Move Over!

Read the version that appeared in Long Island’s Newsday

I have time to write this since I’m behind a slow driver in the left lane. Don’t worry, I’m not texting. I’m jotting this down on the back of an old speeding ticket.

Don’t you just love that quaint expression, Sunday Driver. Out for a leisurely drive, enjoying the ride, the scenery, the company. I have nothing against Sunday drivers except on the other six days of the week they take to the road, in my lane. There’s life in the fast lane and life in the slow lane. Choose the appropriate lane.


I know when I learned to drive, the rule was: left lane for passing. Not: Left lane for sightseeing. Nor: Stay in left lane to maintain an open road in front of you. If you glance in the rear view mirror once in a while you’ll see the pileup of cars behind you. And those flashing high beams? Just a way of tapping you on the shoulder to say “excuse me, can I get by you?”


Some will say that going the speed limit in the left lane is appropriate to which I say “move over!”  There are two other lanes you can do that in.  I wonder how many car accidents are caused by slow drivers in the left lane.  Confident drivers, and yes, I’ll admit, pseudo race car drivers, suffer extreme frustration being behind a slowpoke in the left lane. Evasive maneuvers have to be tried to keep traffic moving. And did you notice that the slowpoke in the left lane often goes tandem to the car in the middle lane, or even slower!  Do we really need a pace car in the passing lane?


I conducted an experiment one evening. I wanted to see what it was like to drive below the speed limit in the right lane. Would you believe that I was passing everyone while cruising along in the right lane. I can honestly say it was relaxing in the right lane. All my slow buddies were in the left lane, waiting for me to descend upon them. Surprise! I had the right lane all to myself.


So here’s what you should do.  Think twice before you get into the left lane. Ask yourself: Am I up to the adrenaline and gas pedal rush? Do I really need to be there? If you must venture into the left lane, accelerate, pass, then MOVE OVER.  Get back into the middle lane so others can go on their merry, faster way.

Oh no! They’re moving over into the HOV lane. Warn the others!

Stepping into Middle Age

It was the socks.

I was spending the day driving around the region visiting clients, with a nice young gentleman – see there it is again.  Who speaks like that? I’ll tell you who. My mother-in-law.  When did I start talking like my mother-in-law?  When did I age out of “watch your language” and into “what a nice young man?”

Back to the socks. I was visiting my mother the night before the road trip. I forgot to pack stockings or trouser socks. (If I’m being totally truthful with you, I had actually forgotten my entire suitcase the day before and realized twenty minutes into the trip and had to turn back and go home.) I’m getting dressed and don’t have any socks. So my mother gives me a pair of beige knee-highs, and I figure, fine, I’m wearing ankle boots, no one will notice the beige socks with my black pants.

So I get into his car and glance down and see my feet.  Those socks are screaming “old lady.”  They make my ankle boots, which are comfortable (interpret: low heel) look like orthopedic shoes. I’m trying every which way to hide these socks. Oh, did I mention they are compression socks. Comfortable, let me tell you.  But they don’t scream sexy.

Those socks make me think about the whole package. What image am I projecting to the world? Sensible black shoes.  Compression socks (granted, not my normal hosiery, but the world doesn’t know that). Elastic waistband (even if I’m cheating by having it only in the back half, hidden by my jacket). Gloves and scarf because there’s a nip in the air.

Did I mention the tissues? I don’t even have a cold, but I have tissues everywhere. In my coat pocket; in the outside pocket of my many-pockets pocketbook; in a dedicated pocket inside the many-pockets pocketbook. My car has a napkin compartment. The only place I haven’t put them yet is in the cuff of my blouse. Oh please, if you see me start to slip one there, slap my hand.

Now, this nice young gentleman, who is only ten years my junior (young enough for me to have been his babysitter, but too old for me to be his mother) starts driving and we don’t have directions. Sensible, older me is a bit annoyed that young gentleman is totally reliant on portable technology to solve this problem. Problem being, I can’t find my reading glasses in my many-pockets pocketbook. So he’s counting on his hyperopia passenger to direct us, and I am totally useless. I can only look out the window and enjoy the scenery. Except when I’m telling him the exit is coming up, or to watch out for the car in front of him. (I can see in the distance.)  Maybe if he didn’t have to read his phone GPS while driving, I wouldn’t have to keep my eyes on the road. If only I could remember where I put my reading glasses.

And then, and then…I still can’t believe I did this…compression-socked Eileen actually looked for a restroom when we stopped for gas …. just in case!  I didn’t even have to use the restroom, but hey, you never know when the next one will come along.

It was a long day in the car, and we were late heading home. By 9pm, which is a sensible bedtime, I was yawning in the car. I wanted to take off my orthopedic shoes, adjust my compression socks and give my elastic waistband a real stretching. When we finally ended our day, I had to unfold myself out of the car and listen to joints crack. I couldn’t wait to get into my flannels and go to bed.

So, somewhere along the way, I’ve morphed into a sensible middle-aged woman. I now need to budget extra travel time to return home for forgotten items. I need to keep a bag of unmentionables (like compression socks and granny panties) in my suitcase so I don’t have to borrow from my hostess. My midriff has become too fond of elastic. Curses are just wrong coming from a woman who has to dye her hair every three weeks. I am forever on the hunt for stylish but comfortable shoes. And there are so many nice young gentlemen who call me Ma’am.

Oh, post-script about those reading glasses. The next morning I remembered I carry this really cool magnify glass in my many-pocketed pocketbook for times when I can’t find my reading glasses. If only I’d remembered I had them.