, this is why i don't own a car and never have. Ok, maybe it's because I can't afford one, but when you hear horror stories like this...who wants one?!

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