Every morning I drop off at two elementary schools, School A and School B. The parents of School A seem to be a fairly with-it set. Everybody lines up cars to drop off. The front four release kids and move on with the cars behind filling in the vacated spots. Repeat. Occasionally there are some outliers, but for the most part, everyone is following the rules of the road and it all goes to plan.
Then there is School B.
School B has some structural issues that make drop off a bit more challenging. There is on-street parking on both sides of the road near our preferred drop off point, the side door, which makes the actual lining up and disembark area much smaller. BUT I am firmly of the belief that if we could all act like adults who have been to driver's ed, this process could be smooth.
I hope for too much. Many parents at School B seem to have incurable cases of cranial rectal inversion.
As is the case many days, one of the three available positions in which to idle while the kids get out is occupied by a parked car. The dreaded light blue 80's Cadillac. Naturally, the pajama and slipper wearing parent chose the middle spot, causing as much hassle for the rest of us as possible. The car ahead of me pulls in behind the blue car and the driver gets out. She's helping her son while I am, quite intolerantly, thinking that if your kid can't get out unassisted, you need to park somewhere else and walk them in.
Then she gets out a pan of some sweet treat and starts inside. Maybe I was just feeling it this morning but No Flipping Way. There were already cars lined up behind me and I had no place to go, save down the block and parking myself.
Me: [rolling down window] Excuse me. That isn't a parking spot. You're going to need to move.
Rude Thoughtless Witch: I need to take these brownies inside.
Me: I don't really care. You need to move.
RTW: Well what am I supposed to do?
Me: Get in your car and drive it around the corner to a parking spot where you can legally leave your vehicle and carry in the brownies. You are holding up me and everyone behind me. And that's not a parking spot.
With daggers raining down from her eyes, she drove maybe 50 feet away and parked in a very nice, legal spot.
Poor Maggie looked as if she wanted to die. I told her sorry, but it really is the fault of the rule breaker. She mumbled a response and scurried off past the brownie-laden child who awaited the RTW's return.
It made me think of a discussion on a podcast I heard recently. It was about the chat-and-cut.* How if you wanted to cut in line, you could just go up to someone and strike up a conversation. The people behind you might grumble, but years of conditioning to be nice, not bully and avoid conflict had left large swaths of the population unwilling to engage people in a confrontational manner, even when the other person is clearly at fault.
My interaction this morning had two prime examples that give credence to this theory. Maggie was completely embarrassed that I would call someone out. And the RTW was in utter disbelief that not only would I say something, but then would refuse to back down when presented with evidence that it was better for her if she broke this rule.
So where am I going with this? Not entirely sure. I do know I am fired up today. That lady in the blue Cadillac had better watch out.
*Personally, I would never chat-and-cut.