Of “Drive Safe”

Road Sign.

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There are certain phrases we all say. Words that function like muscle memory. That are spoken without our brain having any choice in the discussion. So we say them, someone else says the appropriate words in response, and we continue on our way.

The phrase that I’ve been noticing the most, as of late, is drive safe.

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Okay, bye!”

Why do we say that? Do we honestly think that if we don’t tell them to drive safe that something horrid is going to happen to them? That they’ll be driving along and they’ll think to themselves, I wonder what would happen if I turned the steering wheel really fast – oh wait, I’m supposed to drive safe. That’s not very safe. Thanks friend.

The words are merely a filler, in the way that we ask acquaintances how they’re doing expecting to hear the response, “I’m fine.” Sometimes words are just that, things we say because it’s the cultural norm, it’s expected, and we don’t even realize we do it. So I’ve started saying different words:

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Damn, I was gonna drive ninety and backwards.”

Or

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive dangerously!”

“Haha …… okay?”

I always get an awkward chuckle in response, suddenly, I’m seen as incredibly witty. And for what? Breaking our prescribed script. Changing up the normal conversation. If we all switched around our dialogue then one day simply saying, “Okay, bye,” would be seen as bizarre.

But what I find the most fascinating is that my changed words have become my script – it’s an inescapable cycle of habit.

Road Sign Swerve

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Of Dead Batteries

Girl Waiting By Car

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There’s been a recent development in my life where I go out to my car and yet again the battery is dead. Why? Because I forget to turn my lights off, a lot. Now I would argue that this is not entirely my fault – the beepy thing is broken. By beeping thing I mean the annoying high-pitched reminder that my lights are still on, a service I hadn’t realized that I relied so heavily upon till my string of dead batteries began.

The silly thing is that I don’t have my own cables, I always have to borrow from someone else.

Here’s my tally over the course of roughly four months:

  • Work: 5 times
  • School: 2 times
  • Parentals: 1 time

Nothing is more depressing than getting off an eight-hour shift at 12:30AM and coming out to a car that won’t start. First I’m struck with denial, no not again, start, staaaaarrrrrt! turning the ignition a few times before I rest my head on the steering wheel. Next I’ll call whoever I know that is either getting off with me or still inside the building (usually either Bryce or Jolene).

Friend: Hello?

Me: Hey, boo!

Friend: What’s up?

Me: So, I kinda left my lights on?

Friend: Again?

Me: Yeah. Could you come help me?

Friend: You gotta stop doing that!

Me: I know!

Friend: Aiight, be out soon.

Me: *Waiting for assistance, the pointless security guard shows up*

Security: What’s going on here?

Me: Oh my car battery is dead.

Security: Do you have help coming?

Me: Yup

Security: *Nods and stares at me*

Friend: *Exiting theater*

Me: There they are. *Pointing dramatically*

Security: Okay, have a good night. *Slowly drives away*

Me: You too.

Friend: Which side of the engine is your battery on?

Me: I don’t know, it’s inside the hood.

Then they’ll  hook my car up with their cables since I honestly still don’t know how to do it myself, turns out the batteries on my left side (thank you Bryce).

I always have to hold the cables while it’s being set up, which terrifies me because apparently if the metal parts touch I could die! What? Why’s this so dangerous? I’m truly pathetic with cars beyond the skill of driving them.

But I’ve gone three weeks without my battery dying! I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.