Random Observations On The Way Home From Taking Char To School

(This post explains a lot about the way my mind works, not that you asked. My interior monologue is not exactly what you’d call ‘linear’, unless the lines happen to be drawn by a crayon-wielding kindergartner with ADD. No, my mind is more like one of those cornfield mazes you see around Halloween, and also? Kind of like a movie popcorn maker with kernels exploding all willy-nilly and ultimately pushing the top off and spilling out all over the place. To mix metaphors. Which I do, on a regular basis.)


1. “What is the deal with all of these moms dropping their kids off in full makeup and their hair all tidy (read: “actually brushed”) and what-not? The moms, I mean, not the kids, that would be weird. They also appear to be wearing real clothes instead of yoga pants and a tank top topped with their husband’s too-big leather jacket because they were too lazy to go find their own. A lesser woman might feel all dowdy and inadequate.”

2.”Whoa! Two cop cars with flashing lights on the side of Hillsboro Road! 8:00 a.m. seems a little early for a traffic stop, maybe it’s a drug bust. Who am I kidding, this is Green Hills. Lighten up officers, it’s the morning commute, how fast could they be going?”

3. “I just love that perpetually-khaki-pantsed kid that walks down the hill with his dad every morning to catch the bus. How cute is he?! He’s sure gotten taller since last year. Wonder why his mom never walks him to the corner. His dad sure seems to enjoy it, though, they talk a lot. That kid always smiles and does that head-nod-acknowledgement to me instead of waving– bet he grows up to be a politician of some sort. Like a mayor. He’d make a great mayor, I bet. What with the khakis and all. He’d need a blazer though. Oh well, he has time to get one before he becomes mayor, he’s only like, what? 13? Yeah.”

4. “Buzzards? Are creepy. I know that they are nature’s garbagemen and all that, but you know, even THEY look kind of guilty and furtive while they’re standing around in a circle munching on roadkill. It’s like they’re saying, “Look, I know this is disgusting, but I’m a buzzard for crying out loud– this is what we DO!” And what is up with those hairless, wrinkled red heads? They should get some of those Southern gospel quartet hairpieces. Wouldn’t that be great– a big ol’ turkey buzzard with Jake Hess hair?! Ha! I would love to see that!”

5. “THERE’S that sign for the $10 Christmas tree removal service! That’s gotta be the same guys I used last year. I need to write that number down… dang, why can I never find a pen in this car? I’ll just memorize it: 828-53… oops, too late. They need a bigger sign. I’ll get it tomorrow.”

6. “I swear, I don’t care what the speed limit says, nobody actually goes 35 mph when they’re driving through a residential neighborhood! They really  should, though. I mean, I do, but that’s because I have an authority complex. I also never stand in the 10 Items Only line at Krogers with 11 items.”

6. “It looks like every house painter in Brentwood (and they are legion) stops and gets their morning coffee at the Granny White Market. Most of them are Hispanic. I love hearing them laughing and talking in Spanish while I stand in line to pay for my Dr. Pepper healthy breakfast-type beverage. If Madi was here I bet she could translate. Wonder how you say ‘yoga pants’ in Espanol?”

7. “There’s good ol’ Brentwood Academy. That school totally looks like a horse farm from here. Uh oh– I need to call the office and tell them Madi isn’t coming today because she threw up last night. Actually, that’s probably too much information. I’ll just tell them she’s sick. Poor baby, I hope she’s still sleeping when I get home. And PLEASE GOD, don’t let me catch it!”

8. “Wonder how long I can keep my big ol’ lighted Christmas angel on the front porch before it crosses that line from ‘still in the holiday spirit’ to ‘lazy homeowner’? I’m gonna go plug her in right now…”

9. “Snagging my newspaper while I pull into the driveway is kind of like playing polo, only with a car instead of a pony. I’m actually pretty good at this, but a pony would be more fun, right?”

10. “HOLD UP! Is that actual sunshine I am seeing breaking through those omni-present rainclouds we’ve had around here for three days??!! I am SO going to Zumba!”

(Aaaaaand… SCENE!)

27 Responses

  1. natesings

    OK I really enjoyed this (especially the SG reference in #4). Your entry reminds me of this scene from Elf where Buddy catches up with Michael after school:
    Wow, you’re fast. I’m glad I caught up to you. I waited 5 hours for you. Why is your coat so big? So, good news – I saw a dog today. Have you seen a dog? You probably have. How was school? Was it fun? Did you get a lot of homework? Huh? Do you have any friends? Do you have a best friend? Does he have a big coat, too?…

  2. tori

    See? I’m not alone!

