Recently I had the opportunity to interact with the City of Atlanta Police Department. I did not request this opportunity and I certainly did not enjoy the opportunity when it was pressed upon me. I received not one but two tickets. Ticket 1: Crossing the gore. Do you know the gore? Of course you don't. The only gore you know is Al because thanks to him, we have the internet. The gore is the triangle formation when one lane merges into another OR the triangle area when you move from one lane into a turning lane. Because I did put my wheels in the triangle, I crossed the gore. I also received a ticket for failure to maintain lane because I was in the triangle. So if you put your wheels into the triangle shape, you are out of your lane. This will cause you to pay an additional 350.00 and then question the officer silently are you &$%#((@^!!!! kidding me?
But failure to maintain lane might be an opportunity to make lemonade of lemons. Let me explain.
When I run with MiniMac, MiniMac likes to run in a straight line as quickly as his little body can move. Until he starts to run diagonally. My commentary to him during his cut and weave which usually puts him directly in my line, "maintain your lane, buddy." When MiniMac played football, he and his teammates would run drills. Sometimes those lines were straight and sometimes they would dive bomb in front of one another causing confusion and sometimes crashing bodies. My commentary during football drills turned toddler mosh pit, "maintain your lane!"
But 'maintain your lane' is applicable to a much wider audience than 5 year old kids at football or drivers. It actually applies to many other people. People you know who fall into a special category. Do you know what that category is? The category of Busy Bodies. I believe this expression was popular in the 70's but wow, it is still applicable today. The BB's are that officious intermeddler who isn't actually present to help. BBs get in the way because they come in your lane. We had a BB in our neighborhood years ago nicknamed "Mrs. Roper" because she was a yapper, a gossip and a busybody. I think we are all confident that you would prefer the nickname "Porkchop" over the nickname "Mrs. Roper." Our Mrs. Roper didn't like to maintain her lane. She liked everyone's lane but her own.
I think maintaining your lane is a wise idea. I did not want to maintain my lane yesterday when in the elevator at the hotel I stay at in NYC almost every week, a woman was irate at the front desk clerk because he "lied to her and told her she had to pay for wi-fi" even though TA DA she clearly had wi-fi on her phone. She was going off about this from Lobby level to floor 44 where I got out. I wanted to say, "He didn't lie ding-dong, your iPhone picks up the signal for wi-fi but you have to PAY to access it." Did I say this? NO. It might have helped but I doubt it. That's maintaining your lane.
Personal exposure to failure to maintain lane:
1. Woman in the bathroom at the airport in St. Maarten who told me I wasnt drying my hands properly under the hand dryer. Really? Are there 20 options and I have chosen the weakest, most inefficient method? NO. Unless you saw me vigorously rubbing my hands under that heat wave while simultaneously pouring water on them, I think I have it covered. Now, maintain your lane.
2. Lady in Starbucks who told me I 'should not make my son grow up an only child'. WOW. Thanks for helping me make a decision about having another baby. JMac and I are not sure. Oh, what's your name again lady? I forgot we were close friends. Oh, and you know who doesn't agree with the "only child is lonely child" philosophy? All of your siblings who probably wanted to vote you off the island at one point. Please maintain your lane.
3. The woman in Macy's who told the customer service clerk her hair color was "too dark for her skin tone." The girl could not respond to the customer because she works there and sassing back is probably verbotten in the company handbook. Therefore, I will say it for her: Thanks for the coiffure tips Frederic Fekkai, might a friendly helper let you know that you are outside your lane? Oh, and your rude. Oh, and your lipstick is BRIGHT tangerine and the only girls pulling that off are super gorgeous ones. Back in your lane and zip it when you get there.
4. And the other Mom of an elementary school child, I appreciate your helpful insight. MiniMac has started kindergarten. After school, his former private school picks him up for after-care. We went to school to watch the transition from classroom to holding area to private school van pick up. We stepped into the hallway and of course, MiniMac was super excited to see us. The other Mom, standing on the sidewalk motions us to come back outside. Are we old friends? Is my tag out? Let me go see. She wanted to let me know that I didnt need to be inside. She too was "once where we are" and had a child start school. She "knows it is very hard" but you can not "smother your child" in the process. She wanted me to know that I am not to "interfere" with the "bell to bell instruction" and that we need to "let our son learn to take instruction from other people."
After all that, I smiled at her, patted her on the arm (hoping to transfer condescension in the process) and said, "We just went in to get out of the rain." I turned on my kitten heel, and went back inside. It turns out the teachers who monitor this process are the teachers who run the Accelerated Learning. My favorite part of this story is the ending, in two parts:
a. One of the teachers of the Accelerated Learning program said MiniMac would be a good candidate and asked me to attend a meeting.
b. I apologized to the teachers because clearly, I was infiltrating the sanctity of their domain and usurping their authority. I didnt add those bit but I did apologize. He said, "Don't be silly." So I let him know Helpful Henrietta outside let me in on the deal. He laughed, said, "Ignore her. She's a busybody." LOVE IT. The old school reference to people who fail to maintain their lane.