August 9, 2012 by morganmarie25
As a native of Dallas, TX. I should be completely tolerant of crazy drivers and 10 minute car rides to the grocery store. But having lived in Auburn, Ala. while attending school, any drive longer than 20 minutes has, in my mind, turned into a road trip. So as I moved to Atlanta in pursuit of a career in PR, I knew that commuting to work everyday would be an adjustment. I was severely unprepared for what awaited me.
Every morning, I climb into my silver Saab, “The Sterling Stallion” which my friends like to call “Sally the Saab”–um…no, I trek down I-75S with thousands of other metro Atlanta drivers who commute alone. My 45 minute commute, which is wayyy above the average for most cities, leaves me annoyed and bored while I fight the traffic for 25+ miles.
The morning drive is somewhat peaceful as I listen to the local country radio station and traffic reports while still waking up from my nightly slumber. But the late afternoon drive brings out a side to me I never knew I had. I huff and puff and scream and shout at “all the people who can’t drive” and “you &*^$ idiot! you’re such a ^&%* !$$#*!!” and attempt to quicken my journey by weaving in and out of lanes like a professional race car driver. It’s a battle every afternoon, with no victors.
Fighting traffic leaves me in a horrible mood due to high fuel costs and wasted time. All I want to do when I arrive at my destination in northern Atlanta is sit in my bed and watch TV because I’m exhausted from all the screaming and racing against the clock before rush hour hits.
The exact milisecond the clock hits 4:00 p.m. I’m hustling out the door as fast as possible. Precious seconds wasted getting to my car means more time spent on the highway wanting to pull my hair out. Speaking of 4 o’clock… it’s currently 3:41 and I am panicking about how horrible traffic will be because it is raining “cats and dogs” outside.
My current thought process:
-I walk slower in the rain, so it will take me longer to get up to my car
-People act like it’s the end of the world when it’s raining and go LITERALLY 5mph on the highway
-My windshield wipers semi-suck at the moment so even I will have to drive slowly… UGH!
So while we wait bumper to bumper, here are some tips on how to help pass the time and hopefully lighten the mood that comes from driving in Atlanta traffic:
• Enhance your audio experience!
With IPhones, IPods, CDs, radio and books on tape. There are ample opportunities to give some variety to your drive. Make a playlist for your drive, changing the genres for the different times of the day.
• Interact with other commuters.
Recently, my co-worker told me a story about how one her friend was in traffic and noticed an attractive male in the car next to her. They started flirting through the windows and he eventually got her number by having her write it on a piece of paper and they set up a date.
Perhaps a dance off will help pass the time. We have all had that moment when we see someone really getting into a song, instead of staring or laughing at them, join them by doing a simple car dance move like the classic shopping cart. (So me)
In addition to dancing, some drivers have been spotted giving musical performances. I love belting out songs and pretending I have an amazing voice because I do, duh…
While the traffic of a commute is inevitable I hope to one day (very soon) live closer to all the action and possiblyyyyy sleep in an extra 15 minutes. I need all the sleep I can get.