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Dear Crossing Czarina

I hope you notice the deference with which I address you, for it demonstrates my awareness of the supreme power you wield in your crosswalk jurisdiction.

I suppose it’s typical of the average crossing guardian to bring their own props; to–how you say– customize your “beat.” I admire the care you show in placing your blaze cone every morning, and your accompanying folding chair throne. You deserve to be safe; safe, comfy, and omnipotent.

Safe as in “I’ll let him go this time, but next time your toddler needs to dismount the tricycle and walk it”

Comfy as in “I’ll stare you down from my chair—across the street and twenty yards away. I need not rise for you to feel the disdain growing ‘neath my BluBlockers. I have no siren, but a mere shake of my snowy locks causes you to pull your car over and see if I have some crossing-nugget I wish to impart”

Omnipotent as in “I paint my own street markers to ensure the safety of the masses” Only a crossing czarina paints her own RED LINE on the corner and demands “turn around and wait behind the RED LINE.”

As I approached your safety altar with the stroller, you scrambled into position—alerting the lack of traffic with your handy portable STOP sign. I might’ve avoided you all together, but I took the opportunity to obey your authority, and respect your craft-of-the-cross.

But then we had the second cross to contend with. I enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the crosswalk as much as the next biped, and I had no intention of a blatant jay-walk in your presence. Did you note my pause-n-turn genuflection at the curb, before you insisted I go all the way back up behind your RED LINE? I needed that reminder. Thank you.

Thank you also for warning me that a U-turn in a school zone costs $85. My kindergartner assumes you write the tickets. Do you issue citations?

Finally, thanks for screaming at me to move my car at pick up time yesterday, as the car was only halfway parked in the three allotted 10 minute waiting spots, and halfway in the NoparkingNostandingNoleavingyourpreschoolerunattendedNowaytopickupyourkindergartner spot.

You’re a lifesaver.

Ann

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A couple things that have come to my intention:

1) Thursday is “It’s Time To Talk Day.” Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Moms and Dads for Education (MADE) to Stop Teen Dating Abuse is a coalition of parents, teachers and concerned citizens advocating that every high school in the country teach a curriculum on preventing dating relationship violence and abuse. Meaghan from Mama’s Cup is partnering with Liz Clairborne to help with this very important effort, and asked me to spread the word.

2) Kate of The Big Piece of Cake had the idea to promote indie designers/artists and small companies as a great option for holiday shopping on her As Good As Cake site. It’s a sucky economy and the little guys are finding it harder and harder to keep their businesses afloat. Go check out her giveaways and help our fellow blogger/entrepreneurs in the process.

3) Finally, if you are having trouble staying afloat financially, there is help. NFCC.org has launched a series of videos, giving access to free information called “Financial Fast Facts,” brief videos that can be utilized with minimal effort to ensure the right, financial steps are taken before the big holiday rush arrives.

No, I didn’t accept gifts or money or anything (accept for a slightly clearer conscious, perhaps) in exchange for any of this linkage. Clearly I need to work on this issue in therapy.

35 comments… add one

  • hokgardner December 1, 2009, 10:06 pm

    Our school just got its very first professional crossing guard, and he, too, painted his own red lines on the sidewalk. But he’s one of the super-friendly types who likes to say perky things as we’re crossing back and forth.

  • Mandy's Life After 30 December 1, 2009, 11:22 pm

    School crossing guards and mall cops — they really are America’s finest breed, eh?

    Sounds to me like someone failed R.O.T.C. or was rejected from the military….

  • Janie at Sounding Forth December 1, 2009, 11:24 pm

    Our crossing guards here wave and blow kisses.

    Hmmm. Wonder where they came from?

  • tattytiara December 2, 2009, 12:09 am

    I was made a crossing guard at school when I was in grade eight. That lasted until I threw my little stop sign at someone. I’m telling you – nobody is safe from the corrupting influence of all that power!

  • Frau December 2, 2009, 1:04 am

    Some people really take there job’s seriously!

  • Jack December 2, 2009, 1:34 am

    I was born to be a crossing guard, nah, I Am too tall. They make that job for short men.

  • ♥ Braja December 2, 2009, 3:53 am

    I nearly started whistlin’ but then you mentioned caaaaaaake…..
    :)

  • Mrsblogalot December 2, 2009, 6:13 am

    I used to be a crossing guard till somebody slapped me.
    Dangerous work my friends.

  • Maureen@IslandRoar December 2, 2009, 7:30 am

    Well, you know what they say about power corrupting…
    Some people just can’t handle it.

  • Becky December 2, 2009, 8:40 am

    There is a crossing guard right by Ben’s school that is SOOO mean she scares me and I have now found another route to school.

    This letter rocked!

  • The Mother December 2, 2009, 9:34 am

    Ours thinks she can direct traffic. And since I live right across the street from the school, she’s a royal pain in the keester.

  • Boy Crazy (@claritychaos) December 2, 2009, 1:09 pm

    You don’t want those beyoches on your bad side, Ann. Seriously.

