The first time I heard this term I thought it was a colloquialism. Something people say in Virginia because, after all, Virginia is for lovers and all that.
"The Kiss and Ride line was so long this morning."
"Yeah, it always is when it rains."
For those of you who are in the dark when it comes to Kiss and Ride, it's what the rest of the country calls 'drop off'. However, when it comes to my children's school Kiss and Ride takes on a hint of military precision.
Children wearing safety guard vests are lined up on big blue dots approximately five feet from each other along the sidewalk next to the school parking lot.
A teacher stands outside directing traffic, both vehicular and human. A line of cars pulls up, stops at the blue dots, the children dressed in fluorescent gear open the back doors and like a well-rehearsed dance the backpack toting passengers hop out and make their way to the classrooms.
The line of cars who take part in the Kiss and Ride ritual each morning stretches for several blocks. My kids and I figured out early on we could park our car, hop out and be at school for kisses good bye long before the idling line of Kiss and Ride vehicles.
As much as I'm trying to embrace the customs of my new home, I'll admit to having a little trouble with the Kiss and Ride debacle. In Portlandia, in lieu of cars inching forward, the streets were filled with lawn signs reminding us of the nasty environmental impact of idling vehicles.
The information in those signs now play on repeat in my head each morning and afternoon as I pass people in their cars and/or watch them try to do the vehicle equivalent of cutting the Kiss and Ride line.
Wouldn't it be so much simpler and green-clean to park and walk? And by the way, I feel compelled to mention that, to date, I haven't witnessed any actual kissing in the Kiss and Ride cars.
Although, I'm sure it happens. Virginia IS for lovers, right?