Monday, October 25, 2010
I don't drive.
I have a driver's license, but I haven't driven a car regularly in over 20 years.
So, to get around, I ride a bike. Everywhere.
I'm one of those crazy people you see riding their bikes in the winter.
I won't ride my bike in ice or snow, of course. But if it's cold or raining, I'll ride. I have water proof gear. and as for the cold, well, you don't really get cold when you're pedaling uphill furiously.
Tommy does drive, however, so if we need to go somewhere together, or far away, we get around in the beat-up teal Camry that his Mom gave us 5 years ago.
So, anyway, we were coming back from the New Rep the other night. And we were driving down that highway, I'm not sure what it's called, the Herter Parkway? Is that it?
But it's that stretch of highway heading towards Cambridge, where you get to that intersection that leads to Storrow Drive, you know?
And we're driving along, and suddenly, right in the fast lane of the highway are three college age girls on bikes. Seriously. On. Their. Bikes. In the middle of the night. No lights. No helmets.
And we slow down, of course, because we don't want to hit them, and there's no bike lane, I mean they REALLY can't be on this road. AT ALL. It's not made for bikes. I mean, it's a highway. And I know this, because I ride my bike everywhere, and I would NEVER ride my bike on this street. It's CRAZY.
So, at the light I roll down my window and I told them not to go straight, because it looked like they were going to do that: get onto Storrow Drive. On their bikes. So I told them: don't get onto Storrow. It's dangerous. You could get killed.
And this one sassy girl just looked back and me and smirked and said: "Look, Dude, don't worry about US. We know what we're doing."
And off they went. No lights. No helmets. No bike lane. On a highway. At night.
And this is how I suddenly knew that I had turned into my mother. Because I was still worrying about them hours later.
During all the tragic bullying going on among young people lately, there was a lot of discussion about how it all could have happened, and they had a psychologist on a news talk show, and the host asked her: why are young people so mean to each other? Why would two seemingly normal 20 year-olds, for example, secretly film their roommate having sex and then post it on YouTube, driving their peer to leap off a bridge?
And this psychologist explained that until you are about 25 or so, the front part of your brain hasn't fully connected the the back part. So, theoretically, these kids can't connect their behavior to any future consequence.
In other words: 20 year-olds are only using one part of their brains at any given moment.
And after last night, I sort of believe it.