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 the Battle on Mother’s Day

Traffic

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On Mother’s Day I had to open at work. My family rather than waiting to schedule their party at 4PM, when I could actually be there, decided start without me at 2PM. I was late – nothing unusual there.

Before going to Brother’s house I went to pick up Sister, whose blood-family was in Arizona. Partially for her to help keep me sane and because my family loves her. She’s been around since we were eight-years-old, even the fam calls her Sister as if that was her real name. We were giddy and dancing to pop music as I was driving, normally I head to Brother’s house going south but today I was going north, so I missed the exit.

“It’s cool, we can get to Highway 99 from the next exit can’t we?” I asked.

Sister shrugged, “We can try.”

Within a minute I saw the cars in front of me slam on their breaks sending an unwanted abundance of red lights my direction, great, I thought. We weren’t moving, no one was, after about ten minutes of sitting behind a Canadian semi-truck I realized that we weren’t going anywhere soon.

Hey I’m stuck in traffic on the freeway I don’t think I’ll be able to move for a while, I texted Brother.

Sister and I kept seeing the occasional jerk pull out of the lane and drive along the shoulder. Those cars then aggressively forced their way into the front of the line and take the exit that I was also wanting – in fact, it was roughly 100 feet from where I was sitting in the traffic jam.

“No! That’s no how it works!” Sister was pissed, she hates obnoxious drivers. She began flipping off all the people who drove along the shoulder as if that wasn’t against the law, more importantly to her, it was flat-out rude and thus intolerable behavior.

“Really?” I said talking as if the drivers could hear me, “What made you think that that’s okay?”

In my rear view mirror I saw a car about four people behind me start to slip out onto the shoulder, “Oh Hell no,” I said, “bitch I want the same exit you do.” And with that statement I let out my passive aggressive side and pulled my car half onto the shoulder and half in my lane. I looked behind me and saw at least one other car doing exactly what I did to someone else, this made me happy. The little black car was forced to stop. I stared in my mirror at the rude driver, I’m going to guess she was somewhere between 50-60 with graying hair and a poorly fitted black tank top. Her passenger, a man, seemed to not care at all about the traffic. She was clearly annoyed.

She began pointing, which is quite possibly the weakest threat I’ve ever seen. Soon we began to inch forward, I kept forcing her to go with the speed of traffic. Whenever she tried to move around me I just got more over, but I still stayed in my lane. She had the options of waiting in line or driving into a ditch off the side of the freeway.

One time she tried honking, Sister got even more angry and blatantly flipped her off, “I swear, honking is way worse than flipping someone off. Wait your turn bitch!” she yelled.

“If she honks again you’re getting out and telling her we want the same exit and she has to wait her fucking turn.” I said, Sister nodded in agreement.

For the next ten minutes we were talking about as gangster as we can get, Sister changed the music from pop to rap as her passive aggressive bad ass side got more and more bitter. I don’t think I’ve (or rather we’ve) ever said, “What, what, fucking wait your turn, bitch, what, you got a problem, rude, really? what makes you think this is okay, what?” so many times in my (our) life.

As we got closer to the exit we saw flares on the road, a couple firetrucks, and a policeman passed by on opposite shoulder that I was annoying the lady in the little black car on.

“Damn, I wonder what happened?” I said.

“I don’t know,” Sister replied, “but there’s flares involved. That’s crazy.”

Finally we reached the exit. The black car followed us along the exit as we traveled at a normal speed.

“See?” I said, once again as if she could hear me, “I told you. You had to wait you turn, bitch!”

“That was fucking ridiculous,” Sister said.

At the end of the off ramp we turned right and to our surprise the little black car got BACK ON THE FREEWAY. Why’d they even bother trying to get off so forcefully if they were going to hop straight back into traffic in the first place? We couldn’t figure it out.

“Maybe she thinks the traffic will not exist on the other end of the exit?” Sister asked.

Of course that wasn’t true. I don’t know what the accident was, but I do know that there was not a magical change in traffic between the off and on ramps. That woman was just a rude and dumb driver. Granted, I wasn’t the nicest driver either – but I was a gangster with a justified reason.

Of Finals and Drive

Finals Week

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Finals suck! I repeat FINALS SUCK!!

Can I get an amen? Can I? CAN I?

Please excuse my mellow dramatic written behavior. But every human being who has been educated on any level will agree with that statement.

What is even more unfortunate is that every single professor decides to make large assignments due in unison of the accumulative tests. All this does is make the students lives more stressful.

Not very nice professors … I’m just saying.

Often it seems like we are doing nothing in my classes, at least in terms of turning in assignments. We sit in class, listen to lectures, take notes, and participate in discussions. But come the end of the quarter professors seem to have coerced with their fellow faculty and decide to make literally everything due at the same time. I’m failing to understand why professors don’t spread out their assignments more evenly. I mean surely it would make their grading load lighter … right?

Now if I still had academic drive at this point. This would not be a big deal. I would sit down and just do it. However my drive falls dangerously low after midterms, which results in me watching TV, browsing Facebook, playing solitaire, or anything other than writing those damn papers.

I’ve been so busy avoiding my to do list that I haven’t had the time to update this blog for about twelve days. And honestly I probably shouldn’t be on this website either. I should be focusing on Mina Loy and her hypocritical, body obsessed, futuristic concepts of motherhood. Or rereading Waiting For Godot. Or skimming over boring theory of what makes art art. Apparently I’m a lazy English major, but when I do the work I always do it exceptionally well. Often what I’ve thrown together in two hours is equal too and sometimes better than the work of my fellow students who have spent days preparing and hours upon hours working. Whereas in my world, computer card games, TV on DVD, and socializing have become my priorities.

Thankfully I am the master at bull shitting my way through written assignments.

And if I have enough coffee in my blood I can get anything done.

Two more weeks and this quarter will be done!

Then I party guilt free!