Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 31

Top-loading white goods

Yes, I’m talking about washing machines…..bear with me on this. It’s a joy! Really, it is. We don’t have them in the UK as far as I am aware, but they are all the rage in the world of domesticity here. They are spacious, easy to load and I have a new place in my heart for top-loading washing machines. It all seems so much easier, for some reason. I might even admit that I look forward to putting the washing on…..

Corn fields

There are corn fields everywhere and that means my imagination gets filled up with Children of the Corn imagery (for those of you who don’t know or can’t quite remember the 80s phenomenon by Stephen King, this is the synopsis: A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed. Not such good thoughts, when you’re driving to and from school.

School drop off/pick up line

This leads nicely on to the opportunity for me to share the other US phenomenon, which is the school pick up line.

School gates? No. Walking to school? No chance. Meet other parents? Hell, don’t even think about it!

Everyone drives to school here and the school pick up line is a well-ordered, military operation with strict rules that must be adhered to in order to ensure that it all goes smoothly (which it does unless there is a UK mother in the line).

So here’s how it works….

Drop off…..You drive into the school grounds. There is a man in a yellow vest with batons who waves you through in the right direction. You drive very, very slowly. You join your relevant queue. There are teachers and older children standing by. You do not get out of the car (I have been told that you can do drop off in your PJs and pick up in whatever you like, since no one sees you). You pause the car and the teacher or older child on duty opens the door. Out gets your child with his or her rucksack. You wave bye bye and the child walks into the classroom. “Have a great day” says the teacher or older child and they shut the car door. And off you drive (slowly), joining the exit queue.

Pick up….It’s the same deal, except this time everyone gets there 45 minutes before pick up time actually commences so that they can join the queue. You slowly make your way up the queue. Your child appears. The teacher opens the door. Your child gets in. They shut the door and off you go.

You do not engage in conversation with anyone. If you are me, however, you get out of the car whilst waiting in the pick up queue and attempt to sunbathe. Everyone else stays in their air-conditioned cars.

And that is that.

It works, but it seems a shame that there is no meeting, talking, engagement.

I may just have to break the rules…..


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2 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 31

  1. Annette Haynes says:

    Yep, I’m right with you on the top loaders. Why don’t we have them in the UK? They are so much more user-friendly and capacious. My Aussie friend says the same thing as they are de rigueur over there.

  2. Amanda Rowe says:

    My sister in law enjoys a top loader too in SF but apparently they don’t wash as well as UK machines – she fills her suitcase with Vanish whenever she comes back to the UK!!!

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