Thursday, June 20, 2013

Looking back...on not looking back

The rearview mirror in my car fell off three weeks ago, and I think it's made me a better driver.

Cue analogy to life (while wearing a cowboy hat): "GOT MY REARVIEW MIRROR TORN OFF…CUZ I AIN'T NEVER LOOKIN' BACK…AND THAT'S A FACT"

Speaking of facts, I don't know why it fell off. 

It's probably because the 90-THOUSAND degree temperature we're hitting already in New Orleans made the mirror glue weak and defective. 

I didn't notice it at first. 

I got into my car after work one day, put the car in reverse and looked up to where the mirror normally is but didn't see anything. 

For a second, I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I scanned the entire windshield, confused. 

What's wrong…what's wrong…I thought, still in reverse in the parking lot, a similar internal reaction to when I see a guy who has dramatically changed his facial hair. 

You look….different! I KNOW you do!!! Just can't put my finger on what exactly it is…

When I figured out that the problem was that there was no mirror there, I became extra confused because my first instinct was that someone had stolen it. 

I actually checked my center console for my iPod. Whew. 

"Who steals a rearview mirror and not an iPod??" I thought for a split second.

But then I looked on the floor and there it was, halfway under the passenger seat reflecting NOTHING. 

I put the car in park and picked it up, observing the orange-y glue on the back side of the mirror and on the windshield. 

I tried to just stick it back up there, durrr, with no luck, obviously.

So I tossed it aside and started driving forward with NO EYES BEHIND THE BACK OF MY HEAD.

And guess what!??! It's been god damn delightful!!

Is there a car riding my ass? I don't know! I can't see behind me! 

Yes, it appears from looking at my side mirrors that a car is indeed traveling very close behind me, but those mirrors specifically say that things are all skewed and look closer than they appear right?? 

So, who cares. 
(Go around me, turd.)

No, at first, the only major concern I had with no rearview mirror was switching lanes. 

THE DRIVER'S ED INSTRUCTOR SAID YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SEE BOTH HEADLIGHTS OF THE CAR IN THE LANE NEXT TO YOU IN ORDER TO SAFELY SWITCH LANES…HOW WILL I KNOW NOW??? 

I CAN'T TELL IF BOTH HEADLIGHTS WOULD BE SEEN FROM WHERE THE MIRROR USED TO BE!!

But as it turns out, turning your entire head to check for cars in other lanes is just as effective.

And who needs to look behind them anyway??? 

(Well, besides to check and see that the floating plastic bag you ran over was still indeed floating around the street behind you and not sucked up into your car's engine, of course.)

I mean, lots of people don't drive with rearview mirrors. Motorcyclists!!! Scooter-ists!!!! People who drive big rape vans!!! Um, I mean construction vans.

It wasn't even a problem for me to parallel park with no rearview mirror, since a wise person once told me, "Turn your ENTIRE head and body around when you back into a spot, why don't women do this???" and I've made it a practice ever since.

But my no-mirror bliss was sharply interrupted the first time I noticed a cop behind me. I panicked. 

DID HE NOTICE I DON'T HAVE A REARVIEW MIRROR?? 

CAN YOU TELL IF SOMEONE DOESN'T HAVE A REARVIEW MIRROR WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING BEHIND THEM???

I cursed the street for not having a car in front of me at that moment to tell.

Then I thought, "Relax, he'd be looking at your license plate if anything. 

Then: OH GOD, I NEVER PAID MY RED LIGHT CAMERA TICKETS!!"

Four panic-attack blocks later and the cop turned off somewhere else (I know because I looked at my side mirrors) so I never got in trouble for my missing car accessory.

The next week, I needed to get my oil changed and tried to get the shop to put my mirror back up but the technician said no, they didn't have rearview mirror glue. He said I could get some at Auto Zone.

"You know it's illegal to drive without a rearview mirror," he said.

WELL HOW DO THE "CONSTRUCTION VANS" GET AWAY WITH IT??

The truth was, I enjoyed riding around town without looking back. I know it sounds kinda dumb, but it was really freeing. 

And BONUS, I could use the mirror that was sitting on the passenger seat as a super up-close mirror to check things like the sleep in my eyes at red lights!

But alas, every single cop in town must have known that I was missing my rearview mirror AND that I was paranoid about it, because at least once a day a cop would drive behind me and I couldn't take the stress. 

Act natural!!!! I would say to myself. Definitely DON'T turn your entire head and body around right now. 

My rearview mirror was finally fixed by my dad when I was out of town last weekend. 

My mom picked me up from the airport in my car with the reflecting rectangle stuck firmly on the windshield.

"You father said not to touch it for 24 hours!" she instructed.

I was about to drive when my mom asked me if I had my glasses.

"No," I said. 

"Well how are you going to see??" she asked, taking the keys back.

"I don't need to see…uh, behind me…" I said. "NEVER LOOKING BACK! ...AND THAT'S A FACT!"

Silence.

Needless to say, I rightfully slumped in the passenger seat all the way home.

Ugh. 
Hindsight.

-Jenny

2 comments:

  1. Typical Southern driver, not using rearview mirrors and not yielding to faster moving vehicles. Do you also not use your blinkers and immediately pull into the fast lane upon entering the interstate though there is no in front of you to warrant the lane change? This is Boston by the way. Im signing as aonymous because i didnt know what else to do.

    ReplyDelete

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