Thursday, September 4, 2008

War & Peace...in the carpool line

This year I spend about an hour, sometimes more, in the carpool line waiting to pick up my kids. That's counting two different schools, two different pick up times, twice the number of parents.

Carpool rules.

Ahhhh...where to begin. There are so many of them (rules) at the elementary school, and the principal usually sends out lots of paper reminders about them. The middle school, no information on it, and pick-up is confusing, so I see the need for rules.

No talking on cell phones or texting. No blocking parking spots. Have your laminated number in the windshield. Try not to idle your engine, turn it off.



So, I sit in my car with the windows down, my unwashed, crazy hair hidden in a UT Longhorn baseball cap, furtively playing Sudoku on my cell phone,




(listening to Annie whining because she can't jump out and go play kickball with the kids on the playground), I watch not one, not two, not three, but FOUR cars consecutively cut in front of me!

I feel immediately outraged. I got here early, I'm following all the damn rules (well, maybe the cell phone playing isn't) but these people waltz up and cut! Do I get out of my car and confront them? Do I honk the horn in indignation? Do I ride up on their bumper and gesture rudely? I see the principal coming out to the line with her walkie-talkie to start carpool, should I tell her what just happened?

I do nothing. I breathe deeply and let it go. Because, really, what difference does it make? I'm getting worked up about nothing. These poor parents are either new to the school or don't know the rules or don't give a damn, and I'm really not going to get my son any faster. In the grand scheme of things, this is NOT something worth getting upset over. It's just not.

I read a post on SITS co-founder Tiffany's blog the other day about some issues in China. I mean, sheesh, at least I'm allowed to have two children. They have some big problems over there.

I also was blog browsing and found a post on Mamadance's site talking about the documentary Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids, a film I've seen. It follows a woman who's teaching photography to kids who live in brothels. Can you imagine growing up in poverty, in a brothel? The lives these kids live. All I can say it, you should watch it.

These two posts reminded me of the bigger picture. Life for me might be about annoyances in the carpool line, but honestly, there are much huger issues out there for me to worried about. So, I brush off these slight irritations like an irritating fly buzzing around my head and look forward, outward. What can I do to help fellow mankind? I think the key is knowledge. Making people aware. It all starts there.


49 comments:

Live.Love.Eat said...

Ya know what, I would have been so pissed off if that happened to me and it would have irritated me for a good part of the day IF I don't say anything. BUT I started politely making people aware of things they do that maybe they don't realize. Sure, we do have bigger problems but you'd be surprised what nicely venting to someone can do for you, them, and everyone else (who is probably thanking you secretly for saying something).

Valarie said...

I totally agree. Sometimes when things irritate me, I just have to stop and think, maybe they have had a bad day, or things could be worse. Its a matter of choice really, you can choose to be mad or you can choose to be glad. :)

Living on the Spit said...

In agreement here and I am one of those types who normally feel hurt when others don't follow the rules if I am following the rules...that really doesn't make sense, but if I have to follow the rules then so should everyone else. I practice letting go every day and some days it is easier then others. I am glad you're having a better day.

Susie said...

You inspired me to be a better person. I mean, HELLO...I am being treated for anxiety. Maybe if I took your approach, I wouldn't have to be. My reaction, Road Rage. I really need to work in the garden today to get me some Zen...but it is raining. Calgon, take me away!! Hee, hee, hee.

Karen said...

Your right, knowledge is the key, but just plain thinking something through can go a long way too. Great post.

Krystyn said...

I agree...we have to see the big picture. And, sometimes, it's very hard, especially in the heat of the moment.

Great post!

Could you relieve the stress of the carpool lane by having the kids take the bus, or is that not an option? Just curious.

TentCamper said...

I don't know...I would have gotten out and peed on their tires. But that is just me.

TentCamper said...

I hate it when people...especially parents, break the rules ...cuz their kids are more important than anyone else's.

TentCamper said...

Bastards!

TentCamper said...

But you are right...in the bigger picture...who really cares...there are more important things to worry about

TentCamper said...

That is all I have to say

American in Norway said...

I think..

American in Norway said...

Tent camper

American in Norway said...

is trying to

American in Norway said...

bugger his way

American in Norway said...

to the top of your

American in Norway said...

COMMENTS! Cheater!

But seriously.... you are soo right.. I am getting MUCH better about letting the little stuff go.. (I live in the land of line cutters!) Sometimes I let it get to me, but REALLY... what do we have to worry/complain about?

Jen said...

Oh I need to take a lesson from you. I get irritated at the little things sometimes but you are right. It is not worth it.

Ok this carpool thing is new to me? I don't get it. But I am sure that I will be seasoned soon enough.

TentCamper said...

did i tell you that I love your blog design?

TentCamper said...

oh...and that Little Miss Sunsine is about to get STOMPPED OUT!

TentCamper said...

COMMENT LOVE!!!!!!

Kat said...

WHAT!? Little Miss Sunshine??

Kat said...

Wrong, so very wrong.

Kat said...

Because, even though it's an irritation. If you just inform people of the rules.

Kat said...

Because, as you said "Knowledge is key."

Kat said...

Then people might approach the line the way they are supposed to.

Kat said...

Right?!

