Yes. You did read the title right. This is absolutely as daft as it sounds, but I realised recently that I suffer from acute windscreen wiper anxiety. Allow me to expand.
Here’s the scene: you’re driving along (destination unimportant but probably somewhere that sells chocolate) and suddenly it starts to rain, so you flick your windscreen wipers on. All pretty standard so far.
But rain is a tricky bugger to quantify precisely. My car has three wiper settings – slow, medium and fast – again, all pretty standard, but then rain doesn’t work like that. No, that would be far too convenient. Sometimes when it’s spitting, the slow setting is fine, but then you accelerate (to a legal speed, I might add) and suddenly it’s time to reassess the situation. But then medium is just that bit too fast, and well, here’s the thing, I feel like I’m over-reacting.
I sneak peeks at the cars coming towards me, and the cars behind me. I measure what speed their wipers are going at. If I’m on medium, and they’re only on slow, I’m embarrassed by my weedy rain-panicked behaviour, and I drop my wipers down accordingly. But, if I see a stream of cars on the same setting, then I can breathe a sigh of relief.
Have you followed me to this point? Can you see how absurd this whole situation is? Yes? Good, because me too. But I still can’t help myself. Sometimes, when I see a car coming towards me and they have their wipers on fast, and I’m still only on medium, I feel a sense of smugness that I am coping much better with nature’s capriciousness. Oh yes; that’s right. SMUGNESS that my wipers aren’t going crazy, unlike me, who clearly is.
And while I’m talking about vehicle-related peer pressure, how about headlights, hey? Obviously, it’s night, I have my lights on, but there’s the whole twilight thing (not dawn, never dawn. I just don’t ‘do’ dawn) – when is the appropriate time to switch your lights on? Surely you err on the side of caution, and therefore, safety, but then, no-one around has their lights on, and I feel like an idiot. Oh god.
I think I’d better stop now. Sigh.