Friday, November 9, 2012


So I am sitting at my computer at about 10 a.m. and I have just figured out my way through a particular problem I was having in an op-ed piece I was hoping to pitch somewhere, when the phone rings.

"Mom!" says the frantic 11-year-old on the other end. "I need khaki pants! Hurry! They're loading the buses!"

It turns out that her class is going on a field trip, which I actually had known about; what I hadn't know was that a requirement for going on said field trip was khaki pants. The 11-year-old knew this, but it had slid off her ADHD brain pan before she could convey this to me. Apparently this information was also contained in the form letter that had come home a week earlier, the one I had scanned quickly, noting only the part where it said "$5.00" and then the part where it said "Parent's signature." Public schools these days send home a bewildering blizzard of paperwork, and you have to go through it fast to have any hope of making it to be before midnight, so I go through these things fast. Too fast, as it turned out. Sonofabitch.

So I go upstairs and root through this child's closet, which is a horror, and finally I pull out a very wrinkled pair of lightweight khaki capris with ketchup stains on one leg. It is approximately 45 degrees outside--not exactly capri weather. But this is the only khaki there is, so it will have to do. I race down the hall and turn on the iron and try to make it look halfway presentable, ketchup stain and all, and the whole time I am muttering nasty things about stupid rules that say kids have to look color-coordinated when they venture off campus, even though there is no school uniform policy and it's not like I send my kid off to school every day looking like a pole dancer, for God's sake. Then I race down the stairs and manage to find my car keys and squeal out the driveway and down the road toward school--remembering, too late, the goddamn speed camera they've just installed on one stretch, which means I am going to get another $40 greeting from the city in the mail in a few days just because I was probably going 42 miles an hour in a 30-mph zone, which is one mile over the 11-mile-per-hour wiggle room that everybody knows the cops use but which puts me in the same company as a meth addict screaming down the road at 80. And you can't complain about that, because then all the priss pots in the world will come out from under the kitchen sink where they live and say "If you don't want a ticket, you shouldn't speed" in their best I-told-you-so voice. Sonofabitch.

So I manage to slow down to a somewhat more stately pace and pull into the school parking lot right behind the big yellow bus that is sitting out front, and as I pull up to the front door with khaki pants in hand, my child comes out of the school and runs toward the car and says, "It's okay, Mom, she said I can go dressed the way I am." Sonofabitch.

No comments:

Post a Comment