Sunday, March 2, 2014

To Wave or Not to Wave?

My kids very possibly have the nicest bus driver in the history of the world. When I went into the 1st grade and started riding the bus my bus driver's name was Mrs. Horn. The name was fitting, and I was terrified of her. You know the bad guys' 'Mama' from Goonies? Well, she wasn't quite that bad, but to my already-terrified-and-anxiety-ridden self she might has well have been. She was not warm and fuzzy, she didn't smile and learn your name, she certainly didn't hand out candy every Friday, and I'm not actually positive that her name wasn't granted to her because of her very loud, very commanding voice.

(Now that I think about it, I may have my older brother and his friend to thank for Mrs. Horn's presence on our route. They were not good bus passengers. For instance, there was some song {Van Halen maybe???} in the '80's that started with the sound of a train whistle. Well, remember the boom box? My brother and his friend had one, and they decided that it would be an awesome idea to cue the tape, turn up the volume, and hit play just as the bus was passing over the railroad tracks...)

(I think that may have been the last time they rode the bus in their high school careers, but they still claim that it was worth it.)

Anyhow, Mindy is not Mrs. Horn. She gives candy. She smiles. She ALWAYS pulls over when there is a car coming from either direction. (Seriously, I've been completely spoiled, and I now have no patience for driving behind a school bus. I can also always tell when she has a sub because apparently she is the only pull-over-and-let-the-cars-pass bus driver in the world.) And despite pulling over she always gets my kids to school on time. And she always waves.

Always. Which leaves me to the question at hand: how many times in the same day do you have to wave at the same person when you pass them on the road? And I don't mean 'if you pass them and wave in the morning do you have to wave again in the afternoon,' I mean within a five-ten minute period.

See, it's like this: My younger kids' school (which is out of district, so they don't ride the bus) is west of my road, and my older kids' (who only ride the bus home from school) is east. When I drive west to drop off the younger kids, Mindy is driving east. We wave.

Then I drive east and (often times) have to go back up my road to pick up my older kids, or get something that one of us forgot. On my way up my road Mindy will be driving down. We wave.

Then I'll be going back down my road and invariably catch up to the bus (because it keeps stopping to pick kids up) and of course Mindy pulls over to let me pass. As I pass - we wave.

AND THEN, after I drop my kids off at school and head west for home, Mindy is driving east (because I passed her on the road and got ahead of her again, remember?) AND WE WAVE AGAIN!

Do you think she gets as tired of waving as I do? (And have any of you had to draw a map to keep all of this straight yet?) I admit that sometimes I'll put my visor down or pretend to be texting because waving repeatedly gets SO AWKWARD! I begin to feel like an idiot. In the meantime, I pass my sister when I leave my younger kids off and she's on her way to drop hers, and we wave, and then after I drop my older kids off and head back home we usually pass again and I have to wave again.

And there are at least three other moms I dance this I-pass-you-a-million-times waving dance with, and I keep wondering why we're all still waving.

I also have to admit that occasionally I'll be driving a car no one's familiar with and I blithely make my entire drive without waving at any of them, all the while feeling so happy that they don't know they passed me. It's so much easier. Am I the only person in the world who has ever had this problem? (Other than the poor people who have to keep waving at me, of course.) Do other people just hit their limit and start refusing to wave on principle? Can I do that?

I don't feel like I can. I feel compelled to wave. I tell myself I won't and then my hand flies up on it's own and does it anyway. After all, they're all still waving, right? Are they just nicer and more polite than me, or are they rolling their eyes when they see me and quickly pretending to tune their radios so they can get out of at least one of our morning waves?

Okay, this is kind of going on and on. Enough. Enough with the waving. For now, anyway. I'm sure that by Monday morning I'll be right back at it again...