One Word….seven letters. The bane of my middle school existence. RIFRIDE.
My mom had thought it a good idea to have emblazoned on the back of her powder blue minivan with wood paneling.
I would sheepishly look for this source of endless embarrassment when school let out and we all shuffled out to find our respective rides. I prayed that she would pick me up in a different car, that somehow that minivan with the scarlet “R” would magically turn into a sleek and anonymous convertible but every time, THERE IT WAS, totally taunting me.
I tried to ignore it. I hated all of it. I was mortified when boys in class would ask if they could “Ride the Riff”, all the while too embarrassed to mention the underlying sexual innuendo to my mom who thought the plate was “too cute”. It was TORTURE!!!
Ultimately, I had to get over it. I had to collect myself and move past the embarrassment and realize that I could not let something like a stupid vanity plate hold me back or embarrass me. It’s a funny conversation that your adult self might have with your 10-year-old self. It might go something like this:
“Sara, if you can get over the fact that your mom chose this ridiculous plate for this ridiculous car, I promise you that everything is going to be fine. Don’t get too caught up in what other people think of you, because it really does NOT matter.”
I might then add for good measure “Stay out of the sun and take really good care of your skin”