Sunday, September 06, 2009

60 posts in 60 days, day 9: road test

September 19th, I'm going to take my road test for my Georgia driver's license. I've been able to hold off for more than a year (a fact that defies credulity), since we live near a subway station at present and I don't go anywhere during the week except between home and work. However, once we move, I won't be able to take the train to work anymore, and if I can't drive I won't be able to get to work, which basically means that, as the primary breadwinner of this family, our entire livelihood is resting on the fact that I will pass this road test and get my driver's license.

(No pressure, though.)

Not wanting to shell out any more money for Driver's Ed, I'm relying on Joe to get me up to speed (as it were) for this test. Luckily, he is already on beta blockers. Since driving is such a reflexive, intuitive thing for most people by adulthood, it's proving harder to teach in a constructive manner than one would think. Though he is overall a fairly calm, patient person, I think there's something about teaching your spouse to drive that reduces all your constructive instruction to: quit driving so crappy. Yesterday, we were practicing parallel parking.


JOE
Now back in straight. Straight. Now cut it hard. Are you cutting it all the way?

MICHELLE
Yes, I'm doing it. God.

JOE
You're never going to make it in now.

MICHELLE
Thanks, fatalist. Well, once I get in the spot, I can try to get in closer to the curb.

JOE
Just start again. Cut it hard when you clear the cone.

(Reattempt)

JOE
Now you're going in too steep!

MICHELLE
You told me to!

JOE
But look at you, you're going in sideways!

MICHELLE
Well, if you'd just let me do it the way I was doing it, I'd be fine!

JOE
You're not getting close enough to the curb! The manual says you have to be 18 inches from the curb.

MICHELLE
Well, but those cones are in the way. Do you think you can get 18 inches from the curb with those cones there?

JOE
Oh, easily.

MICHELLE
OK, show me then.

(JOE parallel parks. Opens the door to check. Car is two feet from the curb.)

MICHELLE
"Oh, easily."

JOE
Shut up.


It's not so much the road test that I'm worried about, though, it's the actual driving myself to work. It shouldn't be that bad in the morning, since I'll be on the road before 6:00am, but it's the commute back home during rush hour. When I started my anesthesia residency, it took me a good month of being in my own room to feel at least slightly more comfortable at the helm, so I expect it will be the same thing with the car. The difference is, the anesthesia machine isn't moving at 60 miles an hour on the highway. Hold me.

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