When the time comes for me to meet my Maker, I have a burning question for Her. In almost 40 years of life, I have learned to answer many of the eternal questions myself. Why am I here? Why do you let bad things happen to good people? Or more importantly, good things happen to the bad ones? I have experienced the pain of loss and learned to work through it and seen enough proof they do exist that I do not have to ask to ask about angels. However, there is one whopper I can’t get past and I need an answer. “Lord, are these people really that stupid, or do they just not care?”
School has been in session for well over a month now. The rules for pick up and drop off, are well published, clear and easy to follow. Every year, our dedicated vice-principal, begs, pleads and threatens until the majority of us are back in line…literally. Every year there are the select few who persist in bucking the system, giving me an insatiable urge to get my self deputized by the Carpool Police so I can issue citations. Picture a line two city blocks long. Dozens of parents pointed the correct direction patiently waiting to enter the school’s circle drive. Enter the 1981 Mercury Zephyr with a dent in the door and no muffler. He is pointed the wrong direction, and stopped in the middle of the street with his left signal on. From where he is positioned he cannot see the end of the line but he can see that it is not moving and he is blocking traffic behind him. Is he really sitting there in ignorant oblivion or steadfastly ignoring the chaos until someone gives in? A newer black Mercedes (my arch nemesis) is a regular when it comes to causing trouble. We got off to a bad start anyway when she showed up sporting a naked lady license plate holder. Every time she blocks someone in, goes for the left turn, or holds up traffic I am more convinced that it is her divine mission in life to tick me off. In the spirit of fair play, I have to admit I guess it is just possible that she really is dumb enough to play catch in traffic.
My ten-year-old and I ventured into the neighborhood sandwich shop. Not being familiar with the menu I took her inside so we wouldn’t hold up the drive thru. They were open during remodeling. Two painters flanked the front counter and all but the cash register was draped in plastic. All the tables and booths had been removed and the front window was gone. Sporting a contact high from the fumes we approached the counter to order. Obviously under the influence himself, although someone had issued him a respirator, the Manager greeted me with, “Is this for here or to go?” Tessa suggested he was lonely and wanted to have our breakfast on the counter, under the plastic. I went for “to go”.
I was feeling very sorry indeed for the “dotty old man” in front of me at the grocery. He was wearing a 1976 Bicentennial T-shirt, what appeared to be, from my angle (but surely couldn’t be) his boxers and a pair of galoshes. Figuring him for a lonely, neglected widower, I was cursing what must be, his ungrateful children. He noticed my selection of whole-wheat pasta and turned to chat about healthy eating while we waited. After getting a glimpse of what was indeed the fly on his boxers and thanking the above-mention Maker for the button fly type; I discovered that “poor man” was a witty, charming husband and grandfather. He was doing the shopping for Sunday dinner that he liked to cook it himself. I never did have the nerve to inquire as to just exactly where he lost his pants. Perhaps that would have cleared the whole thing up, but I doubt it.
Yes Lord, I am definitely going to need the benefit of Your Infinite Wisdom on this one. I did actually forget my bra once, when the youngest lost her shoes before school; but in 22years (and nine kids) I have never met the drama that made me forget my shirt.