I like this. I can relate and the ending is clever.
| My New Year’s resolution was to find New Jersey pleasant, no matter what slight annoyances assailed me. Having grown up here, I told myself, was no excuse for being an old fart and hoping for the good old days when celery, instead of shopping malls, grew in Paramus.
I forgot about the first day back to school after holiday break. Some children resist returning; my daughter is one of them. Because of this, I had promised to drive her to school, although we live just four blocks away and could easily walk. Unfortunately, our “real” car was in the shop, so I was forced to drive my mom’s old car, which I had inherited, a 1990 gray Ford Taurus that miraculously still worked, but smelled like dust and dusting powder. I use this car rarely enough that I get flummoxed by window controls and turn signals and don’t even try to turn on the radio/tape player. As a result, I drive 20 miles an hour in a 25 mile per hour zone, where most New Jerseyans would drive 40.
So, I began crawling along, having mistakenly turned on the windshield wipers. The car behind me pushed right up to my bumper. They could almost touch my bumper. I began to wonder if I should just let them push me. I couldn’t let them pass because people were parked on both sides of the street. Parking was at a premium; the first bell had rung. There were 5 minutes to tardy and my daughter had never been tardy. I turned near the school and pulled in where another car had been. Then I realized it was a tow away zone. Before I could ease back out the SUV had honked and rushed past me. It cut me off as it pulled into the church parking lot that has the sign:
PARKING FOR CHURCH
VIOLATORS WILL BE
Sighing, I turned into the parking lot as well. I pulled in behind the SUV just as its door opens and my neighbor jumped out.
“Sorry Stacy,” I said. “I’m not used to being so late and I know they ticket you if you park here.”
“My son goes to nursery school here, so I can park here,” she replied, as she and her children walked past leaving my daughter and I in the dust.
Ah, New Jersey. I am so glad I baked a special batch of Christmas cookies for her less than a week ago.
Still, New Jersey can be pleasant. You just have to keep your mind on the right things. My daughter got to school on time. My friend called to chat when I got home. I did have my mom’s car as back-up in an emergency. My cozy house was waiting.
Next year, though, I might bake one less batch of cookies.
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Comments 1 to 3 of 3