When I bought my scooter, I had visions of me sidling up at a motorcycle bar, taking my helmet off, shaking my hair out, and being immediately accepted into the world of Harleys and Hondas. Guys named Hambone and Doctor Dare would slap my back and order me a…strawberry lemonade (I don’t drink). Okay, I know that fantasy is a little far fetched.
Actually, I would have settled for riding around on my scooter in fashionable clothing, with cute sunglasses and a scarf blowing in the wind, while I laugh. You know, like all of the women in Italy do. I wanted to look like an Italian woman.
Unfortunately, neither of those visions will ever come to fruition. While scootering around yesterday, I realized that my lofty goal of being “less dorky” was not achieved when I bought my scooter. I’m beginning to realize that “Once a dork, always a dork” will always ring true in my life. While some people can claw their way out of the pit of dorkiness to achieve ultimate coolness, others, like myself, give the uphill scramble one last college try by buying a scooter and then realize that the scooter drags them further towards becoming dork supreme. Here are a few reasons why this has happened:
1. The worst reason is that my helmet makes me look like a character from Spaceballs. Granted, we have two helmets. The cooler one (that my passenger is wearing in the picture below) just covers the top of my head (in what Alex’s dad affectionately calls a “brain bucket”) but when Alex and I ride together, I have to wear the helmet that covers my whole head because Alex can’t squeeze his head into it. It literally makes me look like a bobble head.
2. I think a bird peed on my lip today while I was riding. I’m fairly certain that women in Italy don’t have that problem.
3. My scooter is a little ghetto. I mean, the little thing has heart, but it’s definitely not a luxury scooter. There’s a definite, um, rattle when the silly thing goes over 30. It’s kind of nice that I can feel like a dare-devil who is looking death in the face when I’m simply going the speed limit on a residential street. I can stare death in the face…without ramps…going 30 mph! Take THAT, you Harley Davidson enthusiasts. Also, there was that time that my right hand turn signal fell off while I was riding down a major road. Don’t worry. we’ve reattached it now with some super glue so it’s good to go. My left hand rear view mirror kept falling forward, so I opened the casing and shoved a strip of cloth in there.
4. I almost fall over….alot. Today at the library, when I was trying to push the scooter out of it’s spot, an old man was waiting for me to go and I wanted to wave him on. When I reached up to wave, the scooter almost fell over. That sucker is heavy too, so it would be quite a feat to get it off the ground (and fun to watch too).
5. My helmet hair stays for days. Okay, that’s exaggeration, but those commercials where the sexy lady pulls up on a motorcycle and then shakes her hair out are PURE LIES. Even when I’m wearing my “cool” helmet, the helmet hair persists, despite all my best post-ride efforts to fluff my hair. Also, I don’t just look like helmet head, but my hair SMELLS like helmet hair. What does helmet hair smell like? Kind of like a new car smell on your head, wafting after you as you peruse the young adult section at the library.
6. Initially, I wore my cute sunglasses while riding, but they threatened to fly off my face when I went over bumps, so I had to move to a more practical solution. Goggles. Talk about function over form.
7. I sing when I’m riding. I can’t help it. Something about riding a scooter makes me so deliriously happy that I just can’t help but burst into song. Unfortunately, scooter weather usually means that other people are also driving around with their windows down. The comments in the car probably go like this: Did you see that dork on the scooter who was wearing a monochromatic gray outfit and goggles and singing the tune to that one Les Mis song over and over loudly?
8. True story: I thought about being a mechanic in college. The level of satisfaction that I get from fixing something mechanical is OFF THE CHARTS. The sense of pride is often disproportionate to the task I accomplished. My scooter wouldn’t turn on in December, so I took out the battery and charged it using a fancy “battery maintainer”. I re-installed the battery yesterday by myself and you would have thought that I put the engine back together blindfolded. When the scooter started, I did a little jig and called Alex to boast about my superior mechanical skills…because I installed a battery.
So, dear ones, don’t make the same mistake that I did. If you’re desperately trying to claw your way out of the Pit of Dork, don’t depend on your scooter to take you to freedom. You might just find that your scooter only adds to your dorky charm and you might just be okay with that.