  3. auburn60

    I have those conversations when taking Matt to school, but I have them out loud. Why not try to entertain myself as much as possible?
    As soon as we get in the car, Matthew puts his ear buds in and I have no one to be the beneficiary of my early morning wit and wisdom.
    I pontificate on the already made-up mothers,too, but I’m more annoyed by the ones whose kids can’t just GET OUT OF THE CAR,already–why do all the little darlings have to be let out right at the door?
    And I am quite verbose on the ability of other drivers. And various wildlife along the way. I try to keep it up until my son takes those blasted things out of his ears–at least long enough to ask me to ‘please stop, one of my friends might see you!’.
    Embarrassing my children–one of the many services I offer.

  4. mariajhmom

    You are so not alone! I took one of my kids to school today wearing my 15 year old Nordstrom coffee cup flannel nightgown with a big sweatshirt over the top! I did comb my hair though.

    Oh, and the Christmas decorations? Listen to “Redneck Woman” sometime! She leaves her lights up all year. But who am I to talk? I love NASCAR!

  5. tammy961

    The only comment I can make is that I am laughing far to hard to type.. I can barely see the keyboard.. I have laughed until I have cried and now I must go get a towel to wipe the keyboard…What makes this so hilarious is 2 things–
    1. You have gott abe EXHAUSTED by the time you finally get home from the take the kids to school trip and
    2. I think most of us do the very same thing and you touched on a bit of reality for us all…

    Oh my gosh–think I will read it again just so I can laugh more..My sides..my sides!! they are killing me!!

    Great post Tori.


  6. tori

    I am now officially having a good self-image day, thanks to my commenters.

    Auburn, now you have me thinking–to tell the truth, I’m not exactly sure whether my stream-of-consciousness dialogue is actually spoken out loud or just in my head! Food for thought…

    Mariajhmom–I don’t have a coffee-cup nightgown– which sounds DARLING, btw– but I did spill coffee down the front of my tank top, if that counts.

  7. auburn60

    You kind of know you’re talking out loud when:

    1) The traffic-director lady from the sheriff’s office leans in reeeeaaal close to your car window to inspect you. ( I think she thought she had a DUI at 8:00 am.)

    2) You have to take your hands off the wheel to make a sweeping gesture to make your point. ( WHO, exactly, you are making the point to is up for debate.)

    3) You realize that you have to interrupt yourself in mid-sentence to sing along with the radio.

    4) Your child keeps turning up the volume on his Ipod.

  8. Phyllis S

    Ok, many of you know that I drive 59 miles one way to work, you can only imagine what goes through this old mind. My morning commute is actually my time with God, and yes it is more of a conservation than a prayer. We do talk to each other and yes, he does talk back to me. My family thinks I am utterly crazy when I tell them about some of the topics He and I have discussed, but you know I love it.

    Now the afternoon commute is when I rely on the conservation I had with God earlier that morning, believe me I really need Him in the afternoon, and I have to say I am sorry for my actions by the time I get home, but He Forgives. (smiles)

    Do you know how many women put on their makeup, how many people talk on the phone or even worse yet, how many people text message while they drive. So scary!

  9. MostlySunny

    I’m one of those made-up-and-combed-hair ladies. But don’t look too far! I was in Chicago once – didn’t have to be at my meeting until 2:00 pm – had work to do at the hotel but really needed my hot chocolate from the Starbucks at the corner – soooo – make-up and hair OK – threw my heavy coat over the PJ’s and put on the snow boots and trudged down and got right in line! I don’t think anyone even noticed…at least no one said anyting.

  10. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh my goodness, y’all are so funny. But it brings back memories. When I drove my kids to school, we had certain songs we sang all the way there in the mornings. Years later I would be driving my granddaughter to school. Not only did she not sing with me, but she asked, “Mom-Mom, do you really have to do that so early in the morning?” I was crushed!

  11. belinda

    Okay, I love this, will have to come back later and comment. I needed a good laugh!

    Hope Madi is feeling better and that you do not catch what she has.

    Hey leave your Christmas stuff up, it’s okay, I still have mine up.

  12. meb

    Okay with the exception of the one day a week that I have to go to a meeting after dropping my daughter off at school I am so the mom who rolls out of bed, throws on whatever is next to the bed and drives her to school. I do make sure she has a healthy breakfast and all that, but I see no reason to make myself up just to drive to the school and back home again. I enjoy those extra 30 minutes of sleep way too much.