KP said...

re: born into brothels. good documentary, very accurate. when i went to india, it was exactly like that. very sad. but there are lots of people and organizations over there trying to help

re: sodoku: i have that game on my phone too! i play it all the time.

re: your other post about feeling like crap... i'm sorry. ride it through, it will get better. find something that makes you happy outside of family/home and take advantage of it. let your creative juices flow, its obvious you have lots stored up :) take care friend

<3kp

Justine said...

Ewww... pickup lines SUCK! I don't know how you do it every day. Can't they take the bus? How can they expect you to turn your car off in the Texas heat? That's just insanity? And for what reason? Fumes? Screw that! If I have to sit in a damn line for an hour, I'm going to do it with the a/c blasting.
I know, I know, I'm missing the whole "bigger picture" of this post, but all those rules are just too wonky.

Justine :o )

Cristin said...

I hear you... perspective is nice... but bad if you cut me off I'm telling you off in sign... oh yes I am... I get some strange looks..

Angie's Spot said...

It's really easy to lose perspective on just how good we've got it until you remember some of the craziness that occurs just over our borders and around the world. Thanks for the dose of reality!

Emmy said...

Well, all I can say is BLESS YOU for not freaking out. You must have sainthood in your blood lines somewhere, because I, as a bitter, cynical misanthrope at the youthful age of 21, would probably have rammed those cars on purpose!

I wanted to see the Red Lights movie but didn't when I had the opportunity. Glad to hear it was good, maybe I'll check it out.

Thanks for stopping by my site and commenting. I'll try to stop by often and add you to my blog roll!

Emily

leezee52 said...

Thanks so much for visiting me on my special day…I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited!

Lee :)

Captain Dumbass said...

My blogger feed doesn't like you because it hasn't told me about any of your recent posts. Time for a replacement. I'm glad I'm within walking distance of my son's kindergarten because I as SO not as patient as you are. I'm working on it though.

Vodka Mom said...

Do they AT LEAST have curbside service (for martinis) while you wait? I didn't see a sign...

(I'm on the inside, shoving the kids out the door! :-) )

Insane Mama said...

I'm glad I don't have to pick my kids up!

Insane Mama said...

They walk home, thankfully

Insane Mama said...

I read Tiffany post also about China...Heartbreaking

Insane Mama said...

Tentcamper is a total cheater.

Insane Mama said...

There are so many other things to get worked up about. Well said

Insane Mama said...

Do you think Annie likes my Amy?

Blog Stalker said...

You are the better person. But oh how I hate people like that. It's like when you see the lanes merging and so you make sure you don't wait till the last minute. And you merge over and then some guy comes by and zips all the way to the front where another car has to stop or be hit. And this car pulls ahead and goes happily on their way.

UGH! Irritating!

Anyway,lk great post! Bigger picture. I need to remember that!

Blog Stalker said...

You are the better person. But oh how I hate people like that. It's like when you see the lanes merging and so you make sure you don't wait till the last minute. And you merge over and then some guy comes by and zips all the way to the front where another car has to stop or be hit. And this car pulls ahead and goes happily on their way.

UGH! Irritating!

Anyway,lk great post! Bigger picture. I need to remember that!

Tranny Head said...

I saw that film, too! And it was amazing.

Isn't it wild how the small stuff can make you the most enraged? At least that's how I find it. Things like people trying to cut me off while I'm driving really make me enraged.

Well ... then again ... I guess I have lots of tranny rage. So nevermind.

*hangs head in shame*

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Dang it - your school has laminated car stickers, rules and a walkie-talkie wielding Principal!!!

You need to move to a smalltown school like mine LOL! Wait until I share this at work tomorrow.

Tiffany said...

Are Tent Camper, Insane Mama, Kath and American in Norway fighting for your top spot? LOVE IT.

I get outraged with carpool injustice.

But, you are totally right. We are blessed more then we could ever imagine being born into freedom.

mamadance said...

Hey! Thanks for linking to my post about the movie, Born into Brothels. Appreciate the shout-out. I will be posting a new movie each Monday, so keep tuned.

Also, thanks for the post about keepin' it real. I agree, it's hard not to get worked up about the little stuff, so it's important to broaden your perspective by opening your mind to the struggles of others. I work in a Title I school, and I think every day about the lives our students go home to each night. Breaks your heart....

Thanks again. I'll be back.

Jules said...

Ahem........ I park a couple of blocks away and walk. Not because I want to exercise (ug) but because I HATE HATE HATE to cutters in the carpool lane. And the traffic. Hate that too. So I go to my Haaaaaapy place and I walk. It's probably good for me. Probably.

CrystalChick said...

I was wondering why your got sooooo many comments on this post. LOL Ah, now I see.... should I join in? I've surely been bumped from my spot by now.
Oh well. I'll just go pout that no one ever has comment wars at my place.
I really need to start posting nekkid pictures. hehe
My son is in high school and old enough technically to walk, but we live probably 10 or 12 blocks away so if he wants a ride I take him. Yesterday and today he walked to and I'm doing the afternoon pickup.
Because there is usually no room to deal with picking up in front, he crosses the main street with the cop guard and I meet him. I don't have to fight the traffic getting out of the school that way either.