“How do you feel about going back to work?”
With two weeks remaining until I return to work, it’s starting to hit me how much more difficult it’s going to be returning to work.
Not because I’ll miss the kids and housework too much (come on) and not because of the work part either. I am one of those very lucky people who LOVES their job. I love my team, I love my office, I love everything about what I do…it’s the getting to the job that’s giving me knots in my stomach.
I don’t remember much about being 17, but what I remember with absolute clarity is the freedom and joy I felt the day my parents handed me the keys to my own car. It was my Mom’s and it was a 1990 Pontiac Tempest.
I remember cruising around with my two closest friends Nicole and Jackie and blasting No Doubt like I was the coolest person in the world. I loved to drive! From the moment I received those car keys there was no taking them from me.
Nothing will crush your love of driving more than commuting. Monday and Wednesday the boys attend daycare in Burlington, so I can hop on my road-crush, the 407 and make it to work in under 30 minutes. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Paul’s parents watch them.
While I appreciate the free-babysitting, Polish lessons, and time they get to spend with their grandparent’s, these drives take years off my life.
From our house to their house it’s about 40km west. During rush hour this takes anywhere from 35-55 minutes depending on the level of gong-show the highway is at. After dropping the boys off, I turn around and drive about 20km South-west to work, which takes between 20-30 minutes.
If I was only dealing with the mileage, I would be fine. If I was only dealing with the congestion, I would be fine. If I was only dealing with two kids in the backseat screaming and whining, I would be fine. I could handle all of these things without wanting to kill someone.
What pushes me over the edge into a land of brimstone and hellfire is that most of the commute takes place in Mississauga. Mississauga is home to the worst drivers in the world. For anyone who hasn’t had the ass-clenching pleasure of attempting to drive in Mississauga I have created this nifty list so you’ll understand the types of drivers you will be dealing with:
Sir Squeeze a lot:
This driver knows their lane is ending, they will not signal, they will ignore the signs indicating the lane is ending until they lane has actually ended and then they will squeeze in front of you. If you creep up to block them out, they will glare at you from their car, honk or give you the finger.
They are normally male, wearing a suit and a shirt/tie combo that came in a box with a cell phone clipped to their belt and a Bluetooth in their ear. They will be driving a wide range of vehicles.
Oldie Mc shouldn’t have a Licence:
(disclaimer - I am not ageist. I am not saying old people can’t drive. I am saying that there are A LOT of old people on the road that perhaps should not be driving.) This person is normally driving a Buick. They appear to be surprised that they are driving. Normally they are driving well under the speed limit, honking is futile and they either won’t notice or they will assume you’re honking because their speed of 40km/h in a 60km/h zone is too fast and they will slow down to 30km/h.
Spray tan Barbie/Ken:
Always driving a Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta/Golf/Cabrio, blasting house music at sound decibels that will split your eardrums. Can sometimes be found in Tim Horton’s parking lots. While on the road they believe they are extras in The Fast and the Furious and will try to race you off the line at a red light (even when you’re driving a Kia Sorento and listening to The Wiggles…).
The blind spot lurker:
Normally a man with a stained shirt driving a 1999 GMC Safari (or equivalent shitty mini-van). This person finds it personally offensive that you are trying to enter a lane which they believe belongs to them. Even though they are aware you are signaling, they won’t slow down or speed up enough for you to change lanes. They are normally men with really bitchy wives and they use this as an opportunity to feel like they are in control. Fuck you Gary, I need to exit, it’s not my fault Glenda’s a bitch!
The premature Indicator:
To offset the lurker, you may compensate by being courteous to other drivers in hopes your driving karma may improve. If you see the premature indicator attempting to merge into your lane, you will slow down and wave them into the lane. As they are used to driving in the lawless hellscape of Mississauga, they will assume this is a trap and either remain in their lane with their signal light on, or worse, have no actual intention of changing lanes, just happen to enjoy driving with the signal light permanently on. Normally female, normally driving a Dodge Caravan. The Weaving Weasel: Always driving a white or black BMV or a Mitsubishi Lancer. Normally male with way too much styling product in their hair, higher concentrations of them located on the QEW between Mississauga Road and Ford Drive. They believe that by recklessly weaving in between gridlock traffic they will get where they are going quicker. It’s obligatory and customary that if they remain on the highway once the HOV lanes open up, you give them the finger when you get to whiz past them.
The meek merger:
Normally a woman, normally driving a Range Rover or equivalent luxury SUV (only in white, black, silver or champagne). Not to be confused with the premature indicator, the meek merger is terrified of the highway so she will signal while she’s still on her driveway and come to a complete stop on the merging lane until the gridlock traffic opens up and lets her in. Do not honk or look in her direction, she’s terrified enough as it is.
Right Turn Turd:
You’re at a red light in the right hand lane. You’re not making a right turn, but the dickbag behind you is. He will be wearing a baseball cap (normally mesh-back, sometimes one that came free in a case of beer), he will be driving a pick-up truck, either white or black with those novelty testicles having from the back trailer hitch.
He is overcompensating for this micro-penis, so even though you creep forward as much as you can, there is no way you can make enough space for him to make his right turn. Instead of waiting for the green, like a normal person, he’s in a rush to get home and jerk off to his own reflection so he will jump the curb, missing you by inches.
(non) Mellow Yellow:
There are many of these people living in Mississauga, so I can’t tell you what kind of car they will be driving. When the light changes from green to amber or when an advance reaches its end, there is always the “gimme” car. That one car that cuts it too close but manages to complete their left hand turn before the oncoming traffic begins accelerating. In Mississauga, there are MANY people who will continue turning left, in front of the oncoming traffic. On more than one occasion I have had to wait at a green light because FOUR cars proceeded through the intersection on a left turn after the advance was over. It’s always best in Mississauga to assume people are going to run the red and drive as if they are the only people on the road.
Again, they are plentiful in Mississauga, so I can’t specify a car, but they enjoy bunging up intersections. If a lane is plugged up into an intersection, instead of waiting until there is space, they will drive into the intersection, blocking traffic going in the opposite direction when the light cycle changes. The best intersection to see this in action is at Cawthra on the 403 onramp. This is made even more fun when you’re facing an advance green and can’t enter the lane but the cars behind you start honking because they want you to drive like a dick too.
I hope this list helps prepare you for your next drive in Mississauga. I have no doubt that one day you will be driving and see a woman with a crowbar smashing another car’s windshield in. When that day comes, please tell my children I love them and tell Paul while I’m in jail, he is NOT to find someone else.