Monday, November 18, 2013

Man Up

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess your initial thought is oh no, this girl is going to tell some sad story about an ex-boyfriend or rage about how men suck, they should treat girls better, blah, blah, blah.

BEEP! URNT! (That's my buzzer sounding) WRONG!

This has nothing to do with how a guy treated me. Or even how a guy treated a girl. It's about how guys around me treat other guys.

Now let me first apologize and recognize the fact that I do not claim to understand how guys interact with one another. The fist pounding, pumping, chest bumps elude my girly comprehension. How guys can sit in a room together for hours and not say or grunt more than a couple words to one another; mind blown.

What I will say though is this: Some things, need to change. And it needs to start with the men.

This past Saturday evening I was out with a group of my friends, about ten of us. We had taken two cars, designating two drivers. One driver had drank a couple beers before we left but said he wanted to drive and would be fine. The impression I was left with was he would be sober while we were out.


In the 1.5 hours we were out at a bar I saw him drink a couple liquor drinks (whiskey to be precise) and some beer.  This was on top of the alcohol he had already drank prior to us going out. As we were leaving, we were splitting back into cars when I turned to him and asked if he was driving. He insisted he was and I mentioned a couple things to the effect that perhaps he shouldn't be, all in a manner to not embarrass him. I even asked if he would let me drive bearing in mind I had only had one beer while out and was the most sober in the group except for the other driver.


Wouldn't hear an argument. Insisted he was fine. Knowing full well he was above the legal limit and he was having passengers.

Now why am I particularly angry about some stupid bullheaded guy that clearly does this on a regular basis based on his actions and other people's comments?

I said this in front of all our friends and NOT ONCE did someone jump in and help me. One guy did jump in but only to make the joke that he makes a great drunk driver. None of the other guys would make eye contact. NOT ONE of the other five guys said something.

That DISGUSTS me. I won't apologize for wanting to deck this guy. I won't apologize for calling the rest of the guys in my group cowards. Because that is exactly what I thought of them in that moment. It was more important for them to let this guy save face, to stay cool, or whatever guys think when they won't call another guy out on his behavior.

I recognize that not all guys are like that. There are some who would have simply taken his keys. I wasn't in that position nor did I have any of those such guys with me.

You want to hear some frightening statistics?
  • Over 1.2 million people were arrested in 2011 for drunk driving  (I wonder how many weren't caught.......)
  • In 2011, 226 CHILDREN were killed by Drunk Drivers
  • On average, 1/3 of people will be involved in a drunk driving accident
  • Drunk driving deaths actually INCREASED by 4.6% in 2012
Not convinced? Think I'm overacting?

Here is a personal story:
I was at my best friends house having dinner with his family one evening when we hear the loudest crash. We rush outside to see two cars mangled in the middle of the road. We rush to the passengers as chaos ensues, someone dialing 911, others of us trying to get to the passengers, some of us trying to waive other drivers down to slow so they won't hit the stranded cars blocking the entire small road.

Ambulances arrive, taking victims away and they have to cut the driver of one car out because the engine is sitting in his lap.

One driver was a young girl, early twenties. The other driver was a young dad, recently moved here from several states away with his family with one of his children in the backseat, a young girl about the age of five. The female driver had a broken ankle and some other non life threatening injuries. The male driver underwent surgey and physical therapy to learn to walk again.

The young child? On impact, her neck was snapped and she was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. 

An investigation was launched and brought to trial. The young female driver was convicted of vehicular manslaughter for driving under the influence. Her blood alcohol content was way above the legal limit because she had been drinking at a golf event she had just left from.

That entire family's life was changed because they lost their daughter. The driver was sentenced to prison and her life was altered drastically too.

I was apart of that scene that night. A year later I met the wife of the guy driving that other car. It was one of the most difficult things to look her in the eye and hear her story. I can't imagine being the reason that caused it or be the reason that could have prevented it.

I will carry that night with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget what it looked like to see that young girl lifeless, the man incoherent with pain, unable to realize his daughter isn't responding, the mashed up cars in the street and to know how life altering that simple decision to climb into the drivers seat was.

Man up, Men. Speak up. Tell your friend that No, He
  • "Isn't good to drive" 
  • "Doesn't drive more carefully intoxicated"
  • "Isn't a safer driver"
  • Not to take backstreets, to "avoid the police"
  • Or that, he does this all time and will be fine
Do you know what the average cab fare is? Probably about $10. Know the average cost for a DUI defense? About $5,000. Know how much a life costs or a lifetime of pain?
No one plans to get into an accident. No one climbs into that drivers seat thinking they might kill someone that night. A true man will do the right thing.

Man up, Men. Speak up.