We all have a few habits that should probably earn us a light slap across the face to snap out of. I’ll personally cop to a lot of bad habits that I’ve had to break in my own time, for my own extraneous reasons. Ignoring the advice of medical professionals and the Coppertone baby, I spent my summers happily barbecuing myself in baby oil until my best friend told me I’d have premature wrinkles. I didn’t use “green” grocery bags until Trader Joe’s started giving out raffle tickets. I had a pack-a-day peanut M&M habit until vending machine inflation put them over the dollar mark and I had to start carrying around nickels.
Blissfully reformed, I now wear SPF 90 even in winter, own an inordinate amount of canvas totes, and get my chocolate fix from a coworker’s candy jar. But the habit I’m proudest to have overcome is texting in the car – although I was a pro at it for years. While it’s clearly terribly stupid and unsafe, and it’s also often against the law, texting and driving was a habit I finally gave up years ago – right about the time I accidentally texted my boss thinking I selected my mom.
Many others are still clinging to their keypads like security blankets, so for those of you like me, who need a “really good reason” to stop doing something inane, I’ve come up with a list of other motivators to help keep your hands at ten and two:
You’re not that interesting: Unless you’re texting me the routing number to your account in the Caymans, whatever you need to say can wait a few minutes.
You have the ball in your court: When your friend texts you a meaningless “hey,” they deserve to be left hanging. Create a little mystery.
You’re being judged by Oprah: And Santa.
You could keep a dinner reservation: Imagine the promptness you could achieve by not slowly swerving for six minutes just to text “I’ll be five minutes late.”
You could acquire a designated texter: Having a travel companion manage your incoming personal messages will make you feel like you’re on Mad Men.
You won’t look like a fool: When your car drifts into my lane you look like a fool, when a bicycle passes you on the left you look like a fool, and when you text “get milk” to your dentist you look like a fool.
You’ll always enjoy the ride: As much as you don’t want to miss your exit or that deer running across the road, you also want to be alert for tumbleweeds, wax museums, and awesome kids making monster faces at you from the minivan in the right lane.
I recently embarked on a mini road trip from Orange County to Phoenix and about an hour into the drive my AC fizzled. My dog and I were forced to drive the last five hours sitting on thrones of ice with a hair dryer blowing 100 degree wind through our hair. A picture of my four pound dog sitting on a two pound bag of crushed ice would have made for a priceless Twitpic, but I heeded Oprah’s warnings and kept my hands off my cell… although I still looked like a fool.