A Life of Fender Benders

Yesterday I was driving to a friend’s 21st birthday party. It was one of those cheesily perfect out-of -a-movie moments. The rain was falling and somehow the mix cd playing in my car happened to be the perfect rainy day soundtrack. “Stop this Train” by John Mayer came on as I merged into the right lane, and I noticed that the words on my side view mirror were a bit faded and almost not readable.

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

I couldn’t help but apply this as some sort of metaphor for life. Perhaps our pasts are coming up faster than we think, ready to bite us in the rear. However, in actuality, I tend to feel as though I’m always more aware of what is behind me then what is ahead of me when I’m driving. Perhaps the real warning label should be written right there on the dashboard. So often the excuse for fender benders is that people “thought they had more room.” How could we think we had more room? This isn’t an obscured mirror image, this is real life. Objects in front of you are exactly as close as they  seem.

And yet we continue crashing into our futures at full speed, constantly wondering where the heck they came from.

I arrived at dinner with a room full of once giddy little girls, now grown up in high heels and pencil skirts and clutches to hold the tools necessary to rectify any possible make-up malfunctions. I only knew two of the girls, but that didn’t matter, we had grown past the juvenile “who is THAT girl?” from middle school. Now we all had one significant thing in common to make us all friends for the night…our childhoods.

Sure we talked about classes, and majors, and possible study abroad endeavors. And we politely chatted with Mr. Future Plans. (He doesn’t like to be dis-included.)  Our real best friend for the night, however, was Mr. Rear View Mirror.  We talked about Disney channel stars and where they were now, and had miniature freak out when we realized that a good number of them were married, or pregnant, or just plain old. We went on about elementary school teachers, and 90s movies, and how long it had been since we had taken a geometry class. (7 years, thank you very much.)

We were giddy little girls once again, and as I glanced around the room I didn’t see high heels or clutches, but rather hair ribbons and frilly dresses with puffed sleeves. And finally one girl turned to me and pointed out the cold, hard truth. “We’re reminiscing.” she said. And we were. Here we sat a bunch of 20-somethings and we were reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

Somehow on my date with the past I fender bendered right into the future.

I played “Stop this Train” on replay all the way home.

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