Have Vespa…Will Travel

More so than any other time in my life, I have few answers to the world’s problems. Partially that might be the wisdom that comes with age; but, I also think this is a unique time in history when facts are fluid and opinions are powerful harbingers for action. This last year has pretty much been a series of roadblocks and speed bumps that prevent me from getting to the places I want to go in the ways I had planned on getting there. Lately, this has been particularly infuriating for my now deflated ego. My bestie sensed it and knew exactly what my tired soul needed: a late summer ride on her Harley. The sights, smells, changing air temperature, and entire landscape was a cure all for my weariness. I had to have one.

Unfortunately, I can’t even do the Cupid Shuffle without falling down. So the last place for my clumsy ass is behind the handlebars of a powerful machine. Also in high school all my first cars were manual transmission cause I liked to show off to boys that I could drive stick. I had a history, however, for burning out my clutches, which kept Underpass Auto Body in business but really pissed my dad off. So a Harley wasn’t in the cards for me. Instead she helped me score the next best thing: A Vespa!

Now that I’m a professional scooterist, obviously I think everyone should have one. So here are my top 6 reasons why buying a Vespa is really the best decision to make for your mental health:

  1. No radio = The rhythm of the city. When your body isn’t encased in metal and windows, you have a pulse on the sights, sounds, and smells of your community. I don’t just see the public utilities workers slowing me down on Broadway, I see them. It gives you a new appreciation for what it takes to make your town tick. I’m telling you this thing is a mindfulness machine! When it’s wet outside, you will be wet, when it’s hot, you will be hot, when it’s cold, you will be cold. If you’ve been trying to learn to meditate and just can’t get into it, the Vespa will be your teacher because you are intimately tied to the present moment, for better or for worse.
  2. You can carry stuff, but not much, and that’s a good thing. When I took my daughter to Walgreens because I forgot to buy a red pen for her school supplies this year and she saw 7,842 other things she also wanted to buy, there’s no arguing because “sorry, we took the Vespa.”
  3. Drive thru windows become much more intimate. It’s a little uncomfortable at first maintaining such intense eye contact with the people who made your food. But honestly after this weird year of distancing I like to think the McDonald’s employees really enjoy my soul gazing, especially Aubrey. HI AUBREY!
  4. It’s a smile machine. If you are having an absolute shit day and I pull up next to you in your car while you are sob-singing Alanis Morisette songs, you will not be able to resist smiling at me. Especially if I meep meep you. If someone in your life is struggling and you would like to arrange a drive-by, you can contact me at: lori@newulmwell.org
  5. My horn is very cute and friendly and does not properly convey how pissed off I am when you cut me off. Please watch for me, I’m still learning how to swerve around the potholes that are somehow still there even though there’s been no rain or snow for months. Who takes care of the roads around here anyways?
  6. Vespa’s aren’t safe. Neither is life. The last year of mine has been very not safe anyways. It is both exhilarating, but uncomfortable. Enjoyable but cumbersome (especially uphill). You get the idea.
    At least that’s the scoop from my scoot.

-Lori Mathiowetz, Executive Director, The Well

Lori on Vespa at McDonalds