I have to tell you the story of the crossing guard, aka my Nemesis!
Every morning I drive past a school, slowly. Last fall I realized that crossing guard in front of the school looked familiar. We made eye contact one day and I finally recognized him as my neighbor. Now it’s an important piece of information that I now live in the house that I grew up in. So not only is this man my neighbor, he is also the patriarch of a family that I spent a lot of time with as a kid.
As a child I was in his house many times. As an adult I have been living three houses away from him for 18 years. That’s right 18 years. I live on a corner and I believe he has passed me while I was standing in my yard at least a couple of hundred times in the last 18 years.
Also important to know is that I smile. If I’m driving, standing, mowing walking and I look around and I happen to meet eyes with, a fellow driver, a pedestrian, a bird, a dog, a bee, I smile at them. I am unable to resist this urge. So of the couple of hundred times that I have passed this man in my yard, and now in my car I have smiled each and every one of them.
He has smiled at me exactly Zero of those times. The first few months I attributed it to his advancing age and not being able to see me very well. The next couple of months I thought perhaps he just didn’t realize who I was. But now after so much time and the realization that my car is rather distinctive, what with it’s personalized license plates and strange bumper sitckers, I think he is CHOOSING not to acknowledge me or smile me!
I’m going to have to start driving a longer way because he’s really starting to piss me off. I’m getting nervous that someday I’m going to pull up and he’s going to be standing in the middle of the road with his little red stop sign as his talisman against oncoming traffic, and I won’t be able to restrain myself.