When I first was learning to drive, I remember that mom was at work, so Lisa got the privilege of taking me to the DMV for my temps. After I left the building, Lisa threw me the keys and said “Ok – drive me home.” I freaked! “You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m NOT driving you home! No way!” You see – the DMV is located on a highway just on the outskirts of town. I had NEVER been behind the wheel and she thought my first experience was going to be on a highway! I’m crazy, but not THAT crazy!
She conceded that she would drive me home, but before we got there I remember getting mad at her, although I don’t remember why, and to retaliate, she drove on the left side of the road to get me to talk to her.
Fast forward to driver’s education classes, all I remember from them is having to sit in a dark modular trailer before school to watch films and “practice” driving. Instead of practicing driving – I just fell asleep. After all – it was dark and very early in the morning.
That brings me to taking my drivers test. I thought for sure I was going to pass, but much to my dismay, I failed. It turns out that I actually failed within the first mile of the test. There was a 2 lane road that was not marked as such at the time, and apparently I drove right down the middle of it. Even though I failed at that point, the instructor made me complete the entire test. We got back to the DMV and he informed my dad that I failed. I sobbed. Dad was completely at a loss. He still has no idea what to do with me when I’m crying.
I finally passed my drivers test after the second attempt and I told mom that she should let me take her brand new T-bird to school. All my friends got to take the family to school after getting their license. Mom refused. Instead, after a few months, I got my very own car. A 1972 AMC hornet, faded fluorescent orange. It later was “improved” with the addition of yellow front quarter panels as a result of an accident I had my senior year in that car.
I had that beauty of a car throughout college. It had no air conditioning, no heat, no power windows… I had multiple quilts in the car to stay warm in the winter and just rolled down the windows in the summer. That beauty finally died on my way to Eau Claire one beautiful sunny January day when I fell asleep while driving. I woke up on the left shoulder of the Interstate and overcompensated and went off into the ditch on the right side of the road – crossing both lines of traffic.
I took out the catalytic converter, put a hole in the radiator and the gas tank, blew out all the windows in the car and hit a deer crossing sign. We now own the $179 replacement sign 5 miles outside of Black River Falls. When calling mom to tell her of the accident, she was hollering at me. I said “Aren’t you even concerned if I’m ok?” Her response was “Well – you’re talking to me – aren’t you?”
Gotta love the concern – right?