Be Happy

Erin - Grabill, Indiana
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that life is what you make of it. The way you perceive an event or situation influences it entirely. More simply stated, it is better to laugh than to cry.

One day I was on the way to a drive in movie, following a friend. The intention was to leave early and get front row places, a tradition for us. We got separated on the highway because my car (a rusty 1990 Ford Taurus station wagon) was not built for speed. Suddenly, I felt as though my rear tire hit a bump that the front tires missed. I looked behind me to see if I ran over anything and my copilot, Andy, didn’t see anything either. We drove a few feet further and suddenly we smelled the burning tire. I was trying to pin point what I was smelling when Andy shouted over the wind rushing through the window and the loud music, “It’s your tire!” What I heard was It’s on fire! I managed to get over to the shoulder anyway and got out—panicking.

My rear passenger side tire was no longer in existence, except for a few traces of rubber clinging to the rim. Surprisingly, the rim was unharmed. Naturally, I was freaking out because neither of my parents was home and I had no tools or spare tire. I managed to get a hold of them and they came to my rescue, after screaming at me for my irresponsibility over the phone. While we waited for them to come, the friend I had been following turned around to find us. When my parents arrived we were standing on the shoulder of the highway drinking Snapple. If it hadn’t been so windy, we would have played Apples to Apples in the scorching summer heat. My dad and brother came with the tools, my mom with the tire. We had to laugh because we had a whole caravan along the side of the highway. How many people does it take to change a tire? The taunting for the incident will never cease.

Despite the joking, we were disappointed that we probably wouldn’t get front row places because of the delay. After going to a gas station to fill up the spare tire and driving no faster than 55 miles per hour on the back roads, I managed to beat my friend…and everyone else planning to go to the drive in. There is usually a line of cars the length of the road an hour before they open.

That day I realized that it is better to laugh than to break down over the small things, granted, it is a big deal to be stranded on the highway. I had my moments of worry, but for the most part we were all laughing about the ordeal. Since then I have applied this philosophy to all aspects of my life and so far, everything is great.