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It’s a Sunday morning at 8 am (one of my “regular” times to drive for UberX) when I get a ping to pick up a rider named Michael at an apartment building adjacent to the university campus.
I pull up in front of the building. The street is quiet – its too early for most to be awake. Everyone on campus was out late the night before celebrating the football team’s win over a highly ranked opponent. I text my rider to let him know I’ve arrived and settle in to wait for him to come down.
Out of the corner of my eye, I catch sight of the girl. She’s sitting on the side of the building steps. Her legs are pulled up under the mini-dress she probably wore out last night. Her heels are next to her. Her face is obscured by her long tangled hair.
I’m still waiting on my rider to show up a few minutes later when she looks up and catches my eye. She gets up, walks over with heels in hand, and knocks on my window.
“Are you Jennifer?” she asks, as I roll down the passenger side window.
I nod and unlock the doors. She climbs in my front seat.
“Can you get me to…” she mumbles, spitting out the name of a dormitory where many of the freshmen live. I nod.
“I’m sorry, I was looking for a guy named Michael” I spit out as an apology.
“Yeah, he went back to sleep. He just told me some Uber named Jennifer would be coming.”
We ride on in silence.
“I just want to be back in my room” she mumbles. She looks tired, maybe a bit defeated.
I pull onto the street where her building is.
“Can you pull onto that side over?” she asks, motioning to a couple of trees away from the main entrance to the building.
I slow down and stop where she indicates. She takes a quick look in both directions, mouths a quick “thank you”, and then opens the door and takes off running to a side entrance.
I slide the button on my Uber app to end the ride. A few blocks away Michael is getting an email from Uber letting him know that his previous night’s guest has gotten home safely.
Just another morning ride.
I like to drive in the mornings because the riders are quieter, the temperatures are cooler, and its almost relaxing to settle in for the ride.
But there is also an unspoken change in the air. Uber is a new part of the morning after culture and a large bulk of my rides at that time of day involve some variation on this same story as sex love and Uber intersect. Occasionally the boy or girl in question will call their own ride. Sometimes the other party is outside with them waiting. A couple of times I’ve driven both parties back to recover their separate cars from the parking lot near where they met and first hooked up the night before.
I can park near the campus on a Saturday or Sunday morning and in a couple of hours make a healthy amount of pocket money while I read or blog in between rides, watching the other black cars slide up and down the same streets, picking up riders at one side door and dropping them at another.
It’s clear to me that what we dubbed the “walk of shame” when I was in college has been replaced by “the morning after Uber”.
As with any cultural shift, especially one that pairs dating with new technology, the etiquette rules are evolving too. It’s clear to me that what we dubbed the “walk of shame” when I was in college has been replaced by “the morning after Uber”. I’m left pondering the question of who should order/pay for the morning after Uber? Share your thoughts….
Who pays for the "morning after Uber"?
- The "host" should pay for their overnight guest to get home. (50%, 79 Votes)
- Traditional gender roles should dictate who pays for the ride. (28%, 44 Votes)
- The "guest" should pay for their own ride home. (17%, 27 Votes)
- Both parties should split the cost. (6%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 159