Twenty Years Early

29 May 2017 09:24 CDT

Once in a Newsweek magazine, there was a quote that I cut out and kept. This frequently happened, as there was seemingly always something good to keep from that magazine on a fairly regular basis. I was a 20+ year subscriber and ended it after I got remarried, but even now thinking back, I can’t really remember why. Perhaps they were getting too political, which is a complete turnoff for me. I honestly don’t remember.

Either way, their old quotes were pretty good. From what I recall, they had a section where they put like “quotes of the week” or some such thing. Once, this quote (paraphrased) appeared:

“I’d rather be 20 minutes late getting somewhere in this life, than to be 20 years too early for the next life.”

That has sort of stuck with me all these years. It seems like everyone is in such a hurry. Yes, I’m guilty of speeding, but not too much, and I most certainly don’t take obvious chances while driving or otherwise traveling. I’ve never hopped on a train as it was departing the station. I’ve not jumped between two boats tied up at the river. It seems like I’ve done some pretty stupid things in my time, but a lot of that was way back when I was much younger and a lot dumber than I am now. You learn a lot as you grow up, which is something it takes a lot of people a long time to understand, if ever.

Last week, on my birthday, I was on the way home. I was driving the same route I drive every other day, where the speed limit is 45 the whole way home. 45! On a two-lane curvy and hilly road, that’s really not that bad, although getting behind someone driving 35 makes the drive seemingly go on forever. I keep it around 50 mph the whole way home, except for the few curves and hills that call for a lesser speed.

There is a hill in particular that is a hill and a curve. It’s like a combo of driving excellence. I have to slow down on that “hurve” because I just can take it going 45. Usually, I’m going about 40 max when I get to it. Thankfully, I was doing my usual last Wednesday, for an idiot in a gray/silver Infiniti SUV was traveling too fast and on my side of the road, just after I topped the hill. If I had met them 1/2 a second sooner, I would not be writing this blog today.

I was able to slow way down and go off the shoulder, hitting the grass and rocks just off the edge. Thankfully, it wasn’t one of those spots that drops off like a cliff, and there was some grass to help cushion my tires. The idiot was probably texting or just generally not paying attention, for HE never scooted over. He just kept driving on my side of the road. I was on my wireless headphone with my husband at the time. We were talking about work or some such nonsense. I saw my life flash before my eyes, and I said a few choice words to the other driver. (If only he could have heard me!) I was able to maintain control of my car, thankfully, and drove on my merry way, making it home without further incident.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my study at home, working a bit. I noticed two jeeps drive down the road at a high rate of speed (for a neighborhood anyway). About 30 minutes later, they went back up the street, speeding again. Then, about 30 minutes later, they came back down the street, again speeding. That was really it for me. I posted a note to have them slow down on our neighborhood Nextdoor app.

They are two kids who live in or hang out in a house down the street. This house, mind you, is probably a $450K house. These are the same folks who had dogs that attacked my dog and I one night in my own front yard not too long after we moved into our house. We each have about 3 acres, and this house is at least 1/8 a mile from mine, so we aren’t close neighbors at all. When I confronted the neighbors about the dogs, the owner sweetly looked at me and just basically said she wasn’t going to do anything about it. What a fun neighbor she’s turned out to be. She and her husband seemingly believe that (a) they nor their kids do no wrong, (b) their kids are kids and should get to do whatever they want to do, (c) they don’t have to abide by any rules because we “live in the country”, and (d) they are oblivious to the fact that the rest of us moved to a gated neighborhood in the country and paid $100K more for our houses than we would have if we’d just bought one in the country in general. We have a bill of assurance and neighborhood covenants that were in place when Mr. and Mrs. Oblivious moved in. They claim that they have a higher right to do what they want because they’ve lived here longer than all the rest of us have. They also encourage their teenagers to ignore the rules, drive as fast as they want to, and complain about the rules and the rest of the neighbors just wanting a safe and quiet place to live.

These are the types of parents that have caused the downfall of society, in my opinion. I would imagine that a lot of other people feel the same way I do. I’m not hashing the “back in my day” mantra, because there were these types of parents back in my day as well. These were the parents whose kids became the frat boys who hazed other kids until their demise, the kids who became drug dealers, and the kids whose kids are now being treated “special” and those who don’t have to follow any rules.

Funny as it may be, the kids who were the instigators of the jeep fiasco decided to join and comment on the Nextdoor app. One of the two was immediately removed by the administrators of the app. I can only imagine what he posted on my post about driving too fast. The other one noted in his profile that he is going to join the Marines and that he only joined the app to see about all the people that his mom complains about in the neighborhood and to teach people to mind their own business. He also notes that his hobbies including running stop signs.

I guess Mr. Cordiality doesn’t realize they have rules in the Marines. He’ll last a hot minute there if he acts like he does here, as mommy and daddy won’t be around to tell him it’s okay to tell his drill sarge to f-off. I guess that’s why a certain person didn’t make it in the Marines. They don’t really put up with much BS. The few, the proud, the we will kick you off the team if you don’t buck up, Marines.

It’s just amazing to me that people not only let but encourage their kids to act this way. The defiance of authority is so rampant in society today. Some of it is necessary – against rules that are discriminatory or even wrong. Most of it is not. Most of it is a spoiled generation of people being lead by an even more spoiled toddler for a leader.

We could all do a bit of good by slowing down, taking our time, and being kind to others. A little cordiality goes a long long way. Following the rules sometimes will lead you to a better path. It can also keep you from entering another life 20 years too early.

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