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.