My name is Faith, I’m 21 years old, and I’m a user. I started using when I got to college. At first, it was just for fun. My roommates and I used a couple times on the weekends, but just casually. But then I started noticing that all of my friends were using, and not just on the weekends. Before I knew it, I was using up to three nights a week. I couldn’t stop. I was addicted to Saferide, and there was nothing I could do about it.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Saferide is a free cab service that will drive you basically anywhere in the city of Norman on weekend nights. It’s like your own little magic carpet that takes you to any party or bar you could dream of, and its free. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately over my three years in college, I’ve gotten pretty used to the name-calling and prejudices that go along with Saferiding. “Loser,” “freak,” and “complete social failure” are probably the most common. But I don’t let it get to me. My real friends don’t judge me, and some of them even Saferide too. When we’re Saferiding, it’s like nothing else in the world matters. The only other people that exist are my friends, the driver, and the frat guy passed out in the back seat that was supposed to get off at the last stop. Over my years of Saferiding, I’ve met some of the kindest, most patient souls to ever roam this planet, and I want to take a second to tell you about some of my newly formed friendships.
Big John is my go-to guy. I couldn’t tell you how many times he has safely gotten me home to my apartment. It’s like destiny with us. Big John has taken me home so many times that he even has my address memorized. We don’t even have to tell him, because he just knows. Wow, that sounds kind of creepy when I write it out. John is a good man though. He didn’t even lose his cool when my apartment gate violently chopped the front of his car. He’s like a wise, fat little Buddha man who sometimes even gives us candy! Ok, that sounded really creepy too. But I swear it’s not like that.
Now don’t get me wrong, Jerry is a great dude but lets be honest, he kind of has that whole “ex-con” vibe going on. I get the feeling that Jerry has a dark secret that absolutely no one knows about, like maybe he murdered a previous rider and wears their teeth as jewelry. But then again, maybe not. Maybe he just grew up in a troubled household and his neck tattoo is actually a memorial for his meemaw that passed away in a tragic wheelchair accident. That’s what I like about Jerry; he’s mysterious. And sometimes when I go out, I like to live life on the edge of my seat and wonder, “Is this guy about to drive me to a cornfield and murder me or is he about to show me a thousand pictures of his baby niece “Misty” on his iPhone?” Either way, I’m in for one hell of a night.
I know I shouldn’t pick favorites, but LISA IS MY FAVORITE. She’s like that crazy aunt that sneaks you booze when you’re 13 and smokes at least 500 menthols a day. I’m not 100% sure that Lisa has all of her marbles, but it doesn’t even matter because she’s so cool. My favorite thing about Lisa is that she has the mentality of a 16-year-old girl. She even keeps a miniature flashlight in her glove compartment so that she can, at any moment, transform her dirty, blue airport van into a flashing nightclub. Could you get any closer to a VIP Limo? Not that I’m aware of. She knows how to make all of her passengers feel special, and that’s what really matters in a Saferide driver.
Dearest Sweet Gregory
Gregory is a man of many emotions. Not only is he a top-notch saferide driver, but he is also a family man with a heart of gold. In fact, I can’t think of a time that he has driven me and hasn’t tried to hook me up with his 27-year-old son, Tim, a struggling minor-league paintballer. Greg really knows how to flatter a woman, and often says things like, “Tim really needs a girlfriend so that he’ll move out of our basement and I think that he could use someone fun like you.” What was that Greg? You think I’m fun?! I’d love to date your socially inept son! How could you not like someone who is constantly flowering you with such heartfelt complements? And who knows, maybe one day I’ll even build up the courage to take Greg’s advice and poke Tim on Facebook. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to live with the fact that I could be passing up the man of my dreams.
Now that you know a little about my new friends, I hope you can gain a better understanding of what Saferide is really about. It’s not about getting drunk college kids home from the bars late at night. Well, technically, that’s exactly what it is. But it’s more than that. It’s a lifestyle. And I’m not ashamed to say that it’s my lifestyle.