It’s time.


It’s time.

Time for me to think about movin’ on.  Time to think about hanging up my teacher boots and setting out on the porch with some sweet tea.

Or something.

Why am I thinking this way, you ask?  Is it the increasingly difficult children, you wonder? Is it the demanding parents, wanting ever more care for their precious offspring?  Could it be the never-ending changes in the curriculum that have me so disheartened, you ask yourselves?

Could it possibly, just possibly, be the fact that my professional license is now going to be tied to the academic success or failure of my students? Could it be the incredibly insulting and upsetting fact that my entire career may soon come to depend on the test scores of kids who don’t speak English, or who are depressed, or who have autism or cerebral palsy or psychosis? Is it the fact that I know it will be impossible for me to bring every child to the same level of skill on the same day that has me ready to throw up may hands and cry “Uncle!”?

No, my friends, no.  It is none of these terrible stressors that is making me want to cash in my pension chips and get a job at the local Subway instead.

Its this:

My commute takes me along 37 miles of highway each way.  That highway has been under construction for every minute of my 22 years of driving it.  Damn you, Barack Obama and your stupid TARPS road repairs!!!!

And it is the fact that for at least 4 weeks before the “daylight savings times” change and 4 weeks after it, I am driving directly into the gigantic fireball of the rising sun.  And I am driving on a road where every single driver, even the 98 year old blue haired lady, is determined to get to his or her destination in under 7 seconds.  They all drive as if their gas tanks are about to explode. There are usually about 4 inches  of space between one bumper and the next.  Which means that, inevitably, someone sneezes and taps his breaks which results in a chain reaction, 11 car fender bender.

Which closes the friggin’ highway.

Which means that I have to travel at 1 mile per hour for the next hour and a half.

And every single time- I mean this. I am not making this up- the guy behind me every single time that I am stuck in traffic for hours, is a major nose picker.  I look in my rearview mirror to see how close the car behind me is, and I see Mr. Baseball Cap with his forefinger up to the first knuckle.

Glerg!  I have to gasp, take a breath and fight desperately to keep my English muffin inside.

Ten seconds go by, and my eyes are drawn relentlessly to that rearview mirror again.  JEEEZ!  Now his pinky is up the other nostril, and before I can look away, he pulls it out and flicks it.

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

I have to retire.  I just have to!  I can’t take one more winter of crashes-stops-traffic jams- big bald guy with finger up his nose.

Do you think there’s an opening at Subway?

15 thoughts on “It’s time.

  1. If you calculate how many hours of our lives we spend in our cars, gridlocked in traffic, it’s amazing we last as long as we do. Traffic was — until we retired — the single most significant factor in the way our life was conducted. It’s why we moved out of Boston to the country. It’s a big deal and people who don’t deal with it don’t understand how it grinds you down. I DO understand. But all those other stresses don’t help either.


  2. There comes a time, Karen. There comes a time. I read something in the Globe this week that the horrendous commutes that so many Massachusetts residents endure will have to be a priority of the new governor’s administration. I certainly hope it is. Driving down 495 is one of the things I dread when I come back to Mass for a visit – and one of the reasons my husband has only been back there once since we moved 17 months ago…and the nose picking would definitely be a turn-off, too….yuck, simply yuck!


  3. Getting rid of my commute was WORTH everything – the pay cut and petty bullshit of the new job. Everything. Every day when I leave work now, I know I can be home in about 20 minutes. I only did the horror of Rte 2 commute for 13 years, but that was enough. I wish I could retire, but I can’t. But I no longer have that commute and I have a HUGE chunk of my life back.


  4. Perhaps you need a bumpersticker (or a neon sign that you can light up) that says “GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF YOUR NOSE — EVERYBODY IS GROSSED OUT!”

    Because you know it will continue to happen …


    • And then I spend all day with ten year old kids! And find myself saying, at least twice a day, “Honey, please get a tissue and then wash your hands.”
      Why can’t I get a job rocking babies, or feeding puppies, or just sitting there looking serene?


  5. Jump in the tub with me, the water is great! And once my husband retires (next year) we’re going to move out of this crowded, rush-hour craziness to a quiet, slow-paced, country living bungalow as a writer.


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