Tag Archives: driver’s license

Bad Drivers

Reportedly, many people have fond memories of being 16 years old, receiving their driver’s license, and driving a car independently for their very first time.  No parents, windows down, they get to listen to whatever radio station they want at full blast; pure freedom and open road. 

I distinctly remember driving out of Yreka High School’s junior parking lot for the first time.  My dominant emotion was fear.  California has a law prohibiting new drivers from transporting passengers for six months.  I clutched the steering wheel, blinker on, too scared to make a left turn.  Should I go now?  Or maybe….now.  Now?  I asked myself in anguish.  I definitely would’ve voted for the buddy system.

How, you may wonder, did I get a driver’s license in the first place if  I was such a nervous driver?  The answer: I test extremely well.  I never studied, yet I’d walk into a classroom and set the curve for a final exam.  I wouldn’t realize  until after I’d left that I wasn’t enrolled in the class and that the entire test had been written in Italian, which is not one of the one languages I speak.

I would forget the contents of the test in their entirety the instant I was finished, including my first name and the date, but by then it was too late.  I was a legal driver.

When the gas gauge hit E on that first tank, I pulled into a gas station, then realized I didn’t know how to pump gas.  Luckily, a male classmate stopped by to assist. 

The other day, I drove to work over a Northern Nevada summit before dawn.  A skiff of snow had fallen during the night, and the blacktop was slick.  I was doing 50 mph, and still my Ford Ranger fishtailed all over the highway.  This is its favorite activity, second only to breaking down. 

Several people passed me.  I have Arizona plates on my pickup, and I know the locals were thinking Stupid Arizona idiots who can’t even drive in the snow!  I wanted to roll down my window and yell into the early-morning darkness, “I’m not an Arizona idiot!  I’m just a really  bad driver!” but I was too scared to uncurl a single finger from my steering wheel.

This essay doesn’t really have a point, except I am a bad driver.  It’s not because I’m a woman, nearsighted, farsighted, or brunette.  It’s just me 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Off The Cuff