Driving Miss Crazy

I start my day by driving my daughter into the high school. Why doesn’t she take the bus, you ask? Because I made the grave mistake last year of driving my kids to school once and in the Language of Teenagers, that translated to: I never have to ride the bus again.

This morning drive is sometimes the worst part of my day. Driving to the high school between 7:12 and 7:29 is just about the biggest pain in the ass and trumps all other annoyances, including running out of gas, bouncing a check, and misplacing your cell phone when it’s on vibrate.

This school drop-off is misery on wheels for several reasons.

1. Our high school was designed by people who got to remedial engineering class via the short bus.

Our high school has a side entrance, which my daughter has to use because it leads to the band room and she has to put her bassoon in there first thing in the morning. The bassoon case is large and heavy, and if she has anything more than a short walk from the car to her band locker, she will have even worse scoliosis, neck pain and TMJ than she already has and I would officially be The Mother From Wife Swap Who is Selfish and Doesn’t Do Anything For Her Kids.

This side entrance is approximately 50 yards from the front entrance, just a little hop, skip and a giant step from the elaborate, gated, fortressed area where the non-band kids and piccolo players can get to school.

But in their infinite wisdom, the designers of this school did not link those two doorways with a road. There literally is no way to get from the front entrance to the side entrance by car. Literally. “You can’t get there from here.”

Instead you have to drive out the front entrance and make a series of right turns, all on main roads, which is a 2.3-mile drive. There are no shortcuts through neighborhoods, even though you pass entire zip codes as you drive. And the whole time you’re picturing your daughter walking the 50-yard pedestrian walkway and thinking not very maternal thoughts.

The most major road you have to hit on this journey brings me to #2.

2. People on Indiantown Road at 7:12-7:29 a.m. are the devil incarnate, not to mention mean and selfish.

So you’re pulling onto a busy road and there’s a stream of traffic and the Guatemalans are trying to cross in front of you on their bikes and there are some kids who are walking to school (presumably whose mothers are The Mother From Wife Swap) who are trying to cross the street and there’s a light but you have to turn right on red or you’ll never get to the school by 7:29 and you finally make the turn and you’re on Indiantown, and you’re in the line that’s creeping forward to pull into the last street you must encounter before you get to the school, and you’re pretty happy that you did it without injuring anyone, and then that jackass with the Confederate flag on the back of his white pick-up truck slips right in front of you, causing you to slam on your brakes.

I hate that kid. I know I’m an adult and I’m not supposed to hate minors, but I hate that kid. First, he drives a pick-up truck with a Confederate flag on the back. Because he regularly cuts in front of me, I am right behind him as we enter the school parking lot, so I like to look at the face of the African-American parking lot patrol as this racial-slur-on-wheels pulls in. His face is expressionless and serene, but I hope he’s plotting some kind of revenge. One can only hope.

And flag boy drives like a maniac. He’s too busy and important to wait in the line to turn in, like the rest of us, so he just speeds up until he finds an opening right before the turn, and it’s often in front of me, because I refuse to bumper-hug the car in front of me, because I’m just not a mean-spirited person. I will key his truck though, someday if the parking lot patrol guy doesn’t take some kind of action soon.

3. My car is totally quiet, which exacerbates the problem of high school kids walking in front of moving vehicles.

High school kids are nitwits. I love them to death, but I could also take them and knock their heads together, if someone would invent a way to do that with 120 kids at a time.

After the extra drive to the side entrance, dealing with young David Duke, and finally getting into the parking lot, I’ve got to watch out for kids walking in unpredictable zigzags where the cars are supposed to go, which they do with wild abandon. They don’t even look to see if a car is coming. I’ve almost hit a couple of them, and unfortunately none of them are the driver of the white pick-up. [Did I just say that out loud? I didn’t mean that. I will never hurt a hair on that kid’s head. If anything happens to him, I had nothing to do with it. I would look hard at the parking lot patrol guy.]

When I’m driving really slow, my car engine takes a sabbatical, so I can sneak up on people. Not that I want to sneak up on these kids walking randomly through the parking lot. I want them to know I’m there so they’ll move. What am I saying? Even when they see me, they don’t move.

4. I have to do this into next year because my daughter won’t get her license in time to get one of the coveted parking spots and drive herself.

Unless an unfortunate accident happens to the white pick-up truck while it’s parked in the lot and that kid has to bum a ride and his spot opens up. Did I say that out loud?

* * * * *
Get updates on new Just Humor Me posts on Twitter. Follow Just_Humor_Me at www.Twitter.com.
Become a Facebook follower through Networked Blogs and new Just Humor Me posts will feed to your Facebook news wall.
Get on the email list by shooting me an email at diane.laney.fitzpatrick@gmail.com that says, "Please add me to your email list!"

Labels: , , , , ,