It is becoming painfully obvious to me that these journal topics, whilst seeming so merry to begin with, are truly designed for the college freshman. It is really trying my patience to come up with so many long-ago memories.
Describe learning to drive.
In the time since I’ve typed the above, I’ve cooked dinner, made a pumpkin patch reservation (I’m handling the field trip bookings for TG Farms again this year), went to the chicken yard and found a dead chick floating in the water trough, buried it, watched the forlorn mother (she only had the one) clucking and looking for it, came back in and pulled this up again.
And I’m supposed to write about what?
Learning to drive. Learning to drive. The struggles of youth.
Okay. My mom let me learn to drive on the country roads when I was about 12, I guess. Marissa got to do it, so I suppose she was around 15, and I got to do it to. I might have been 11. One time a police car drove by and I lifted my fingers in a casual half-wave. Mom about died but the police car didn’t even brake. That was Tuttle back in the day.
My parents also went through the whole deal of driving better when I was getting closer to getting my license. When my dad went back home from Tuttle, he liked to pull over into the left lane if no one was coming (this was a two-lane road) just before he turned onto our street as a courtesy to the drivers behind him. One day when I was 15, he pulled off this trick, then glanced over at me and said, “You know you’re not actually supposed to do that when you turn, right?” I assured him that I did know that, and that it was cool.
I did not take drivers’ ed. At Tuttle, it was offered only in the summer, and you have to pay for it and get one credit, and for some reason my family wasn’t interested. I learned to drive in the Malibu Classic station wagon with either one of my parents at my side.
Since I didn’t take driver’s ed, I couldn’t get my permit until I was 16. On my birthday, we went to Oklahoma City and I took the computerized test. I missed two. One was a motorcycle question. The other dealt with where your eyes should be while driving. I struggled between looking at the car in front of you and moving all over, watching traffic. I chose wrong, and wanted to kick myself afterward. I knew you didn’t just look at the car in front of you. Moron.
I could have taken my driving test that day too, but instead I elected to go to Chickasha, where I had heard that they only made every seventh person parallel park. Even though I had done my parallel parking training in the teachers’ parking lot at the high school between two trash cans, I still wasn’t confident with my abilities. I had to wait one month since I was going to Chickasha.
Chickasha’s testing station was a trailer in a parking lot surrounded by trees. They were changing during that time of year, and it was pretty. The tester was in there by himself, and seemed a little surprised to see anyone. He was nice, patient, and didn’t make me parallel park. After it was over, he stuck a sticker on the back of my driver’s license. I looked up at him. “Did I pass?”
He told me I did. So I hugged him. This also surprised him, and he laughed. I got in the car with Mom and left before he changed his mind or something.
My friends asked me later what my score was. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask and he didn’t say, probably because he was so flabbergasted by the hug. Didn’t matter. I passed, and that’s what mattered.
And I’m actually glad this was the topic for today, because it was nice to dwell in the past for a little while, and with such nice little memories.