Dear Ride Operator at Six Flags

To the ride operator at Six Flags,

I’m sure you were just doing your job, so maybe this letter shouldn’t even be for you.  I came into Six Flags today, full of joy and expectation.  I waited in line patiently like everyone else for my turn to ride the rollercoaster.  But when I arrived at the entrance you asked me about what I was wearing, and nearly didn’t let me on the ride.

Let me explain, I was wear a one piece bathing suit, that looked like a flower print tank on top with a black skirt on the bottom.  I pulled on a pair of jean shorts over top of it, so I looked like many of the other girls that were in the park, only more covered than many of the other girls in the park.  And when I went to board the ride, you asked if I was wearing a swimsuit.  I gave you a funny look, and you told me I had to put a shirt on over top of it because swimsuit aren’t allowed in the park.  Two cars in front of me, a woman in only a green colored bra and shorts had already boarded, yet you had said nothing to her.

So here is what I’m wondering, why?  Why me and not her?  I traveled around the park for the rest of the day ready with a plethora of arguments to take on anyone who dared speak to me about my dress.  If swimsuits aren’t allowed in the park, were you planning on making all the men in their swim trunks change?  And all the girls in tankinis in line, whose tops hang loose and look like regular tanks, would they have to change?  Or is the purpose behind the message that you don’t want women dressed up in bikinis or men without shirts running around?  And if that is the case, why don’t you put up a sign that says that instead of “no swimsuits” that only has a picture of a shirt and a bikini?  And why would you say anything to me, who was completely decent and covered?  But I never got to use them, because no one else said a word to me.

It left a bad taste in my mouth, and I chalk it up to the beginning of the day, or you were new, or were just “following the rules.”  But it makes me wonder, why?  Because she was more well-endowed then me, more beautiful than me, scarier than me?  Or is it really just, “no swimsuits allowed.”  Either way, I would kindly request consistency.  Either it is no swimsuits (because you have something against all swimsuits apparently) and make everyone follow that rule or be decent (and cover up yourself!) and make everyone follow that rule.  And then, make sure all the staff know the boundary line; because you obviously saw it one way while others saw it differently.

But again, maybe this letter shouldn’t be to you ride operator.  You made sure I was safe on the roller coaster and I appreciate the work you do for little pay in the hot sun.  Maybe this is for the writer and enforcer of the rules…don’t make a rule that you don’t intend to follow through.

Sincerely,

A Clothed Customer

Dear Dinos on my Dash

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Dear dinos on my dash,

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for reminding me of my friends. Thank you for keeping watch over my car when I’m not there. Thank you for introducing me to new people. Like that one time on the drive from Boston to Virginia…

I had pulled over at a rest area, hungry for some munchies and desperately needing to charge my phone in a real outlet. My car charger was fried and instead of using a map and listening to a CD, I had been running GPS and Pandora and was quickly sucking the life out of my little phone. I believe by this point, I had only made it to about New Jersey. It was going to be a long ride. On my way into the rest area, I had a guy tell me there was a major accident on the road ahead and I should take my time at the rest stop. I looked at the road and saw cars flying by, so I ignored his advice.

I found an outlet, in a window, and awkwardly sat there watching people as my phone trickle-charged. Every once in a while I would pretend to check my email or Facebook, just to look a little more normal. Eventually I was satisfied that I had enough power to make it to the next rest stop down the road. I bought a sandwich and headed back to my car.

Now there you were, my dearest dinos, watching me wolf down a roast beef sandwich when a strange man walked past our windshield. He motioned and waved and mouthed, “I love your dinosaurs.” This, of course, was a typical reaction. You and I were used to that. I smiled and waved, and he walked by. But then he came back and walked up to my passenger window, indicating that I should roll it down. I cracked it just enough so that I could hear what he was trying to say.

“Would you like to make some money?” he asked. Now I know what you’re thinking, I should’ve turned on my car and driven off as quick as I could. But if I had done so then, that would mean that now my story would be over. He continued, “I’d like to take a nap in my car, and I would feel better if I knew someone was keeping an eye on my car while I was sleeping. The traffic is terrible, and it’s not like you’re going to get anywhere right now. It’ll only be for like 45 minutes or so. You never have to get out of your car. I’ll pay you $300.” I looked at the traffic, which was now completely stopped. The man had a point. I really wasn’t going anywhere. I looked at you, my dashboard friends, and thought, “It couldn’t hurt.”

So I backed up my car into the space next to his, keeping my doors locked and windows only cracked. I started texting my mom with the little battery power I had, just in case something were to happen to me. I also made each of you, dashboard dinos, promise to grow full size the moment things started to look like things were going downhill. This man was no match for our little dino army. He got into his car, put up some towels over his windows and I waited. The time went by so quickly and less than 30 minutes later he came out and handed me $300. He thanked me for taking the time out of my travels to help him feel safe. It turns out he was an engineer and of course, my physics side immediately started geeking out and we had a wonderful conversation. He gave me his card, told me to call if I wanted to bring him in to do a special presentation to my class and we parted ways.

So my dearest dinos, what did I learn from this encounter you ask? The world isn’t completely full of people with bad intentions. Sometimes someone else just needs you to look out for them too. Be safe, make wise choices, and you never know who you’ll meet when you keep dinos on your dashboard.