When I went through Driver’s Ed, it was part of a last-ditch effort to leave behind a life and state that had imparted very bad memories on my family. I had just turned 16 and, as a resident of
misery Missouri, I was eligible to complete the education requirements for a license long distance (AKA online). By the Good Lord’s favor, we discover that the first day I would qualify for my license exam was one day before ditching dodge. (By MO law, you must have your license 180 days and our local DMV only accepted new driver applications on Fridays.) A 6-month, online course suddenly was condensed to 6 weeks and I became the designated driver of the family.
In all honesty, I think my driving program was pretty thorough and I recall a lot of the lessons I read (Yes, read! No classroom or long classes…unless you count waiting for the timer on a page to run out so I could move to the next one. Be jealous!) especially the “Pregnant Lady Theory,” or whatever it is they called it. I don’t really remember.
This Preggo Theory came about during the lesson talking about road rage. Let me sum up the gist of it for you.
Suppose you are driving down a two-lane road and suddenly, someone comes flying up behind you and begins to ride on your bumper. Instead of exhibiting traits of road rage (i.e. deliberately slowing down, yellow, honking, the works), simply move over into the other lane and allow the driver to pass. Mentally, address the situation with the idea that maybe the other driver was rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital.
That is the “Pregnant Woman Theory.”
Now I see you over there and I see that hand raised. Why am I telling you this? Do I think you are a bad driver? No. (Truthfully, I don’t know. I’ve never seen you drive.) But I do think that you need the “Pregnant Woman Theory” in your life. I know I needed it in mine.
There is this unavoidable thing that happens in some friendships. You start off being friends with someone. Maybe years go by and your friendship remains strong. Then one day you two begin to drift apart. You aren’t the one who is putting distance in the relationship, but she doesn’t seem to respond when you try to pull the relationship back on a solid path. It is as though she deliberately wants to walk away from you and the history you have together, at least it feels that way. And unless she needs something from you, or you have something to give them, you find that the other person continues to push you out of her life.
This sort of situation leaves you with two options: road rage or the “Pregnant Woman Theory.”
Option 1: Road Rage
This route almost definitely leads to the termination of the friendship permanently. Feeling ignored, isolated, pushed to the wayside, old hat, used, and forgotten and choosing to let those things be the driving force in handling the derailed relationship doesn’t help anyone. Especially not you.
I’m not trying to make excuses for your friend because believe me, I’ve been where you stand and currently have situations in my life that follow this unfortunate pattern! But your friend might not realize she is causing you all this trouble. She may have grown into the sort that doesn’t reach out often, is really busy with work, or genuinely doesn’t have Facebook Messenger on her cellphone.
Or she might be the gal who has moved on from you in an obvious way. Again, I understand this pain! Years upon years of what seemed to be a really great friendship suddenly tossed out the window for new or more like-minded company. It really hurts being the last thought and as hard as it is to see the history thrown away, sometimes it’s easier to let go.
Road Rage never helps anyone and responding to road rage can cause damage the goes deep. Lashing out is never a good option because it always leads to more long-term issues than if we would have moved into the other lane and let her pass on by in the first place.
Option 2: The Pregnant Woman Theory
So, this one takes a little bit of discipline and you probably won’t get it everyday or even every time. It is the conscious decision to think well of your distant friend and assume that maybe, just maybe, she is in a season of crazy. I know I’ve been in seasons of crazy and lost touch with people. Did I want to see our friendship fizzle out? Absolutely not! But the season I was in made it impossible to add in anything else, even old friends… Unless you and your friend of business partners, roommates, or obligated to participate in the same activity, it’s not all a far stretch to think that maybe things are just a little crazy right now and when they do settle down she will get in touch.
I’ve started to choose the “Pregnant Woman Theory” a lot more than I used to. This decision does have a bit to do with age, growing older, and loosening the reigns on some ideals, but it also has a lot to do with my faith. Jesus Christ calls His daughters to rise above the human response of road rage. He calls us to be witnesses of His unending grace and mercy even when I don’t think the other person deserves it. Choosing Christ’s way, over my way, has caused me to grow into a better person, too. I am more capable to handle what is to come without experiencing the heaviness of bitterness, anger, or hurt feelings.
One thing I’ve come to realize in this journey is that feeling angry or bitter only affects my life. The person I am angry with or bitter towards doesn’t experience repercussions anywhere near what I do, if at all. It just isn’t worth the energy to get caught up in the moment. There are so many more beautiful things ahead, my dear.
Who knew Driver’s Ed would actually pay off in the long run? What can be so easily overlooked is that things change, people change, friendships change and life miraculously goes on.