Mothering Heights: The Traffic Bash


I’ve taken to bed. Seriously. I am in bed, refusing to move. I vow to never leave my house, ever again.

It’s not because I found out that my summer diet is actually a weight gain program or that my organizational plan is making me a candidate for “Hoarders: Buried Alive.” Nor is it my lack of parenting that consists of “Turn the TV off. I can’t take one more ‘Good Luck Charlie’ episode.”

No, the reason that I have taken to bed is the Laguna Beach traffic. I just sat in my mini-van (without my BackJoy support cushion, I’d like to add) for over an hour as I traveled from Three Arch Bay to downtown to Bluebird Canyon. Finally home, I bypassed the shot of whiskey to soothe my pain and headed straight to the comfort of my soft lavender scented sheets.

I can’t stand it when locals (a.k.a. my kids) bash the tourists who fill our sleepy little town up in the summer months.

“It’s so crowded, too many people,” they whine.

“What? Don’t you know that they help pay for your textbooks, playground equipment and field trips?” I don’t know if that’s true, but my girls love school, so that gets them quiet.

I refuse to tourist bash, just traffic bash.

So, how does one survive the madness of bumper-to-bumper jams? First of all, there are the shortcuts. I just learned a new one today as a black sedan rushed past me on Third Street, pulled a right into the Community Clinic parking lot and came out by the police station. Who knew? I’m sure it’s completely illegal.

Speaking of illegal, it’s also helpful to rely on one’s theatrical background. For example, the “I’m having a baby and my water’s about to break” excuse allows you to drive in the bicycle lane and even on the sidewalks. I have already practiced this one at home, amazing my kids with how easily my stomach can appear pregnant. Push that sucker out and boom, I’m nine months pregnant and in need of immediate medical care.

Don’t think I won’t do it either. I once got pulled over on the 405 for being in the carpool lane  (by myself) and crossing the double yellow lines (after I saw the cop). I feigned a nervous breakdown, crying like Prissy in “Gone With the Wind.”

“But Mr. Policeman, I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout those traffic laws.” I got out of traffic school but not the hefty fine. Writing that check almost sent me into a real nervous breakdown.

Then there’s the survival tactic called “leaving town.” I have friends who pack up their houses and put them on for rental. While the packing challenge could be invigorating, my husband shot down that idea with a big fat, “No, no and no.”

So there you have it: How to survive Laguna traffic with shortcuts, an escape hatch, or drama 101. Of course, I’ve left out all kinds of other things like eating a whole bag of vegetable chips, counting the black Range Rovers and checking for celebrity sightings. (Marc Sanchez was just in town!)

The easiest solution to avoid the traffic is to not even leave the house. And if it’s a must, walk and take the trolley. If only it went to Target and TJ Maxx. I guess that’s why people want to come here though; to leave the mall mash for some fresh beach scented air.

Thank you, tourists for visiting. I needed a good rest anyway. The “Good Luck Charlie” mom just had her baby. I’m sure there’s a good laugh in there somewhere.


Christine can be reached at [email protected]

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