Should carpool really be making everyone so angry? I know that carpool is not anyone’s favorite way to spend precious morning or afternoon time, but is it something that should be making everyone so angry and on edge? I don’t think so, Karen!
I don’t typically ride my bike in the mornings during the school year, but while my husband is working from home, I thought I’d give it a try. I haven’t until now, because I always worry that the school will call when I’m 20 miles away on my bike and I won’t be able to get back in a timely manner.
Let me tell you…riding my bike during the summer on a weekday is quite different than riding my bike during the school year – on a weekday! Wow! Carpool lines and morning traffic seem to make people angry enough, but when you add a cyclist on top of that, people seem to get really upset…
I ranted about riding bikes on the trail in my post titled I Want to Ride My Bicycle, and So Does Everyone Else…, but this ride was different!
As I worked my way through the congested areas of Allen, I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie trying to escape from one of those crazy temples of doom, or something as I very cautiously weaved my way through traffic. And I don’t mean working my way through and around slowly moving cars – I mean cars driven by people who are late for work, and many, many angry parents navigating school zones and carpool lines.
I thought my timing was just perfect, because I had dropped both of my kids at school (elementary & middle), but what I didn’t count on was high school traffic as well as many parents now leaving for work. It’s a dangerous world we live in. Especially , if you’re riding a bike. Happy to say that I made it home safely, and my navigation system only tried to send out one emergency call to my husband when I had to slam on my breaks so hard to avoid hitting a car.
The lovely driver was so busy looking at her phone that she almost took me out… And once she looked up and noticed me, she threw her hands up in the air in frustration at me – the one who was following the rules of the road and the one who wasn’t busy texting!
I may have to rethink my timing on these weekday bike rides, as well as my path I take to get out to the nice, quiet “country” roads in Lucas. This crazy ride of mine got me thinking, wondering if I am this angry making my way through the carpool lines too?? Am I a “Karen” when I’m navigating carpool?
We all know that carpool lines are filled with Karens, right? But if we’re all getting so angry with other drivers (and cyclists), doesn’t that make us Karens too?? I have been fortunate enough to live very close to my kid’s elementary school, so we have walked to school almost every single day of their entire elementary life.
However, my oldest is now in middle school, and we spent last year learning how to navigate that crazy line. And just because you understand the morning carpool routine, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for the afternoon routine, as the crowd seems to change from morning to afternoon. I’m pretty sure we have it all figured out now, and instead of being one of the Karens, we now just laugh at them.
Our first week in middle school carpool reminded me of the scene in Mr. Mom when Michael Keaton is trying to survive his children’s carpool line for the very first time. Oh my! Better learn the rules of the carpool line, or you might be in trouble…
So how about we all try to use this time when we’re trapped in the car in a good way – a way that makes us happy! How about books on Audible? That’s my favorite way to spend the 10-15 minutes that I’m in the car waiting for my child to hop in. Sometimes, I actually read a real book. Pick something funny, like Class Mom by Laurie Gelman! If you’re in the carpool line, then you’ve probably been a room parent at some point too. If so, this is a good one for you. You’ll be the one in the carpool line laughing outloud if you decide to read it.
But don’t get too sucked into the story, or you won’t pull forward when the car in front of you starts to move. Then someone will have to honk at you, and that makes you a Karen. If reading’s not your thing, how about some fun, upbeat music? Sometimes I do that too, because I know as soon as my son gets in the car, he’s going to take over the radio and play “his” music! Not as easy for me to sing along with his song choices…
Do you have a best carpool story? One with a total Karen causing all kinds of problems? My favorite carpool story is the one when the mom about 4 cars in front of me fell asleep! She obviously had gotten there early to have a primo spot close to the front of the line, and after 5 minutes of fuming and “shouting” profanities from the safety of my car, the mom in front of me got out and walked up to the window of the car that wasn’t moving forward. The poor woman was sound asleep. She waved out her window to all the mad parents behind her, and then quickly pulled her car forward. Because you know…you can’t leave 4 car lengths of space open, right? You MUST pull forward!!!
Let’s all just try and calm down, and find ourselves a good book. You can find some ideas for reading in the carpool in in my post titled So Many Books, So Little Time, and/or my post titled Kindle V. Book – Which Team Do You Play For? Who knows…maybe you’ll end up with a brand new Kindle!
For me, I’m just going to try to remember to NOT BE A KAREN! I’ll read a book or listen to some fun music, and I’ll try to remember…it’s south to drop off and north to pick up! Or something like that. If you don’t know the carpool routine at your school, you better figure it out! Best of luck out there if you’re a newbie…
That’s all for now. Time for me to go watch Mr. Mom in its entirety!
Until next time…
P.S. I’ll leave you with this funny video from the Holderness family of the Top 10 Carpool Parents. You’re welcome! Which one are you????