Ah, driving. That thing most hallowed in a teen’s life. Symbolic of freedom, of the dream, of the yearning drive for adventure that finds us wherever we may tread.
Also the cause of my Mom’s ninety-five new stress induced ulcers.
Yes dear listeners! I am successfully inducted into this new and terrifying club of being able to drive. With full compliance to the law, I too, can emerge onto the dangerous and absolutely NUTS freeway. The law allows me to do this! I am legal to drive places! By myself!
What a world.
Around a month ago, I went to go visit my Mom in Oregon. The next two days would comprise of us driving down from Oregon to California. A feat, I imagine, on par with Lewis and Clark traversing west.
The trip went relatively smoothly, except for the four times that I nearly killed the both of us. A common refrain on the trip was ‘JESUS CHRIST!,’ The sound of suppressed panic was the soundtrack that accompanied us down the freeway. (Mom, if you are reading this, I love you!).
Wine played a large part in the recovery process.
Luckily enough, we managed to get there safely, even if my mom says that I shaved ten years off of her life.
Driving is one of those things that I have always thought quintessentially America. It’s something so tied into the mythos of the country, and especially with being a teenager. My best friend is a huge car person, so I’ve had a little exposure to the world of driving. For most of my life though, driving is something that Happens to Other People. I am perfectly content either being chauffeured places, or taking public transportation. Oh, how I miss good public transportation.
Now that I’ve been fully exposed however, I can safely say that I HATE driving. I HATE IT. It is terrible and scary. I get into the car and it’s like Grand Theft Auto in my mind. Which brilliant mind came up with the idea to pack a whole bunch of humans into death-causing pods and jam them all down a single road? Who decided to just trust that nothing there would go wrong? Everytime I get out onto the road, all I can think is ‘The Government is allowing me to do this. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think that’s a great idea. They’ve also licensed you, which I’m also not sure about. That guy in front of me is swerving an awful lot, and the lady to my right is checking herself out in the mirror. Oh god, all of you guys are going to be zooming by me, and we’re all just going to do our best’.
THAT IS STUPID. IT IS A STUPID IDEA. Cars are like, a billion times more dangerous than airplanes, bees, sharks, trains and boats combined. Ok, the science might not be 100% accurate there, but I’m not wrong.
And we’ve somehow managed to think: Hey, having a car is great! Why don’t we continue to pollute the world as opposed to building safer and more efficient public transportation?
The point of this post isn’t to completely poop on driving. Driving can be fun!! There’s an indescribable feeling of freedom that comes from being able to go anywhere. It’s amazing to be able to just drive and drive – and end up in places you’ve never even heard of. I love jamming to music in the car. It’s also become the place where I try to practice my harmonies. There’s nothing like the sound of poor Idina Menzel belting out No Good Deed, and then me going incredibly out of tune trying to figure out what a third below her is. But the fact is that I am a new driver in one of the craziest places to drive.
This post was sponsored in part by the fifty heart attacks I have whenever I get behind the wheel, and also the most stressful 20 minutes of my life, when I had to drive at night to pick my friend up at the airport. 25 minutes of a death grip on the wheel, absolute silence except for intermittent yelling at Siri to ‘Direct Me to the right place Goddamnit!, winding up adding an extra 10 minutes driving around the back of the airport in the dark, and then me pulling up, sweaty and shaken, to the curb.
Driving, am I right?