  • Masala Chica December 2, 2009, 2:52 pm

    I can’t stand people in “authority” positions who are too big for their britches. I am with John Cougar (I fight authority and authority always wins). Our office executive assistant is one of those ego-maniacs too – because she “works for the boss” she think she “is” the boss. hate it hate it hate it.

  • Oh My Goddess December 2, 2009, 4:21 pm

    We, the parents, are each required to be traffic cops two mornings a school year.

    Oh yes.

    Try telling your BFF that they are holding up the traffic flow.

    But maybe you can bribe yours? With a new pair of Isotoners?

    Or maybe Scotch?

  • Joanna Jenkins December 2, 2009, 4:38 pm

    Seriously? She painted her own Red Line?!?!? That’s a major power trip for a gal in a lawn chair.

    Thanks for the three links.. You’re a good soul :-)

    xo

  • LucyCooper December 2, 2009, 8:31 pm

    The Car Line Crossing Guard. She snapped at me one day because I had the audacity to let one of my feet wander off of the side walk and onto the stripes BEFORE she gave her side nod/ hand sweep combo gesture. I totally ignored her, and yet my peripheral vision caught sight of her shaking her head in disgust at me. I am such a naughty slut.

  • Chris Mancini December 2, 2009, 10:09 pm

    Now, imagine if she was in a BAD mood.

  • Wendi December 3, 2009, 7:49 am

    This is a fine piece of writing, right here.

    Our crossing guard–Rick–has blonde tips and looks like he just aged out of an Orlando boy band.

  • Pearl December 3, 2009, 5:27 pm

    Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

    Pearl

  • Not The Rockefellers December 3, 2009, 7:01 pm

    I do carpool wrangling every other week at school…and I bathe in the illusion of authority that comes with it…plus the kids think I’m some sort of super-hero

    actually I’m quite lame…I don’t yell at anyone as I’m quite intimidated by most of the Mommies…you should see how they juggle their cellphones while tossing the kids out of the mini-vans as they are still rolling…

    Peace ~ Rene

  • Jen Tankersley December 3, 2009, 7:11 pm

    This is my first time to your blog and I so enjoyed it! Moms of small children have so many good stories, wouldn’t you say? It is fun to read the stories of other moms and be able to relate in so many ways. Thanks for sharing!

    Jen

  • injaynesworld December 3, 2009, 7:18 pm

    I will look at crossing guard with a whole new respect now. Or I may just moon them.

  • anymommy December 3, 2009, 10:08 pm

    A little power can be a frightening thing.

  • Smart Mouth Broad December 3, 2009, 11:47 pm

    You painted a perfect picture of the Crosswalk Nazi. I can almost see her talons.

  • Lee of MWOB December 4, 2009, 1:09 am

    Okay. I now want to do a documentary on crossing guards across the nation. We have the most fascinating human who is our school’s crossing guard and has been for like 30 years. I’m not kidding. At the end of every year, our school gives her…..a trophy.

    Did you know there is a crossing guard Hall of Fame? You may want to nominate her to be inducted.

  • Lee of MWOB December 4, 2009, 1:10 am

    P.S. And all of those meaningful links at the end really through me for a loop.

  • bernthis December 4, 2009, 12:54 pm

    ours could care less. I guess I should be “happy” about that huh?

  • Brian Miller December 4, 2009, 1:02 pm

    yikes! watch out the crossing guard has the paint again! congrats on the OMG award!

  • Janie December 4, 2009, 3:42 pm

    Funny! I’ve run across a few crossing guards with the czarina complex.
    Congrats on the OMG award.

  • Irish Gumbo December 4, 2009, 7:27 pm

    *snort* You said ‘czarina’ and ‘genuflection’…sigh…

    Would you go out with me? (grin)

    Funny and good!

  • CatLadyLarew December 5, 2009, 7:20 am

    Maybe if you offer the Czarina a payoff each week, she’ll lighten up and scream at somebody else!

  • Heidi December 6, 2009, 7:58 pm

    OMG, we have a miserable crossing guard at the grade school. I used to be nice and say hello and even smile at her as I walked by, not once did she acknowlege me. Bitch.
    My daughter says she yells at everyone at lunch too as she moonlights as a lunch helper.
    Guess who asked me to be her friend on FB?! Can you hit IGNORE!
    Teen dating abuse is a serious issue and I don’t think all parents realize it can happen. Thanks for bringing it to peoples attention.

  • Spot On Your Pants December 6, 2009, 8:00 pm

    oh good. i thought our crossing guard lady was the only one on a power trip. now, we just have some old geezer who barely can tear himself away from AM radio to get out of his car. see you at cupcake, by the way!

  • Debbie December 7, 2009, 9:36 am

    What it is with crossing guards thinking they wield the power of the world? And I don’t think I’ve ever seen one smile.

  • Margo December 8, 2009, 12:30 pm

    “crossing nugget”? — So real it hurts. We all tire of nuggets and these people in our lives who enjoy throwing around their blaze cones and red lines. This post spoke to me – I never encountered a crossing guard but there was a lunch lady when Sparkle was in the 3rd grade who dispensed nuggets and was all superior with her hair net and ladle.

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