Nothing inspires so much rage as the school drop-off line. Maybe you’re lucky and live in one of those wonderful areas of the world where your state government has not abused the taxpayer dollar and you are privileged enough to have school bus service to spare you from this hell. But if you’re in California like me, chances are, THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
Simplified, the basic idea of the school drop-off line is that one car after another drives up and drops their kid off at the curb, waves goodbye, and the parent goes off to do their thing and be yelled at by assholes all day long at their job. That should be the hardest part of their day!
But no. It can’t be that easy.
See, my kids’ school tried to make this fairly straightforward – A curbside lane for drop-offs, a middle lane to get out of the curbside lane, and a lane on the far left for those just passing through.
But none of this works as planned, because – Didn’t you know…Some parents are more special than others!
Let’s meet these paragons of humanity, shall we?
The Helicopter Mommy
Sally loves her kids more than you love yours. It’s as simple as that. Sally drops her kid off at the curb and insists on bestowing loads of affection on him in the car to make up for the precious hours they are apart.
She packed his gluten-free lunch with a sandwich lovingly cut into a heart shape, scribbled ‘Mommy loves you!’ with dry erase marker all over his plastic containers of tuna salad and homemade chocolate chip cookies. She’s even added a moist towelette that she opened and spit all over so he can clean his face with her saliva.
Bonus points: She included a t-shirt with her scent in case he misses her.
She’s Mother of the Year, of course.
And here she sits with her rotors spinning, helicoptering in the drop off line at the curb watching her precious boy walk all the way up to the door of the school. She WILL NOT leave until he’s safely inside the doors. Because that’s what good helicopter mothers do.
The rest of the day she will be monitoring Facebook looking for someone to mention a lockdown at a school so she can have a justified reason for her loosely restrained hysteria while arguing about vaccinations and breastfeeding. Meantime, while you are waiting and spilling out every sarcastic quip you can think of while holding back your seething rage, another kind of parent is seizing the opportunity to lord over all you rule-following, good citizen parents.
The asshole doesn’t care. Because society has made being an asshole “cool” – The rest of us must now live with twice as many breeds of dickhead as the ones that used to only occur naturally.
In direct contrast to our social system hyping up the almighty Social Justice Warrior, assholes became a necessary addition to the melting pot. This is what you get when you try to make nicey-nice crap a part of society. You get assholes who get sick and tired of the narrative being forced on them and they rebel by abandoning general societal niceties, resolving to just be a dick.
So while you are sitting there waiting for Sally to move, the asshole comes barreling down the center lane, giving two shits less about everyone else in line to drop off their kids, swoops in front of Sally to drop off his kid, whom he is also teaching to be an asshole, and nearly takes out kids trying to cross the crosswalk in the process.
The asshole likes to tailgate everyone in front of him just because he can. He’s super important, if you didn’t know. Guaranteed to have some kind of shitty bumpersticker about whatever political B.S. he represents or whatever other stupid cause he has to identify with because he has a small penis.
The Hot Mess Parent
To be fair, the hot mess parent is sometimes not directly the one at fault here…but in a way, they kind of are. Because they should make sure their little hell minions have their shit together before they get in the car. Yet, here they are…Pulling up and their kid hops out of the car with no shoes on (WITH NO FUCKING SHOES ON!) and a mountain of trash falls out of the car with them. The kid obediently picks up the trash, then proceeds to not only put on and tie their shoes, but dig in the car for something, go around, open the back door and dig around till they find whatever in God’s New Green Deal recyclable hell they are looking for.
As your rage mounts waiting for them to pack for their European vacation, they go around to the trunk (THE GODDAMN TRUNK!) to get their backpack out.
Can their kid not endure a five minute drive to school in minor discomfort with a backpack on their lap or on the floor next to them? This isn’t a goddamn airport.
The icing on the cake comes when mom jumps out of the car in her beer t-shirt, fluffy PJ bottoms and slippers with 2 day unwashed hair and chases after them with a hair brush. Because her kid’s week-long unwashed hair is going to look SO much better running a brush through it, amirite? Author’s note: Do not dare to honk at this mother. She’s fucking crazy and will beat you with the hairbrush that just touched her kid’s dirty head.
The Late Parent
I hated the LATE parents so damn much I started dropping my kids off early. They’re the craziest mofos of them all. But then I realized you can’t escape the LATE parent. Because if they are not late for dropping their kid off, then they are late to their damn job. They’re late for something! And their irrational hysteria and panic may get someone killed. They will become an ‘Asshole’ parent and cut you off. They will swerve out in front of you. They, however, are not doing it to be an asshole. They are just completely not in their minds, right now, because they are about to get fired.
You’ll know them when they pull up in the center lane and push their offspring out of the passenger seat to go rolling haphazardly in front of your car like a tumbleweed with a GPA and a homework assignment on Mussolini. These kids have probably been in therapy for their unexplained anxiety issues before they were five so be kind and don’t run over them.
The Complete Dumbass
Not everyone can have an average IQ. Whatever your role in society, you have to accept this. Not everyone can function on a cellular level the way the world around them does. They’re just not going to get things like:
- You should probably let your car come to a complete stop before you let your kid get out.
- Dropping off in the far left lane is a no-no and guaranteed to eventually get your kid killed (Have you not SEEN the asshole and late parents drive?!)
- You can’t park your car in the drop-off zone during drop-off times.
- If you insist on giving your kid a backpack on wheels so as not to create muscle tone and to keep them a weak little pussy, then you should probably drop them in an area with a wheelchair accessible curb since they are going to stand there crying because they can’t lift their 40 lb bag onto the sidewalk.
- You can’t just stop your car in the left hand passing lane and then get out and chase after Timmy because he forgot his bagged lunch.
- Crosswalks are a zone where children are allowed to legally walk out in front of your car.
- Turn signals are flashing lights that indicate which direction you are going to go which alerts other drivers and helps avoid preventable collisions.
- The actual speed limit in the school zone is 25 mph, NOT 25 mph less than whatever you normally drive on city streets, which I’m judging would be about 75 mph based on your speedracer-like drift around the school crossing guard.
This is why a friend of mine offering to take my kids to school every morning in exchange for occasionally picking up hers was a blessing in disguise. I can sit and have my coffee in peace and meditate while planning my escape to one of those blissful states of the union where bus service is not mythical and my ugly side can stay sheathed until unearthed by more worthy causes like arguing politics on Facebook.