Just Shelley

Experiences of a non-driver

Experiences of not having a driver’s license – II:

When I was 19 my boyfriend decided that I needed to learn how to drive. Bryan was a fanatic about cars as well as being an absolute whiz with anything that has an engine: cars, vans, boats, hydroplanes, you name it. We spent weekends either working on engines, going to Corvair car rallies, or taking the Class A stock outboard to hydroplane races in the Puget Sound. Fun times…except that I didn’t know how to drive. How can I not drive?

(Eternal questions: What is the meaning of life? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? What does SPAM really stand for? How can you not drive?)

One quiet afternoon we reached a moment of truth — Bryan had to see me drive. There was no other way to stop him harping about me driving. We grabbed his mint condition 1963 Corvair van and went for a little drive around the neighborhood.

Him: When you step on the gas, do it gradually. You don’t have to slam your foot down on the pedal.

Him: You still have to step on the pedal — we’re not going to go anywhere if you just rest your foot on the pedal.

Him: Shelley! You need to stop and look first before driving across the road! You almost creamed that car!

Him: No. No. You have the rightaway. You need to move!

Him: Don’t turn like that! You’re going to hit someone if you turn that wide!

Him: You can’t turn that sharp! This is a van, van’s don’t turn on a dime.

Him: Christ! Look out for that…! No, no, you’re okay.

Him: What are you doing? You’re too close to that …

Me: Thwap!

Him: You just hit that truck with my mirror! I can’t believe you just hit that truck! My side mirror’s gone!

End of lesson.

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