Sunday, December 26, 2010


So, confessions.
I just got my driver’s license. Just. As in a matter of hours ago.
Yes, I am twenty two.
I have it now, so shut up.
However, I would like to explain:
I hate driving. Bad things happen in cars.
I have never liked cars. When I was a kid I had nightmares about them. I was convinced that I would die being hit by a car.
Now that I have grown up I realize that this is pretty unlikely. I have learned that the chances of my face going through the windshield are much more likely.
So yes, cars freak me out.
There are lots of things that freak out other people that don’t scare me.
I fly all the time. I have even flown internationally and not been phased.
But I hate driving.
I don’t mind moving. I have moved many times in my life. New homes are fine… new churches, new schools, new friends, new jobs Ok. In fact…
But I hate driving.
I like acing. I’m a theater minor. Auditions aren’t exactly comfortable situations… but they are also exciting. A final for one of my acting classes required me to play a woman on trial for possibly killing her own child. While this was not easy… I was thrilled that my acting teacher thought I was up to the challenge. And I did it.
But I hate driving.
But this semester I was literally doing nothing. I am again living at home… despite my goal for the last… millennium to get out of Beaver County. Beaver County has lost its charm since I graduated high school. In fact, the highlight of my Beaver County existence is the occasional alumni days at said high school. So, I decided to bite the bullet and get it over with. I was going to get my license this semester.
This is easier said than done. I love my parents… but I don’t think them teaching me to drive was a good idea on anyone’s part.
I was eventually able to drive on the road. I hated it… and yes, I do think it was made worse by my mom constantly grabbing the Oh-my-gosh-handle and shrieking “Honey!” every five seconds. (Sorry mom, but it’s true).
So after the basic driving was reviewed it was time to learn to parallel park. I have heard that you don’t have to parallel park to drive in the west to pass the test. If this is true then you are lucky.
Learning to parallel park made me pretty much… miserable. I have issues with authority. Learning to parallel required me to be in an enclosed space with one of my parents. It also meant I HAD to do what they said. I am an obedient child. But my parents and I have not had a relationship where orders are given and carried out without question for years. This exercise was very hard for all parties. I’m dyslexic and didn’t understand any of my dad’s careful instructions on how to handle the car steering. It is a difficult thing to explain to someone who co-homeschooled you for eleven years that you still can’t grasp the simple concepts of left, right or mirror opposites.
Then there was the day I had my test. I was nervous from the start, it probably didn’t help that my dad choose about five minutes before the test to ask me if I had knew how to turn the car on correctly. I resisted the urge to ask him if he had Tourette’s and just politely asked him to clarify.
I failed the first test within about a minute and a half in the car with the guy. That was a thrill.
So like any mature adult would I cried all the way home. My mom was out of town, so the job of trying to comfort me fell into my poor dad’s lap. He tried to be upbeat and encouraging the entire drive home. “You are ready, you just had a bad test, it’ll be ok.” Once home I went into my room, slammed the door, threw a fit, texted my mom, watched Spooks and tried to forget. That’s one of the plethora of great things about the show Spooks, it really helps you put your problems into perspective. I might have failed my driver’s test and but at least I wasn’t being manipulated-kidnapped-killed by someone I had thought was my friend for the last three years.
My parents and I continued to practice parking and driving with vigor. It was great.
Another thing is my parents don’t really get the whole sibling rivalry thing. While I struggled to fit the car into the microscopic space they would feel it might be a good idea to talk about the sickening array of success my siblings reap. I love my siblings with all my heart. But while I am struggling with a personal phobia/brick wall of mine that I have struggled with for the last six years I don’t really want to talk about my repulsively awesome siblings. Yes my sister gets straight “A’s” and participates in about every school activity on the planet. My other sister is a freaking musical genius… add to that she wakes up with perfect ringlets. Then my brother has the brain of a rocket scientist and more patience than the rest of my family combined. Seriously mom, could we talk about something else.
On the way to my test today my mom started telling me stories about all the people she knew who were in their thirties and forties and couldn’t drive and how discouraging that must be. I resisted the urge to scream and just kept driving on my merry way to the testing center.
Until this semester I never realized what a skewed sense of encouragement my parents have.
The test was heinous, and I am still surprised that I passed. But frankly I don’t care.
My mom and I celebrated by going to a local coffee shop and ordering expensive hot cocoa. Thanks.
I have not decided exactly what to do for the rest of the day… but something that doesn’t involve burecrats sitting next to me and saying things like “Miss, we are going into traffic. Please follow all traffic laws.”

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