June 10, 2010 Eva McCormack
The Old Man in the Buick
A lesson in patience.
When I think back on my life I can recall different times when I’ve had to learn to be patient - waiting in lines, sitting in a doctor’s office, or sitting in traffic when I’m late for work. The one time that vividly stands out in my mind, however, was when I was eighteen and a first year driver. I can still see the old man with his hand on the window mouthing the words “patience, patience”.
I was a little late getting my driver’s license because we didn’t have a vehicle on which to practice. My father used his car strictly for work – and he was “always at work”. We eventually bought a second car and on my eighteenth birthday, I passed my drivers test. I wasn’t a very patient driver however. It seemed I was always in a hurry. I would sleep too late, stay too long or loose track of time while having fun. I would speed from one place to another, overtaking cars along the way. One day while I was driving down a small highway I found myself behind a big white Buick going the speed limit. “An old man’s car”, I thought. In front of him, a little farther down, was another car. Behind me was a car driven by someone I recognized from school. His name was Alan. I didn’t really know him but I knew who he was. As we drove down the highway Alan became impatient because of the speed we were driving and began encroaching on my bumper. I, too, was impatient because I was already late for my hair appointment and that Buick was going much too slow for me. Alan sounded his horn and smiled as he passed my car then passed the car in front of me. I could see the man in the Buick shaking his head as Alan drove past him. Far ahead, Alan was now preparing to overtake the next car as they approached a bend in the road. I decided to shave off a few minutes of my time by also passing the Buick. I could see the bend in the road way up ahead but I felt I had plenty of time. I eased...