Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Mama Bear Story

This sign was posted at the main intersection near our house about two weeks and two days ago.
I am the reason this sign was posted at the main intersection near our house and many other intersections.
I am especially the reason it part that reads "Possible Traffic Delays."
I know, me? Really? Really.
Mama Bear kicked in.
And she didn't keep her mouth shut this time.

So, for your entertainment,
my embarassment tinged with satisfaction,
and one long read,
 please follow this series of emails from last year.
(notes from me in italics -
names of people and places changed or adapted to make it more confusing for you)

Email 1
Subject: Problem with your bike route Saturday--please contact me
To whom it may concern:
It is April 10, 2010. Today my daughter is supposed to take the ACT. You know, the little test that has a huge impact on her future?
We live in X neighborhood. It is a neighborhood on two cross roads.
Why didn't you put out signs at some of the larger crossroads informing us that you would be causing traffic delays? Why didn't you publicize your routes better?
Do you realize the impact these delays can have on people?
My daughter left our neighborhood 30 minutes before the time she was supposed to be at The High School, where she was to take the test. (That is normally a 15 minute route door to door.) She called ten minutes later, sobbing, telling us she was stuck at the two cross roads. By the time we could get down there to help her, it was quarter till 8:00am. The traffic director let a few cars through, but she was stopped again. By the time I walked up to her car (braless & in my pajamas), he waved her through. I waved her on, because what else could I do?
Now I have a stressed out child taking the test that determines her future. Thanks a lot.
If you had publicized this better, we could have planned accordingly and not had these problems this morning.
I need a telephone number and name of a person in authority as soon as possible. There is more I would like to discuss.
Thank you,
the mrs. (aka Crazed Mother)
my phone number here

Email 2
Hello Mrs.
I was forwarded your email by our Race Director.
I want to offer our apologies for any inconvenience today's bicycle race may have caused you and your family.
I tried calling you a few minutes ago and would be glad to visit with you at your convenience.
Sincerely yours,
Classy Man who can handle a crazed mother well
President, 2010 Redbud Classic
his phone number

Email 3
Mrs. :

I received your voicemail and appreciate your understanding with respect to the busy-ness of this weekend. I know you are probably busy, too, so I will try again to reach you this weekend, but if we don't connect, please call me at your convenience on Monday on my cell (phone number) or at my office (phone number).
Classy Man who can handle a crazed mother well

Email 4
Hi Classy Man,
I've been busy and haven't had a chance to call you. So, I thought I'd just email instead.
We were pretty upset with what happened the Saturday morning of the Redbud bike race.We live in a neighborhood. It is the neighborhood at two cross roads. So we were surrounded by the race.
That Saturday morning, my daughter very left early to go to take the ACT. We thought she had plenty of time to make it to the school early. We were wrong, because of the race that we didn't know about. If she'd been running to the grocery, that would have been no big deal. This was the test that helps determine her entire future.
She was stuck at the intersection until 7:45am it usually takes one minute to get through it from our house (she had left at 7:30am). Finally, the traffic officer waved her through. She made it to the test with one minute to spare (it's normally a 15 minute commute door-to-door). Fortunately, there was a teacher there that she knew who was able to help her calm down and she was able to take the ACT.
This child has stress issues and the ACT day was not a good day for this incident to happen. She had done everything in her power to control the situation in preparation for the test. The bike race threw her off.
She says she thinks she did well and did not feel anxiety while taking the test, so hopefully her scores will reflect that.
My husband has run marathons and done bike races, we know the work that goes into an event like this. We also have the bike people out here all the time and we are happy about it, it's a beautiful place to ride.
But, folks who use the area really should be considerate to the people who live here. We had no idea that the Red Bud bike race was going to happen here - let alone on that Saturday. Since moving to Oklahoma a year and a half ago, the attitude of the locals regarding what's happening in the community has just baffled me. Everyone seems to assume that newcomers (and we're really not newcomers anymore) automatically know about all that is going on the the community.
People who plan big events like yours need to do a better job of advertising and community outreach. A simple sign at the intersection would have been enough. We could have adjusted our daughter's plans accordingly. (We did see the port-a-john, and wondered why it was there. We thought maybe the church was getting ready for some construction or something.) There is a precious Baptist church at the corner of the two cross roads.
Although I really thought about it for a long time, I'm not going to ask for your organization to compensate us for the cost of the test that she's probably going to have to retake. I am going to ask you to please get the word out to any and all organizers of events such as these--please be kind to the communities you are using. Let them know what is going on. Put up little signs and contact HOAs in areas that have them. In our case, call the neighborhood school and have them put it on the reader board. The totally obnoxious one that I can see the glow from all the way from my house when it's on and working. It's a little extra work, but the community support you would get back would pay off and you wouldn't have freaked out moms contacting you in such a "mother bear" way on the day of the event.
Hope your event went well. Hope it is awesome in the years to come.
Thank you,
the mrs.
my phone number

Email 5
Mrs. :

Thank you for your email. I was hoping you would get back in touch.
Again, I appreciate all of your thoughts and I do understand the frustration. At our post-race meeting, we discussed ways to inform the residents of certain neighborhoods (including yours of course) in advance about the event. Everyone agreed it would be a good idea to reach out to neighborhood associations and even plant a sign in the grass notifying the neighborhoods along the route. Your idea about calling the schools is one we hadn't thought of, but we will look into that, too.
As a way of letting you and your family know that we regret any difficulty the bike race may have caused, we want to invite you and your family to participate in next year's Redbud at no cost. It is a fun spring event and we think you will enjoy the events on Saturday and Sunday. To take us up on our offer, simply email our race director, a very nice person, next spring and let her know what events you plan to participate in (her email address is someone@somewhere).
Thank you again for getting in touch and for your candor. Please feel free to get in touch if any additional issues arise.
Classy Man who can handle a crazed mother well
President, 2010 Redbud Classic

Classy Man
Man Law Firm
Some Stree and Suite
Oklahoma City, OK
phone number (Office)

phone number (Mobile)
phone number (FAX)
web address

But guess what we had on our schedule that Saturday (we don't do Sunday sports)?
(I just made a list, but deleted it- it was a fun, but busy day & you just read through all those emails-I don't want to make you read too much more.)
We couldn't take him up on his offer.
But I did leave a little earlier for my meeting that morning.
And I bet the kids who had to go take the ACT & saw the sign knew they had to leave a little earlier.
I had one friend tell me that "they" will never know what I did for "them."
And you know what, I'm ok with that because I know what I did.
Even though I was foolish & a bit irrational.
I know what I did.

PS-Oh, do I know what I did. I have another neighbor and friend (who's beautiful wife is over there --> in the followers section) who seems to not remember seeing me running down the street trying to help my daughter. I am thankful he was busy watching the bikes that morning. (I have not come out and talked to him specifically about the whole thing, it's just too embarassing. In some conversations, I've talked around it & nothing's come up. PHEW.)


  1. That's the best story! You are a great Mama Bear and I know the whole community will be thankful to "someone" for helping them out. :)

  2. I love it! I don't think you looked too crazed. Just enough crazy to get things done. :)


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