Monday, November 22, 2010
Mrs. Roada Rage
On the morning of October 6, 1995 - the day of my wedding rehearsal and just before my manicure - I received my very first driver's license. (Psst: to this day, I have a spotless driving record!)
I had my driving permit since I was 15 plus some odd months, but I wasn't one of those kids who just HAD to get her license the second she turned 16. Maybe I was lazy. Or maybe it's because I had an older sister who drove. Or maybe because my mom thought I was too "flighty" to be trusted behind the wheel. For whatever reason, driving didn't rank high on my priority list during my teen years.
After I graduated from college, my mother bought me a car. Hey, I can take a hint. So I decided to take lessons. Real driving lessons. Elderly Mr. J from Sears Driving School (yes, in some ways I did get my license from Sears), would pick me up once a week and teach me everything I needed to know to pass the state driver's test. We parallel parked--complete with cones and flags. And Day 1, he had me out on I-495...white-knuckling it, I might add. It took 15 years for me to try THAT again.
In between our close calls, Mr. J and I talked. Mostly about Dr. Laura. Mr. J enjoyed listening to her show, so many of our conversations centered around whatever she had been discussing.
What Mr. J could not have prepared me for was the bevy of bad drivers that exist in the real world. Being a new driver of a particular age gave me an advantage in some ways. For one thing, I had a degree of maturity on my side. Nothing is worse than a young, inexperienced, careless, hothead. Unless it's a rude driver. They bring out the worst in me. One minute I am happily singing along to "Wait on the Lord"; the next, I lose my religion. Don't know why I let them get to me.
Didn't realize the extend of my "problem" until one day on the way to school, I heard a little voice from the backseat, "What happened to make you mad, Auntie Sharon?" In that moment, I realized how ridiculous it was for me to give away all my power and composure to idiots on the road. So I'm trying not to take any of it personally. And I'm also trying to refrain from calling them "idiots". But they make it so hard.
*What Would Dr. Laura Do?