Friday, March 18, 2011

"That's Why You Are Not a Good Driver"

That's what he said. My soon to be six year old son, that is.  This statement occurred after we had a discussion on what a terrible driver I am. It also happened right after I drove over the curb, again.

The night before I had been driving with the boys to dinner when I saw a bicyclist ride over the curb. He looked for a minute like he might fall, before recovering and pedaling on. I kind of laughed out loud and described the incident to my boys.  Micah was very quick to point out that I do that frequently. Jack was quick to make the statement: "You are not a good driver, Mom."

I was about to argue and raise the sexist flag up high, when I realized he was right. I am not a good driver. In fact, I may be a pretty terrible driver.  For anyone who has ever ridden with me, I am sure you would agree.

This year I have been in zero accidents. Awesome! Except that it is only March, we are just 3 months into the new year. Last year I had 2 accidents almost back to back. The first one was a rear-ending, and it was not my fault! Except that we were in traffic and I was on my cell phone, but since the other driver hit me, I was able to claim innocence. The second accident was not as clear cut and also involved a very scary man who tried to have me sign a hand written note stating my guilt.  Luckily, a kind man came out of the store as a witness and we were able to share insurance information and move on.

Before last year I was doing really well. No speeding tickets or accidents in several YEARS. It was very exciting. I think our insurance was almost ready to go down.  You see, for a while there I was having a rough go of it.  When we were still dating I was in two accidents within a short period of time. We became quite familiar with hunting for a used car within a matter of days and collecting the insurance checks for 'totaled' vehicles.  Of course, there was also the infamous mistake of not using my parking brake in the Hill Hall parking lot.  Still remember standing in the line at Gwinn with Brandon and having a friend come up and say, "Your car rolled down the hill and hit Key's car."  The fully restored mustang?  The nicest car in the parking lot?  Yep, that would be the one.

As a teenager I drove the biggest car imaginable. We bought it because we could seat 7 people in it, as long as 2 shared a seatbelt.  It was big, but fast. I commuted to work on back country roads and spent a large part of my time trying to cut the 30 minute drive in half. I did pretty well at it, except when attempting to make a 90 degree right angle turn.  The fence did not fare so well against my car.  Neither did the post at the gas station when I was attempting to fill up my mom's car.

Then there was the time I was driving my little sister in my 'new' to me 1970 Corolla and I was side swiped right in front of my mom's office.  Again, not my fault, but I was not wearing my seatbelt and had a full hot raspberry latte in my hand. I might also have been singing, loudly.

I know my boys are right. I do my best, especially when driving with my boys, but driving is just not my strength. Besides frequently getting lost, I tend to slam on the brakes often enough that the boys have stopped asking "what happened?".  The boys have no confidence in my driving ability or my navigational skills. I got a "Good job Mom, we made it!" when I drove to my mom's house last week.

I guess I will just own the fact that I am a terrible driver.  It doesn't help that I am female and blond. The only thing worse would be if I was Asian.

Ooh, did I really just say that?


Karen said...

At least you have stopped (I hope!) driving with your left foot on the seat - putting your left knee in the general location of your chin. I never saw anything like that before or since! Now you know why I always offer to drive down and get the boys...

Lisa said...

Can I just say, "I SMELL GAS!!!!" :) That's the end of the weekend I thought I had given Myrna whiplash by all the times I ran into the curb while attempting to park...not to mention that I had to pull out of the spot at least once and try to realign...of course I would run into the curb on every attempt! :)

Marilee said...

And don't I remember some story from your high school driving years about turning up an off-ramp on the free-way? Lisa screaming about the "Wrong Way" signs? Or did I make that up? :)