Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Driving Me Crazy

Here’s the problem: A millennium or so ago, I used to be a sixteen-year-old male with a brand-new driver’s license, and I remember what I was like.

***Spoiler Alert*** I was not a good driver.

Within three days of passing my driver’s test (with a score of one hundred percent, I might add) I managed to get my parents’ car up on its side in a ditch.

I didn’t waste any time proving that test scores and real-life common sense are two completely separate things. I mean, I didn’t even have the actual plastic license yet before I learned my first major motor vehicle physics lesson. I still had the temporary printed half-sheet of paper folded up in my pocket when I stood on the passenger door and climbed straight up out of the driver’s window.

Well over the posted speed limit on a country road, plus a ninety-degree corner, plus an idiot driver equals one pretty banged up Audi 5000, and thanks to the miracle of seatbelts, three unscathed moronic teenage boys.

Fast-forward through many more hair-raising automobile exploits and an eventual increase in calm and skill level, and we arrive at yesterday – the day my wife had me scheduled to take Son Number One, who is almost fifteen, out to an abandoned parking lot somewhere and start the process of teaching him to drive.

I just don’t think that’s a good idea at all.

I successfully stalled long enough yesterday and again today to run out of time. Things just “kept coming up.” But there is very little chance, and by very little, I mean zero, that she’s going to let that happen again tomorrow.

She keeps saying, “He has to learn, and the sooner the better,” but I just don’t agree. I see no upside for letting him get his license. Ever.

I know what he will do. It will not be pretty. Tires will smoke. Brakes will howl. Metal will crumple. Insurance claims will be processed. Sleep will be lost. Metric tons of money will vaporize from our bank accounts.

She keeps trying to make the argument that he won’t be as bad as I was. I keep agreeing with her. Based on what I’m seeing from him, he’ll be much worse.

But she won’t listen to reason. In the end, she keeps defaulting to the argument I hear other people make all the time. They say it’s great when the first kid starts to drive because they can take over shuttling the younger siblings to school and sports.

But as far as I can tell, that’s probably the worst argument for it. When I put our Audi on its side, I was with two guys I actually liked. We were all getting along, and no one was mad or yelling at each other.

I can’t imagine what will happen inside the car when it is only occupied by our sons, whom, based on our observations, alternate rapidly between hating each other and just barely tolerating each other.

They might drive off a cliff. (Which, incidentally, I also almost did in my parents Jeep, about three months after getting my license.)

Please pray for our family. And our eligibility for auto insurance.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

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