Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Really Too Old To Be Doing This (Namely, Learning To Drive)

So, I have a confession. Despite having been on this good earth for eighteen years and change—and in Southern California, at that—I haven’t learned to drive. The normal response to this seems to be something along the lines of: “At your age?!?!” It’s gotten to the point that I’ve taken to carrying smelling salts in my daintily-laced whalebone corset to stave off the fainting spells that invariably follow.

Now, I was going to write out a long post about it all, with traditional long-post elements like plot, characterization, and full sentences, but the magnitude of driving turned out to be too overwhelming to capture in paragraph form, and the clarion call of impromptu camping, too great to resist. So I gave up and just wrote a bunch of haikus (+1 real poem) about particularly memorable moments in my second lesson, otherwise known as the Oh Christ, You Want Me To Drive In The City? Lesson. Enjoy the taste of my driving-related agony.

oblivious crowds
swarm around grossmont center
god, I hate walmart

1.5. (corollary to 1)
douchebag on a bluetooth
pedestrian laws won’t make you
less dead if I hit you
just entitled to reparations
if you insist on continuing
your toolery

moonbounce in the park
watch out—kids dart, fishily
aww, doggie playground

green shifts up ahead
teacher says yellows last sev—
oh fuck, ran a red

4. (double the haiku, for no additional cost!)
boy riding a bike
brother perched on handlebars
weaving and smirking

you think you’re so cool
but my instructor agrees
you’re both idiots

one more lesson left
swift disqualification
looms in my future

So yeah. Driving has made me want to be a better pedestrian, because I finally understand what obnoxious roving traffic hazards people tend to be when not paying attention to, you know, laws and stuff. I have no idea why more people apparently don't have this epiphany.

The good news: if I happen to fail my DMV test, I still have time before I leave to retake it! Which apparently strikes some people as “unduly pessimistic”, but I see it as looking on the bright side, really.

Now I just have to convince my dad to let me take the test in his Jeep Grand Cherokee instead of The Red Manatee (AKA my mother’s Mercury Monterey). Wish me luck, y’all.


  1. I can totally relate--learning to drive has made me that much more terrified of moving cars. But it's also made me more aware of my pedestrian right-of-way superpowers, though, so I'm not sure if I've gotten to be a nicer pedestrian....

    Do you drive stick shift?

  2. Yeah, I kind of miss feeling like I have those right-of-way superpowers, but the total craziness of other drivers has made me realize that they're probably not as solid as I'd like to think. xP

    And ahaha, nah, I drive automatic. I can't even begin to imagine driving stick yet.