We have a pretty obnoxious -- very Santa Monica -- crosswalk about a block from my house. It is also the crosswalk I use every morning to get my coffee. It has huge yellow signs on both sides, flashing lights on the ground (when you push the button) and pretty high pedestrian traffic so everyone typically slows down on that section of Ocean Park Blvd.
This particular morning was going very well -- early to rise, morning at the beach, friendly encounters at the coffee shop...
And then...the crosswalk.
As I walked out, coffee in hand and still smiling about my favorite barista, I looked both ways and noticed a car was slowing down for me to cross. I stepped out slightly, looked him right in the eye and waved to say thanks. As I made my way across I heard, "PUSH THE BUTTON YOU JERK!"
The seventy-year-old man behind the wheel of his Prius fully stopped his car, leaned out and most definitely called me a jerk. In ALL CAPS. I was stunned.
As I made it to the other side, a woman screamed back, "Calm down. Have a nice day!" And then to me she said, "Oh, the nerve of people. Pedestrians have the right of way. Some people just get their feathers ruffled. I hope YOU still have a nice day."