College habits die hard. Sometimes when my car is low on gas I try to talk myself into thinking I don’t really need to go anywhere. I’ll just stay home a few days. Or when we get low on groceries, I start counting how many boxes of mac ’n’ cheese we have in the pantry.
But the reality is I gotta go to work, then get kids to basketball practice and soccer tryouts. And everyone’s gonna freak if there’s not food in the fridge, because nobody knows how to boil water for macaroni.
So I’m driving down Providence Road to the grocery and the gas station, when a guy pulls up next to me in one of those open-air jeeps. It’s an older jeep and has probably seen a lot of college action. He’s got his music turned up to the point I can actually hear it with my windows and sunroof closed. And he has a little smirk on his face.
But this isn’t some college kid. This guy’s in his 40s. Wearing a suit and tie. And really shiny cufflinks. He’s a businessman, heading uptown, obviously to work or some important meeting. But he’s clearly enjoying the ride.
Which gets me thinking: What’s the story here? Midlife crisis comes to mind – like at some point he decided if he has to put on a suit and go to work every day, he at least is going to have a little fun getting there.
Or maybe his son’s home from college. But still asleep. And when he walks out to his boring sedan he sees the Jeep sitting there and thinks, “I’m paying the insurance on that thing; I’m driving it to work today.” And then swipes the keys and screeches out before anyone can stop him.
Or maybe the son came home with too many parking tickets and so he grounded his car. Or worse, made him switch cars – making the son listen to Bloomberg Radio on satellite while he listens to Foo Fighters on CD.
But maybe it really is the car he drives every day. That he said to himself “it’s my life, my wallet, my method of transpo, and I wanna drive an open-air Jeep and jam out every morning.” And maybe he mixes up mac ’n’ cheese every day for lunch, not because he has to, but because he misses it so much.
Anyway … I get my gas and a few things from the grocery. Not that it’d kill anybody around here to take a day off from sports and learn to use the microwave. But I’m not a Pi Phi at Georgia anymore, I’m a mother. So I get all my stuff and drive home.
With all the windows down. And the sunroof open.