I don’t wish you a safe trip

I drove my girl­friend to the air­port this morn­ing. After I took her bag out of the car and put it on the curb, we stood there and exchanged good­byes, and every­thing you can imag­ine comes with those.

But I did­n’t tell her to “have a safe trip.” Why not?

Because I don’t hate her.

If you real­ly care for some­one’s hap­pi­ness, is “a safe trip” real­ly what you want for them? I mean, they already know you hope they don’t get harmed… because they know you don’t hate them. Every time you aspire to safe­ty on some­one else’s behalf — wish­ing them a safe trip, or flight, or hol­i­day week­end, or what­ev­er they’re about to embark on — “the ter­ror­ists” (or whomev­er) have won.

So if I like you, instead of a safe trip…

  • I hope you’ll have an amaz­ing trip.
  • I hope your trip is unforgettable.
  • I hope you expe­ri­ence new things on your trip.
  • I hope your trip changes your perspective.
  • I hope your trip makes you smile many times.
  • I hope there are numer­ous pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties on your trip.
  • I hope that, if you’re into that sort of thing, your trip takes you out of your com­fort zone just enough to be remarkable.

And so on.

(Impor­tant excep­tion: I’m think­ing that if you’re some­one’s moth­er, you get a free pass, because your wish is more than just words — it’s a reminder to not do any­thing stu­pid. And you’re hard­wired to believe that, when our of your sight, your kid is con­stant­ly doing stu­pid things. But you should real­ly con­sid­er try­ing some­thing from the list above.)

So what did I wish my girl­friend this morning?

Um… I can’t remem­ber. It was real­ly early.