    I’m with Phyllis S – it’s a great time to talk to God and listen to what he has to say. Just wish the other drivers on the road would listen to Him too. (sorry I think my inner snark was coming out there). Have a great day.

  13. Phyllis R

    I don’t have children to drive to school, but I now have a sore side from laughing so much. I had this mental picture of you snagging your paper like a polo player. ROFL.

  14. LindaB

    Welcome to MY WORLD, Tori! Now I know where Char gets her “randomness”!

    I used to drive my kids to Christian school eons ago, and I always think of this incident when I remember those days. I was on my way home across town with the little darlings in the back seat, along with a gallon of milk I just bought at the store, when in my rear view mirror I saw a police car’s flashing lights. I thought he was just passing through on the way to a fire or something, so I stomped on the brakes and pulled off as far as I could, which participated the gallon of milk tipping over and spilling out into the back floorboard (the cap was obviously too loose!). When I turned to set the jug of milk up, I saw the police car had stopped——BEHIND ME!!! My mind was racing—–what did I do? I wonder if my proof of insurance and registration is in the glovebox? I could hear the “glub glub glub” of a gallon of milk was spilling out on the floor of our brand new Buick Riviera! (Hubby’s gonna flip!) But I had to search for my papers first. The policeman stepped up the window and asked for the papers, and luckily I had them (that’s a first!). He informed me I was speeding…….a lot. And he said he would take my papers and license back to his car for a minute to run it through the computer. When he was out of earshot, I turned to my kids, who were all upset and crying! I tried to put their little minds at ease and told them it was just a ticket and everything would be alright. (By that time the gallon jug was empty and the milk in a pool in that floor well thing.) But they didn’t buy it and my oldest said, “No Mom, you’re going to JAIL, I know it! Then turning to her sister, she said, “They’re taking Mommy to jail, Sissy, and we’re gonna miss cartoons! Mommy, call Daddy and tell him to come get us before 4 o’clock!

    This is the gospel truth! It was that day I realized where I stood in their list of priorities!

    BTW, the car stunk like sour milk for months, even though I rented a steam cleaner and worked on it until I thought I would wear the carpet out! And my hubby was UPSET! But he got over it. We’re still married.

    Now, where were we?

    Oh, and my best girlfriend tried to pick up her newspaper “polo” style while driving up her driveway , and she ran smack into the garage door before it opened all the way. (Her husband wasn’t happy either.) Be careful.

  15. LindaB

    I meant “precipitated”, NOT “participated”, which is dumb. Just thought I’d mention that since we cannot edit our entries.

  16. themema

    hmmmm. I think you just wrote the book on ESFP!

  17. LindaB

    I forgot what that is. Is it like “ESPN”?

  18. gracelynn

    Tori….welcome to my world hon. Phyllis – I have a 40 minute commute one way to the school where I teach teenagers daily so I totally sympathize with you. So you can probably imagine what is going through my head while I am driving TO work. Something along these lines –

    1) “OK, have I got a meeting ANYTIME today? Let’s see – I had MTAC yesterday afternoon and I got minutes typed and sent in. Did we have the social committee meeting yet this month? Or was that the safety committee meeting I was at yesterday afternoon? Oh geez! I’ll bet that was the social committee meeting in the media center yesteray afternoon. No wonder they all looked at me funny as I walked through to check my mailbox. Oh well…hope Charmaine took the minutes.”

    2) “Did I call Sam’s mom yet and tell her that he didn’t do his homework? Maybe I’ll just shoot her an e-mail when I get there. After all, she DID tell me to notify her if he failed to do his homework ONE more time. No that was Patti’s mom. I think…..have to check the parent contact log.”

    3) “Is Kenny out of in-school suspension yet? Oh drat, he still has another day. That means I have got to send that aggravating Publisher assignment down to him. Hope Kade’Jha is there today so she can walk it down to him.”

    and finally, the best thing that comes to mind…..

    4) “How many more days before I actually get paid for those after-school/Saturday Academy activities that I worked?! I need the money so I can put gas in this car. (As I pass the gas station on the lefthand side of the road and glance at the prices…) Speaking of gas, IT’S GONE UP AGAIN! I’m going to be riding my horse to work if this keeps up! How much does a gallon of hay cost compared to a gallon of gas?”

    Of course, driving home is a little different. Then I’m usually thinking:

    1) “OK I only have this set of kids another 7 days. SEVEN – MORE – DAYS. I mean – I’ve only had them a total of 83 days so far. My sanity is already shot anyhow. Seven more days…but then – oh then – I get a new set. Wonder if Michael is in my new set? No I served my time last year teaching him. Surely I won’t have him again. They wouldn’t punish me in that way.”

