Red State Lib Gaurd

I had to take my car to the shop this week for an oil change and small repairs. I have been driving Angus, my metallic grey RAV4, since I bought it new in 2006. Matt has been trying to get me to upgrade, and doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t be excited about getting a new car. I have noticed that people seem to really love getting new cars, but I don’t get that personally. I hate change and I find new things over rated. Besides, I love Angus! I plan to keep driving him as long as possible (though I may reconsider, now that Toyota is coming out with a new RAV4 that is a hybrid with 302 horsepower! Sshh though don’t tell Angus).

Anywhooo… I was at the shop waiting for several minutes for the tech to come and help me out. I was looking around at the other cars and owners to pass the time. I saw a few Republican bumper stickers and was reminded that I live in a red state. Not that it is hard to forget, but I do get to ignore it from my lockdown life, most of the time. That did make me turn and look at my car from the perspective of my fellow Conservative’s eyes. I have this bumper sticker (and I have no intension of removing it; who cares that the election is over):

I have been approached many times about this sticker, but only with positive feedback. I have also seen (from my rearview mirror, while sitting at a red light) many people taking photos of it. I’m sure that plenty of people have flipped me off and and called me a “lib tard” as I drove in front of them. But not to my face.

Then I noticed my air freshener. I hung this up for the holidays, but I haven’t taken in down because it still smells nice. And it makes me feel connected to my German roots. (You see my problem with change and letting things go, right? I have taken down the Christmas tree, if you are wondering.) Seeing it in the car standing in the mechanic’s garage, however, I gasped.

“OMG!” I thought. “All I need is a Comet Ping Pong pizza box in the back seat and I am one of those baby eating liberals that the Q-anon folk are rioting about!”

I was standing next to my car at the time and I looked up to see the tech coming. I dove into the door and grabbed the air freshener and threw it in my purse before she could see it. She gave me a bit of a squinting look, like what was that about? but she didn’t say anything.

It was a silly overreaction, but phew! If I want this car (and my liberal life) to last as long as humanly possible, I don’t need to tempt someone to cut my breaks.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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