With the beginning of the new school year I reentered the Hell known as: the Pick-up Line. I’ve had the unique privilege to while away, oh, probably ten years of my life in the Pick-up Lines of three schools in my town. I’ve analyzed this situation from my lowly minivan for years, and apparently, I’m one of the few people that have given it a second thought. Because, people, I’m here to tell you, IT’S A FREE FOR ALL OUT HERE!
On Wednesday afternoon, I made a nostalgic return to the elementary school with Jo to pick up her boys. We waited in line for almost two days (more like ten minutes), but as we were approaching the front of the line and the boys were in sight, a green minivan pulls up to our LEFT and the driver CALLS out to his children and asks them to RUN THROUGH THE LINE AND GET IN!
For once, the teachers spotted the offender and made him go to the back of the line and wait. But, I’ve often wondered, when a Line Cutter does that (and it happens more than you think)WHAT was he thinking? Was it that the rest of us were just too stupid to think of that strategy? Or, that perhaps, he thought we were all just having an afternoon Gin & Tonic in our SUV’s and minivans and were just languishing in line, killing time and it was okay for him to pull around and we wouldn’t mind? Could it be that he thought he was being stealthy and we wouldn't notice him in that dirty green minivan? Maybe he thought our kids were playing craps or somesuch game, and didn’t ask his kids to play, so, DON’T MIND ME, I’ll just get my babies and go now. Or how about this, his little children were the only ones ready to go home and watch Sponge Bob and have a snack? The others just wanted to sit on the concrete and stare at the wheels of the cars, while their Mom’s just sat with their vehicles in idle, staring into space! Phhheww!!
The biggest shock came when I was initiated into the High School Pick-Up Line, Syd’s freshman year. That one is a DOOZIE! Added to the pain of the Pick-Up Lines from the other schools, you have people ignoring the rules of the road (going in entrances where traffic is exiting). The high school is on major four-lane thoroughfare, plus there’s two or three hundred TEENAGE DRIVERS! And no one to supervise! That’s right – NO ONE. (Hey, let’s make up our own rules, it’ll be fun!) Don’t tell, but I think that the principal and the teachers are in building, secretly watching; I think they have their faces pressed against the windows, laughing sadistically, as the parents and students play Demo Derby in the Pick-Up line day after day!
Rea is at the middle school now and things have improved quite a bit since my last tour of duty. There has been a changing of the guard; the new principal has instituted a strict traffic pattern and issued a MAP! What a novel idea! She has RULES about Drop-Off and Pick-Up. Who as ever heard of such innovative things at a school? And do you know what else? She stands outside on the sidewalk and actually watches to see that said rules are enforced so that the children are kept SAFE! My word!
I only have three years of Middle School Pick-Up line before I have to reenter the High School Pick-Up Twilight Zone and the thought it already makes my palms sweaty.