    2) “How many more days of school do we have left? Are we up to the 100th school day yet at least? No….not until mid February. Oh well…. only two more days this week.”

    3) “I wonder what’s for dinner tonight. Maybe I’ll make something good like a roast pork loin or something. Nah….got that leftover spaghetti in the frig…better eat that first. Besides, my stomach isn’t feeling too good. Probably acid reflux from that pizza I ate from the lunchroom today ….Oh well, there goes my esophagus. Hey there’s that hawk sitting on the powerline again….” (BTW that hawk is there almost daily and is like an old friend. So I understand your thoughts about the buzzards.)

    and naturally….

    4) “I wonder if God will have mercy on me and let us have fog tomorrow morning so we’ll have a two-hour delay….”

    So be thankful you don’t teach or trust me, you WILL end up talking to yourself.

  19. tori

    I am laughing so hard, you guys are killing me! And I’m also feeling really good that I am not the only one with a runaway train for a brain!

  20. BrownEyedGirl

    I’m loving this. Tori , you’re awesome!!

    I must admit that I finally gave up the “yoga pants” look after I was “caught in the act” of dressing that way when my 20 yr/old Beretta broke down in the school drop off line. My car was pushed to the parking lot and would not start. Here I am, it’s -5 degrees F windchill in yoga pants , thin windbreaker and backless tennis shoes – no socks AND I had an 11 m/o baby that I was watching. I kept praying that my engine would start , because there was no way on God’s great earth that I was getting out of that car in front of the principal, PTA president , etc looking like that. Well , God was gracious, and my car ran long enough to let me coast down the the hill from the school to my auto repair shop – which is conveniently located at the bottom of the hill – praise God. I walked home 6 blocks in 7 inches of snow ( remember the backless shoes – no socks) carrying this baby that was thankfully toasty in snow pram , blanket and boots. ( Oh yeah ..and .. no makeup – scary!!)

  21. MostlySunny

    Remember the saying “Always wear clean underwear because you never know when ___________________”? I took that seriously, and then some…!

  22. morgitta

    It has been ages since I drove kids to school, but I remember that day we were really late and I just slipped into leggings, a coat and gymshoes without socks and had an accident. I had to get out of the car to do the paperwork. The construction workers in the van that hit me thought it was cute though. It happened long ago, all witnesses are dead, so I stick to the story : they hit me and they thought I was cute.
    What I wonder about is youngsters. A thirteen year old that enjoys being walked to the busstop by his dad. A sixteen year old that sends text messages from the concert. Wow ! Don’t you have doorslamming, stay-out-my world-you-are-embarrassing-me teenagers in your part of the universe ? I had.
    I usually am too lazy to look up the code that is needed to leave a comment here, but I enjoy every posting, Tory.

  23. morgitta

    I hope Madi recovered by now, throwing up is really one of the worst things in being ill. Please tell her I said Hi.

  24. trishARKANSAS

    These comments are sooo funny! I love it! I am the insurance agent mom with the hair and make-up. Trust me my clients do not want to see me without it.

    Anyway, yesterday I was dropping off my teen-ager at school. but she is the one that speaks her thoughts.

    “Is that Ryan on the moped. Why is he driving to school on a moped?”

    “Mom drop me off at the front door.”

    “Is that Ashley’s mom? I wish she would hurry up. It doesn’t take all day to get out of a car!”

    “I’ve got lunch money.”

    “I’m riding home with Katie. We are going to play tennis after school.”

    “I love you too mommy. See you tonight”

  25. Barbara M. Lloyd

    One time I went to school to pick up our older son. It was after football practice. I knew nothing about football, let alone their “gear.” As usual, Chris had a few buddies who needed a ride home and, today, they had received their uniforms….every piece of it. When I saw one piece, the always-interested-mother asked, “What is that, a nose-guard?” The car exploded into laughter…except for my Chris who was totally wanting the seat to open up and swallow him.
    And, I knew right away that there was a dumb mom in that car full of boys.

  26. Phyllis S


    I love the curly hair do, keep using the new curling iron!

  27. nashbabe

    Yeah, I drive over to Williamson Cty (and the Hillsboro road strip south of OHB and back) twice a day, and have noticed TONS of vultures. Used to make cracks about it, as I live in a different part of town, but ya know, there is just so much wildlife over there, lots for them to eat. ;-)

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