A Western Gal on Connecticut’s Highway

The view from my hotel room in Hartford, Connecticut.

Which sums up for me all that odd about many parts of New England. I don’t mind the view. There’s lots of sky and it’s a Homewood Suites over in Glastonbury. Nothing to write home about. Good for a few days’ stay and the linens are nice.

Traveling way too much, you get picky about stuff like linens. You wouldn’t believe how a rough sheet or thin towel can push you right over that edge, the one that’s been waiting for you.

The edge that, apparently, many Hartford drivers fell off, years ago.

In some ways, New England is so bucolic. With these gorgeous wooden farmhouses and real red barns.

There are dense trees all around, so one scarcely notices the busy highway just beyond.

Then there’s the whole industrial side. Both the shabby warehouses and crumbling parking lots and the gorgeously rehabbed buildings that pay homage to the past while providing reasonably green and pleasant working environments.

But underneath the pretty farmhouses and the chain stores all made to look Colonial, is this anger.

Granted my co-worker is a hesitant driver, the worst kind to be amongst the aggressive kind. And no, we so don’t know where we’re going or what lane to be in. But we were honked at four times yesterday and three times today. Not a get-going beep. Not even an impatient pop. But full-on rage-filled honking. And as the people speed by, their faces are set in dour, pissed-off lines.

I mentioned it on Facebook and a number of people commented that Connecticut drivers are worse, even than Boston. I can see it. Boston drivers are scary agressive and fast, but they don’t exhibit this level of sheer rage.

It’s interesing to be in this milieu, following Rep. Joe Wilson’s angry outburst, in a solemn and public setting, no less. And then, in a considerably less formal setting, but no less disconcerting for that, Kanye West’s bratly behavior at the Video Music Awards.

I wonder if it’s just that people’s filters are wearing thin. Which is okay, in many ways, since the what know are always telling us to vent our emotions, rather than bottling them up in repressed Puritan-throwback ways.

It could be, I suppose, that everyone is all stirred up. It’s been a hard year, in many ways.

People feel uncertain and insecure, which is understandable. Anger is what drives us to make a change really. If you’re pissed-off enough, then you finally act to change whatever it is that’s sticking in your craw.

But, at the risk of going Justice League, it seems that anger needs to be used for the powers of good. To create change, not to attack other people.

What does throwing a fit do? The angry honking. The yelling. The body-shaking frustration.

If only we could bottle the stuff…