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Marlene Takes the Road Less Traveled

Philadelphia, Schuylkill Expressway

When it comes to certain things, I am a creature of habit.  I often eat the same things for breakfast.  The same goes for lunch and dinner.  It’s not that I don’t like variety.  It’s just that I go into auto-pilot, instead of changing things up. 

Maybe that sounds pretty boring, but it keeps things simple and saves a lot of time.  I didn’t realize how much I do it, until someone called me out on it.  “Why do you bring the same sandwich every single day for lunch?”  I don’t know.  Doesn’t everyone??  Apparently not.

And it’s not just about what I eat every day.  It’s about traveling too.  For instance, I could count on one hand the times I’ve taken the Schuylkill Expressway.  The name alone is scary, you know?  Somehow I’ve usually managed to avoid driving it.  I used to joke that I would drive through the entire city of Philadelphia before I would get on the Schuylkill.  And today I was forced to make that decision once again.

The maps app on my phone kept telling me to get on the Schuylkill, but I refused to listen to the voice of reason.  After all, she didn’t know I had issues about it.  So instead I found myself driving from one end of Philly to the other.  And I must say I remembered well  how to navigate around the city.  Actually, I used to do it all the time, so I guess it’s really not that big of a deal.  Anyway, I thought it might be a fun little adventure, driving through ‘hoods I hadn’t seen in years.

And it was fun for a bit, until I recalled that in Philly everyone double-parks and stops in the middle of the street for no apparent reason.  And it seemed to take forever just to drive a couple of blocks.

My cruise down memory lane eventually turned into a white-knuckle drive.  And the map app girl kept trying to get me to take the Schuylkill, but I wasn’t going to fall for her little ploy.  When I realized that yelling at her would not do any good, I finally shut her down.  She obviously didn’t want to take the scenic route along with me.

In the end, I found my way out of the city and back to Jersey.  It was then that I realized some things never change, but that’s OK.  Sometimes you just have to follow your own path.

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