I’m from Connecticut. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention it once or twice (per post 🤦♀️). In Connecticut, (and perhaps elsewhere in New England, as we probably deal most regularly with them) we have a term for Massachusetts drivers. We call them “Massholes.” Because, well, they tend to drive like complete a**holes. If you’re on the road and someone cuts you off, makes you slam on your breaks, swerve, or raise that forbidden finger? Chances are it’s probably a Masshole.
We recently made the 1000 mile comeback from Wisconsin just before Christmas, and now that the holidays are over, we are settled into a new interim routine right on the outskirts of Boston while we wait for the current owner of the house we are buying to move out. Part of this routine is driving Anthony to and from work in Boston’s finest rush hour traffic to save money, instead of him taking the train. At least until we are living in our house, and not living the Suite Life of Zach & Cody for three months.
Day one of this traffic was a majorly stressful and chaotic confirmation of what I already knew: Massachusetts drivers suck. And now I knew why. I was in the belly of the beast. Discovering the origins of the Masshole, if you will. Did I mention I had never driven in a real city before? I’ve been in the car in the city. But driving?? That was always someone else’s job.
Milwaukee doesn’t count. Those are normal roads, just with giant buildings on either side.
I quickly learned that the only way to survive that commute was to put on my No F’s blinders, go full on dog-eat-dog and just drive.
But as the days dragged on, I started to notice something.
Something I never ever pictured myself realizing at all, let alone admitting…
Massachussets drivers… are actually, kind of… good drivers. 😝
The words kind of sting a little bit. Especially if you have grown up developing the driving skills to survive on the roads with them.
But stay with me. They are good, in their own environment. Surrounded by other Mass drivers who are on the same crazy wavelength.
They Leave Gaps
One of the first things I noticed after my blood pressure lowered and I stopped seeing red that first day was that, these Massies.. while they may appear completely insane, are actually kind of courteous drivers. I had ZERO trouble merging onto the crowded highway. Those pesky buggers actually leave an abundance of space between their car and the next, I’m choosing to see as “Love Gaps” for people looking to get into their lane! Do you know who else does that? No one. No one else does that. At least not collectively, as a community. 😂
They Actually Let You In
Oh snap, did you forget to get over until right before your exit because you’re new here and have no idea what the hell you’re even doing? Don’t sweat it, sport, the massholes got your back! You throw that signal on, and like magic, room for you suddenly appears. I’ve spent plenty of time on highways in both Connecticut and Wisconsin where it seems that people think your signal is just on for fun.
They Are Psychic
Listen. I have witnessed some pretty crazy sh*t the last six weeks. If crazed operation of motor vehicle were an Olympic sport, we’d be seeing a lot more Massachusetts residents in PyeongChang right now. They dart in and out of lanes, they switch things up last minute, they randomly decide lanes of travel are now secondary lanes of parking spaces. And yet, people just flow. Like a river around rocks. It’s like watching synchronized swimming. Almost as if they were all trained by the same horrible driving instructor, and so they all expect and watch out for the same shenanigans.
They Make You a Better Driver
Here’s the thing. I’m not sure too many MA people actually know that they have a signal light, let alone how to use it. I sit in lines of traffic and watch people try and move into lanes in front of non-Mass drivers. Whom, mind you, are, quite dramatically according to the frantic sound of their horn wondering, “what in the actual f**k are you doing?” But as someone who has just completed a crash course (baha, no pun intended) in Mass driving, I have risen to a level of no longer looking for signals. A level of zen, if you will. I have learned to just assume anyone to my right will swan dive into my lane with little to no warning. Now, it doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, you can bet I’m ready to pump those brakes!
They Are Actually Statistically Safer Than We Are
No, really. According to the highway safety administration, the fatality rate in MA is 0.62 for every million miles traveled, and the lowest in the country. Apparently the worst is Montana, ringing in at 1.79. Which, in their defense, there are like, 16 people in Montana. I’m not sure how that helps their defense, but it sounds like it would be something of a special consideration, no?
Don’t get me wrong. Put them in any other state, and you’re asking for trouble. The rest of the country is understandably unprepared to drive the same roads as this particular breed of driver. Whether they are actually more advanced than the rest of us, or less… well, that remains to be seen. But, within their arena, they are actually pretty swift. 😂