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Jenny, who was in the backseat, made dirty faces at the woman now shouting at my window -- it was hard to understand her, but I caught the words "my baby" a few times. I was laughing hysterically -- a nervous defense mechanism. Finally, the honking cars behind us resolved the battle, and the woman got back in her car and peeled out onto the on-ramp. As she drove away, I noticed for the first time the child seat in the back of her car.

I consider myself to be a respectful driver, which could be one of the reasons I get so upset when others don't show me the same courtesy. But if the offender is visibly angrier than I, my cursing ceases. The front of a blue truck was nearly kissing my Corolla's ass on Adams Avenue yesterday, and I could see the driver's face contorted in frustration. You cops don't need to hear this, but I was already going over the speed limit. With a dangerous swerve into oncoming traffic, the guy passed me. As he did so, I met those furious eyes with mine and smiled at him.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a wave to diffuse someone's anger. When I merge, even if I had to nose my way in front of an unrelenting vehicle, I smile and send my hand into the air in a universal "thank you" wave. I hope that two things occur: (1) The driver who wasn't letting me over now feels guilty. (2) The driver realizes that an extra car in the lane isn't the end of the world and slows to let others in when appropriate, rather than speeding up to block them. I always let people in my lane, and I am always appreciative when someone else does the same. But I still indulge in a little rage.

David and I are on our way out to run some errands. He's made me promise not to curse at other cars on the road. Maybe I should go without him.

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