You're minding your own business, driving down the Parkway, Route 37, or the AC Expressway, when suddenly, it's brake lights everywhere.

At this point, you're feeling a range of emotions, because you just want to get to the beach! "OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THIS TRAFFIC!" "It can't be that bad, can it?" One time, I was sitting in about an hour's worth of traffic, when I realized there are 5 Stages of Getting Stuck in Jersey Shore Traffic (think of it as a much less serious version of The 5 Stages of Grief (shout out to GenPsych for reminding me what they were.)

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Sadness (known as depression when we're talking grief, but this is far less serious)
  • Acceptance

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Denial: You first see all the cars stopped, and you think "this isn't that bad. It can only last for 1 or 2 exits, tops. We'll be out of here in no time."

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Anger: It's starting to sink in that you're going to be stopped for a little while. Here's the part where the screaming, cursing, and or banging on the steering wheel occurs.

Bargaining: Now you're thinking "dang, I should have taken the backroads," or "I promise if we get to the beach on time, I'll treat the family to some boardwalk pizza."

Sadness: The thoughts of the warm sand and cool ocean breeze start to fill your head, and it makes you sad that the only sea you're in is a sea of brake lights.

Acceptance: Finally, you come to terms with the fact that this traffic isn't going anywhere and can realistically live with it. Maybe you can get off an upcoming exit and take the back roads, or you extend your plans at the beach to make up for lost time.

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