Robin Ames lives in Coram.

I was driving to work the other day at around 8 a.m., heading west from Coram to Hauppauge. I was not enjoying the ride.

I was sitting in a massive traffic jam near Nicolls Road on the north service road of the LIE. This is a godforsaken place that I would, if possible, avoid at all costs. On this particular day, the nightmare was more intense than usual. Mayhem was beginning to ensue, trouble was brewing and the situation was becoming unbearable. We were not moving! I knew that my 35-minute trip was going to turn into a 135-minute trip.

As I sat there stewing and scowling, something caught my attention. Out of the corner of my right eye I spied a man one lane over. He was looking my way. He began to roll down his window. I thought, "Great, now some idiot needs directions. I am not in the mood!"

I reluctantly turned my head to the right and tried really hard not to look exasperated. Before I could open my mouth, he shouted, "You're beautiful!" I just stared at him, suddenly not comprehending English. I think I grunted, "Huh?" or "Excuse me?" But again he said, "You are beautiful!"

My next thought: "Well, this guy is obviously nuts." I am by no means beautiful. People have told me I resemble Sarah Jessica Parker, but I think they mean that I look like the actress on the day her wardrobe stylist, makeup artist and hairdresser all called in sick.

I decided to go along with the fantasy. I had nothing better to do. I thanked the disturbed man and waited for more compliments. He didn't disappoint! He went on to say that I had a "sparkling presence" and an all-around "great look," what with my messy, bleached-blond hair, pointy chin and undistinguished cheekbones. I couldn't wait to call my boyfriend and tell him how lucky he was to be with such a stunner. Maybe it was my fabulous looks that had stopped the traffic!

We finally started to move again and I had to bid goodbye to my admirer. I told him that I had been in a lousy mood until he came along with all the praise. I said, "Thank you" one more time, to which he replied, "No, thank you!"

As I drove to my office I thought about the bizarre, yet inspiring exchange that had just occurred and thought, "Maybe I'll take the UPS guy out for lunch today, or buy doughnuts for the entire office." I continued along in my car and shrugged. "Nah. It wasn't that inspiring."

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