It was June 1981. I was more excited than nervous. The next day, I was going to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the road test for my driver’s permit. It was dark out when dad and I drove out of town to the DMV to practice the skills I would be demonstrating the next day. I pulled out of the parking lot at the same time that people were entering the local racetrack for an event. Traffic was heavy for our small rural town. I took a left onto the highway and was unaware of the cars around me. I turned into the far lane, instead of the closest lane. Within one minute of my practice, I had shown my dad that I was NOT ready to drive the family care independently and safely.He assured mom when we arrived home, “There is no way in hell she’s ready to get her license.” Fortunately, he didn’t tell me this, nor did I overhear the conversation.
The next morning, mom took me for my test. Her last bit of advice was, “Lisa, just remember, don’t talk–focus on the road”.
I don’t remember feeling nervous. at. all. I was leaving on our High School Spanish club trip to Mexico the next day. The trip would last 10 days. I figured that if I failed, I could retake the test when I got back. I wouldn’t actually be able to drive before my trip.
Mom know ew I had not listened to her advice when as the instructor got out of the car, he congratulated me and wished me good luck on my upcoming trip. I had passed with flying colors. No errors except that I drove too close to the centerline.
I had a wonderful time on my trip and when I returned, mom and dad made me keep practicing my driving with supervision for a month before they let me take the family car out on my own. It was fine.
When I finally got to take the car, I was with my best friend, Jill, and we laughed until I peed my pants because the one thing I had never learned was how to put gas in the tank–and that’s the first thing I tried to do by myself and we couldn’t figure it out. Go figure…we must have gotten it done eventually. I suppose we read the directions on the pump.
The moral of the story–don’t stress, be friendly, read the directions.