Car Line Etiquette

I was talking with a fellow mom yesterday, while waiting for our boys to emerge from the cavern that is the elementary school.  With the weather warming up, she and I both park our vehicles and walk up to the lobby doors, but during crappy days, we’ve had to pull up into the endless car line.

She and I were discussing why we loathe the car line.

The way it works is, you get to the school, and a line of cars has parked, waiting for the school bell to ring. Waiting for the children to come bounding outside, and into said cars. This should be a very easy process. Kid gets in. You drive away. More cars pull up to the curb, where your precious angel baby climbs in, buckles up, and you drive away, allowing more cars to… I know, you get the idea.

But in case you don’t, I’ve drawn up a very crude diagram. It’s terrible. I’m no artist. Don’t laugh.

Pretend the arrows are the cars. Sometimes, this line is rather long, going back two or three blocks from the school. When your car reaches the curb, your child gets into your car, and you drive away. This brings the line up closer, as they are able to move. Children are not allowed to enter your vehicle until you are at the curb. I repeat: CHILDREN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER YOUR VEHICLE UNTIL YOU ARE AT THE CURB.

There is a reason for this. A good one. Parents go insane. The school states it’s  for safety, but what they don’t say is: “Park your car in the car line, your ass will get a beating from the insane parents waiting a very long time to reach their children.” A mother may pull into this car line, designed to move- and yet they park. And stay there. Holding up the line. Not moving. Sometimes, I’ve seen these individuals reading a book, pretending not to notice the death stares they are receiving, as one by one cars have to move AROUND this parked car, which of course blocks the oncoming traffic of parents en route back home. Adding insult to injury: a plethora of space for parking purposes, which could in fact be CLOSER to where the children are waiting. CLOSER. It boggles my mind! Just park in the lot. Please.

And for the record, these individuals are not newbies. They are repeat offenders.

Then there are the parents who are in a big hurry, and proceed to cut you off. This happened to me recently. A blue Mustang. As I was pulling up, he somehow managed to swerve in and squeeze in between me, and the car in front of me. There was no warning, or hand signal, and certainly no thank you. I understand how frustrating it can be to wait in the line, but come on.

He proceeds to cut me off AGAIN as he leaves the parking lot of the school. There was no waiting. As I pulled up to get my son, he speeds right out in front of me, preventing it. I say to him (and I know he can read my lips): “ARE YOU SERIOUSLY CUTTING ME OFF AGAIN?” And he shrugs his shoulders as he quickly drives away, cutting someone else off as they are attempting to leave the parking lot.

The car line is no fun for anyone. Ever. We all know. So, why make it worse? Why be the designated douche bag? Yes, I said it. Douche bag. It’s frustrating and annoying, and lacks any sort of respect and decency for the other parents who are trying to make the process as painless as possible.

Thank God this weather is improving. I am going to park my car and walk up to the school as many days as I can, to avoid that mess.



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