For three years now, every weekday morning, I’ve walked my daughter to her school bus stop.
The first year — when she was in Kindergarten — was nice and silent. That is to say… there were no other parents at the stop, so once the bus driver had claimed her, I was free to go on my merry way back home on my own, lost in my own random daily thoughts.
The second year, a 6th grade boy’s mom began accompanying him to the bus stop. She liked to keep me chatting for about 20 minutes after the bus had come and gone about workplace and home life dramas. Not only was she chatty, she was also rather flashy — often wearing purple furry boots and a matching coat that she had made for herself. And she had pink or turquoise hair. Or was it purple? Anyway… her son now catches another bus to the intermediate school, so I haven’t seen her in quite a while.
This school year, a new Kindergartener joined the little bus stop group. On occasion, her mom accompanies her, but usually it is her father. I have decided to call “Mr. Dapper”. I don’t know his real name, but he has recently taken to walking me down the sidewalk and engaging me in very brief conversations — after months of silent bus stop standing… and waving friendly good-byes from a distance as I cut back across a green area to head back home.
“You always look so dapper in the mornings,” I mentioned to him not too long ago — mentally comparing his apparel to my own sweatpants and sweatshirt, un-made-up face and undone hair.
“Why, thank you,” he replied.
“I like how you’ve started to escort me down the sidewalk, too,” I told him, laughing.
“Just thought I’d be friendly and say hi,” he said.
“Shall I walk you to your car?” I asked — as that is where he typically goes once the bus has departed with our children on it. “I could open your car door for you,” I told him.
He laughed, “Sure, let’s give it a try.”
I tried. The door was locked.
“Wait,” he said, clicking the button on his key. “Try again.”
“Here you go,” I said, opening the door. “By the way, what kind of work do you do?”
“I’m a clinical psychologist.”
He then mentioned that the reason he dresses so nicely is because of his court appearances.
I laughed. “And on that note, I’ll just be on my way now….”
He laughed, too.
“Have a good day,” we said simultaneously… and he started his car as I walked off. I wondered what his wife would’ve thought of a strange woman (me) opening her husband’s car door for him, had she been looking out the window….
PS: Have I ever mentioned that I have an oldies crush on Tony Hicks? (He’s the one in the striped shirt and shades.) :-)