I wish I were self-sufficient in terms of my transportation needs–to the point where I never have to be a passenger in someone else’s car again.
A columnist friend was driving me to work because he worked in the same town. This left me in town early but I did not mind. It got me there.
What I minded was when he objected to a column that another friend of mine had written, seeming not to understand the column, and saying some rather unkind things about its author, whom I very much respect.
At that time, I strongly desired not to be in the car, and not to be having that conversation. But what was I supposed to do? Roll down the window and jump out?
He was the driver. I was the passenger — and trapped.
As for the friend who wrote the column, she too is a driver. As it happened, I asked her if she wanted to go see a show on Friday night. I’d pay the tickets and she would drive.
“Sure!” she agreed — moments before seeing a column of mine posted on Facebook, upon which she then commented.
Not sure if she had read the whole column at that stage, as she was commenting on a statement in the lengthy “lead” to the column. I’m also not sure how ambiguously the lead was worded–but she is the only person who interpreted in a way that I had not intended. I explained what I had meant to say — or tried to — and then she disappeared.
The tenor of the reaction was such that I now anticipate getting into this person’s car and immediately embarking upon an intellectual or theological argument of some kind that will then make me want to climb out of the window of that car!
I think what I’ll do is just tell her how much I defended her column against the allegations of the columnist in the first car whose window I wanted to climb out of.
The moral of the story can only be one of three things:
(1) Get a car.
(2) Move to Washington State where your job is.
(3) Stop writing columns and hanging out with journalists.
Any deeper morals out there? Your call.