Judging other cars, a Lyft Line reunion, and the Uber Eats burger dream

This week, a girl, her brother and their mom talk about stitches; “It’s like sewing, but you’re not doing it to a blanket—you’re doing it to your skin!” the brother exclaims, making noises that mimic a sewing machine. The girl looks fearful. The mom reassures her it will be okay.

Another passenger comments on how books these days are filled with cultural references: “Why not make a book that’s universally human? One that can be read 1,000 years from now without confusion? How can readers engage fully if they’re constantly having terms like ‘YOLO” thrown at them without any clues as to their definition?” she wonders.

Though I hear where she’s coming from, I also consider how difficult it would be to write a book these days that a Viking could have understood.

Also on the line-up for this week: #LyftThoughts explores the appearance-based assumptions we make about other cars (as well as how these might affect our behavior towards them), two girls who went to high school together reunite in #LyftLine, and a girl passenger who’s a twin directs me to a lovely short passage about twins’ tight bonds.


#LyftThoughts: Assumptions and stereotypes out on the road

Just as it’s in our nature to do so with people, when out on the road we unconsciously and instinctively stereotype other cars. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2604.jpg

Consider the automatic judgments we make when sharing the road with the little red speedster versus the gargantuan, inconsiderate Hummer. Or how we might react differently to a large burly man maneuvering the car than we would if a little old lady  were the one driving it. 

What sorts of conclusions might we come to about a beat-up or run-down vehicle?  Maybe it depends on if it’s beat-up in a way that makes it look aggressive, or if it’s in more of an unassuming “I’ve been worn down by life out there on the rough unforgiving road” kind of way. 

We may come to expect certain behavior from certain cars, which then leads us to react to them as if they’ve behaved according to our expectations—even if they haven’t, or at least not really. 

Maybe our disapproval then comes out in the form of a punitive honk– one that’s bursting with self-righteous energy. The other driver, unaware of the expectations that spurred the honk, or perhaps all too aware of them, might think we’re being unfairly harsh.

See my upcoming Drunk Passengers entry for more on this (a girl discusses the power she felt and respect she commanded when driving her dad’s truck, compared with how she usually feels when driving her small scrappy Saturn).


Passenger #LyftQuote

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twinsss.jpg

A girl passenger who is a twin introduces me to this lovely quote: “People said twins were two bodies with one soul. But they were more than that. They were one body, one soul. Destiny and Enough. When one closed her eyes, the other went blind. If one hurt, the other bled. And when one of them had nightmares, it was the other’s heart that pounded inside her chest.”–Honor by Elif Shafak


Passenger #LyftQuote

“My mom owns the hair salon I work at. I’m really good at hair and everyone’s surprised, because I was a tom-boy in high school. I ran track, did the hurdles. My 16-year-old son–all his classmates thinks he’s my sister or girlfriend– comes to clean up the place at the end of the day. I pay him fifty dollars to.”

–Woman who had come in with a plate of ribs that her mom had made her, which she planned to enjoy as leftovers (for breakfast) the next day.  At the beginning of the ride she apologized for smelling like onions.


A High School Reunion in #Lyft Line

A playful energy flows back and forth between young adult buddies Jesse* and Karla*.

Karla has stolen Jesse’s hat and is saying it looks better on her; Jesse is saying that walking is “not real exercise”. 

A third passenger gets added to the Lyft Line. The 20-something girl sits down in the front seat when she gets in.

Karla taps the girl’s shoulder from the backseat.

“Do you remember me?” she asks.

Jenny* looks back and takes a minute to register before saying: “Oh my God! Hi!”

“We were on dance team together,” Karla explains to Jesse. “This is my friend Jesse,” she says to Jenny.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is danceteam-1.jpg
“We were on the dance team together.”

“Friend’s a strong word,” Jesse responds. “We’re more like acquaintances. Only met a little while ago.” 

“Yeah just seven years ago the other day,” Karla quips back, gently shoving Jesse.

“I see you on Instagram. You look like you’re doing so well!” she says to Jenny.

“Thank you, I’m tryin, I’m tryin.”

“Are you still with that boyfriend?” Karla asks.

“We broke up about three weeks ago,” Jenny replies.

“Oh I’m sorry to hear that.” Brief pause: “Can I ask why?”

“Because I’m crazy.”

“Is that his reason or yours?” Jesse chimes in.

“My reason. Different stages of life. I’m only 23, he’s 28.” I’m crazy, I’m young, I want to go out and do things. He wanted to stay home and play video games.” 

“It got to where I was lying about who I was going out with and what I was doing… and at that point I was like, to myself, ‘you’re obviously not feeling it anymore if you’re having to lie about things.’ So I moved back in with my family— that’s where you picked me up.”

“What about you, you seeing anyone?” Jenny asks Karla.

“Nope. Just being young and dumb.”

“Right on.” 

Before they part ways, they promise to DM each other on Instagram. Jesse and Karla both get a new follower.


#Lyft Dream

An Uber Eats request comes in from LA (a six-hour drive from where I live, the San Francisco Bay Area), and I’m given no option to decline it. 

When I call Uber Headquarters to let them know that the long drive won’t be possible, the Uber boss explains to me (in a gravely serious tone) that the man who placed the order is a very important client of theirs, so I am to deliver this very special burger to him without any objections.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_2602.jpg

“Just make the trip and reward yourself with a candy apple once you’re finished. Pair it with a walk along the beach,” he tells me.

Dreaming about gourmet burgers… I wonder if looking at this 1999 snapshot from my third grade lifeline the night before had anything to do with it?? 

(For those who can’t read my chicken scrawl handwriting: “When I was 35, I made a triple meat, triple bun, cooked, juicy hamburger with onions for my job as a chef. I called it the big burger, and the big burger is still being served.”

Check back next week for more Lyft stories! You can also follow our IG @lyft_tales


Photo credits

Twins — https://www.bojanakorach.com/blog/lifestyle-newborn-session-with-twin-babies-and-toddler-san-francisco

Dance class — http://7-themes.com/6785711-dance-wallpaper.html

Published by esteph42190

A 30-year-old queer bilingual writer born and raised in the Bay Area, I’ve been writing since before I knew how to spell. Balancing my generative energy with a desire to inform, as a child I printed and distributed to classmates publications that included The News Newsletter and Health Digest (ironic considering I also ran an illicit candy business that landed me in the principal’s office several times). As a student at UC Davis I wrote for The California Aggie, with pieces ranging from an exploration of gender roles in the movie Tangled to my own weekly psychology column. After graduating I kept a bilingual blog of my 14 months living in Montevideo, Uruguay, and upon returning continued to blog about social issues and human psychology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: