How to turn a 10 minute drive into 40 minuntes.

I’m just full of advice these days aren’t I? 🙂

I don’t really have much to bitch about when it comes to my daily commute to/from work. After all, it’s just 5 miles door to door, 10 minutes tops, no freeway, perhaps some traffic in the summer as I’m heading home but that’s maybe 10 times a year that it’s worth a whine or two. Oh, and I get to drive by this:

Sunny or stormy, it’s always a soothing sight.

But something happens in December doesn’t it? No matter *what* your situation, every single simple trip anywhere becomes an adventure. There are just more people driving at all times of the day and they are stressed about this and that and certainly not paying attention. And it doesn’t help if you are part of the problem 🙂

I refer to myself as a ‘confident’ driver. Others might call me ‘aggressive’. Six or a half dozen I say. Either way, all I demandrequest from my fellow motorists is some ‘confidence’ of their own (don’t be afraid to use that pedal on the right please) and some courtesy (pay attention to the fact that there are other drivers around you. IOW, put down the damn cell phone & drive!) Anyhow, the other day instead of leaving for work at 7:40 as I should have, I made the huge mistake of puttering around the house just long enough for SportsBoy to say “Mom, can I hitch a ride?” Rats! Not that I would be deemed the worst mother ever if I said no. It’s just a two block walk to school. And it’s only chilly right now, not down right cold & not raining, right? And he flipping did a triathlon on Sunday so he can make it two measly blocks.  But it was a wresting practice day which I know makes it a long day for him so I can take the 5 minutes to swing up those two blocks. So I say OK.

Of course he wasn’t really Ready to Go.

So now it’s closer to 8:00 that I am leaving which means that I hit the “traffic” – both foot & auto – from the elementary school where the bell just rang and parents who walked or dropped of their kids are streaming out and clogging up my only exit out of my street. Lovely.  Hit the stop sign and play the “my turn, your turn” game only of course there is ONE mom yapping on her phone (hello – HANDS FREE honey!!) and doesn’t quite stop and doesn’t see the pedestrians who had already entered the intersection and after much honking of horns and tire squeals tragedy is averted, round one anyway.

Now it’s 8:10 and I am finally on the main road leading into the middle school and…HALT. Wow, middle school doesn’t start until 8:30 which means folks are usually doing the last minute dash between 8:25-8:30 so even at 8:15 I can drop off SB without hassle – so what’s all this? People are actually running early? Yep. Sit through two rounds of lights just to get on the access road. Witness another near miss accident & this time it’s a kid walking to school who is immersed in her texting and does not see that light has turned red. “Damn cell phones!” I think to myself as I grab my iPhone to see if I’ve gotten any emails since I left the house – hey, I’m stuck at a red light!!

Pull up to the school drop off line at 8:20. Ah yes, the dreaded Drop Off Line! Old time readers might recall my stories from my stint as a drop off line volunteer back in elementary school. Well, let me just say that middle school parents are Just As Bad!! As I immediately start cursing the morons up front who seems to be cooking breakfast for their kids in their cars, SB tells me that on Monday someone actually just pulled up and PARKED THEIR CAR right there in the middle of the line!! Seriously? This school has a virtually EMPTY parking lot right in front of it. If your child has a large project he/she needs to carry in which they need help with – park there and help them – don’t stay in the drop off lane!! But no, parent’s sense of courtesy flies out the window when they are dropping off their kids.

Somehow I make it out of there with less than a dozen curse words or flipping anyone off (tempted, but didn’t), and I’m pulling back out onto the road outside the school at 8:25. Did I mention that while it was not cold, it was chilly? Yeah, didn’t stop a girl from wearing a tank top and skirt. Lordy. So now I am hitting my normally peaceful commute a lot later than usual – and apparently when *everyone else* is doing the same thing!

I finally pull into the garage at work at 8:40 after surviving yet another near miss accident when someone decided “Oh, hey, I want to turn RIGHT HERE!” and slammed on their brakes in front of me before jerking their car into a storefront driveway.

I think to myself: “Next time, he’s WALKING!”

Oh, and today after work I get to pick up (4) 13 year old boys from wresting practice and drive them 10 miles each way to batting practice. In the middle of December. When I get home at 8pm after dropping them each off at their homes, I’m hoping the vodka fairy will have prepared me a drink.

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