I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 16, 2019
Readers forgive me, for I have sinned. Yesterday in the car rider pick up line, I did the unthinkable.
I honked my horn.
I swear I didn’t mean anything by it. When all the other cars in the line moved except for the one directly in front of me, I waited very patiently for the guy to get a clue. Really, I did. And then I thought of the impact this man was potentially having on the many (MANY) parents waiting in line behind us. I thought of all that could result from his apparent inability to move his car. He could be the cause of burned dinners. Lost jobs. Missed flights. Missed after-school activities. Missed connections. Crying children. Failed marriages. General mayhem. How would this man live with himself if he knew he was to blame for all of these things? And how could I sit there and not try to help in any way I could?
And so, after much thought and introspection, I did what I thought was the right thing to do, y’all. The Christian thing to do. I put my hand on my horn and ever so gently….
I still feel that my honk was a friendly one. A tiny beep, if you will. It was short and sweet and certainly not intended to offend or cause a ruckus. But offend and cause a ruckus it did.
Immediately following my could-hardly-even-call-it-a-honk, all hell broke loose as traffic monitors swarmed the scene to assess what had instantly turned into a Code Red situation. There was noise. And chaos. And walkie talkies. And maybe a helicopter. Possibly a K-9 dog? I’m working from memory here. Anyway, one of the traffic monitors ran to the car in front of me and asked the man to move forward– which led, of course, to a Conversation About Why He Needed to Move Forward. But move forward he eventually did. And I moved forward as well, convinced I had just been an invaluable part of narrowly avoiding car rider pick up line disaster. “Look for the honkers,” Fred Rogers once famously said. Or was it helpers? Either way, HE MEANT ME.
But then I noticed the stares. They came from the teachers and parents all around me and these stares did not say, “Thank you, Good Citizen, for alerting us to a problem! The world needs more people like you!” Instead, they were more along the lines of, “You impatient, impudent biddy. You think you’re soooo important. You think you have places to go. Well, we’ve got news for you, toots. You can wait in line like everybody else!”
I slunk low in my seat. “It was a very. Friendly. Honk.” I muttered. “Gah.” Suddenly, a tap on my window stirred me from my dark reverie. A traffic monitor motioned for me to lower my window. Cautiously, I complied.
“You actually just changed lanes inappropriately,” she told me. “You can never do that again.”
“Okay,” I said meekly. “But this is really about the honk, isn’t it?” I whispered.
“Excuse me?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said quickly, summoning my PTA Smile, which was a bit rusty after summer break. I rolled my window up and pulled forward, realizing that during our little chat, all the cars around me had exited and I was now part of the next group of parents who were still waiting for their kids to come out. Lucky for me, there was only one car between me and freedom, and there was space to get around it if the traffic monitor stationed at the end of the driveway would let me do it. I lowered my window again.
“Excuse me,” I said sweetly. “I’ve already picked up my son. Is there any way I can go around –”
“You can go when he goes, honker,”* he interrupted tersely, pointing at the car ahead of me, which belonged, of course, to the Man Who Wouldn’t Move. “Everybody’s going to get out of here in just a few minutes,” he told me in the tone one uses with a parent who honks at other parents in the car rider pick up line. “We all have to wait our turn.”
I started to say something, but what was the point? I was clearly pegged. I am now permanently The Honker of Car Rider Pick Up. Or, more likely as time passes, simply The Honker.
It’s going to be a lonnnnnnng school year.
*Okay, he might not have actually called me ‘Honker.’ I’m just telling it the way I remember it. In fact, it’s entirely possible that parts of this story were maybe very slightly embellished. Who’s to say?**
**This disclaimer is totally written so that I don’t get a call from the school.