D is for Driving
I was a normal teenager… ok, there is no “normal” for a teenager, true. But I was thrilled to take Drivers Ed to get my driver’s license; I even took the course through summer school so when October rolled around I would be ready. It didn’t go quite as I planned.
All throughout Drivers Ed I drove a small economy car. And I didn’t do any “practice” driving at home. By the time I had completed the course I was pretty comfortable with that little car. Then it was a 2 1/2 month wait until I could take my drivers test. In Iowa at the time it was a lottery system as to which people would have to take a driving test and which wouldn’t. I was a lucky one picked (because they picked October birthdays). When it came time to practice I panicked – mom and dad had a station wagon. It was like a boat, HUGE, going on forever behind me. I couldn’t drive that beast. So, somehow I talked my sister into taking her car – an Oldsmobile of some kind.
I passed my written test and got ready for the driving test… I failed it. I forgot to signal on a road that took a sharp right (the only way to go, but still a “turn”) and my turns were too wide. So I practiced a little bit with my sister’s car before she protested too much. I did take the test again and passed.
But, then what? It was back home to that land mass of a car that I couldn’t drive. Then the tables turn. Dad wanted to get a car that was not a family vehicle. He got a Pontiac Firebird. Suddenly I thought more about driving and finally wore him down and started driving… this was when I was a senior in high school; two years after I could have gotten my license. I loved that car!
I was a late bloomer behind the wheel but I finally got comfortable driving. Now in my battle with anxiety I have issues in heavy traffic and will not take the interstate at 70 mph, instead taking the highways at the slower 55 mph. And I still won’t drive a big car!
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