Thursday, November 26, 2009

unorthodox, but grateful nonetheless

I got my first driver's license a little more than a month ago. I KNOW. However, since then, I have driven to and from work every single day, and even though I don't really know how to go anywhere else and I get really nervous whenever I have to deviate from that home-work-home route, I'm kind of getting used to driving. This is a big step for me, as every time got behind the wheel even two or three months ago would have me shaking with white-knuckled terror. I can even change lanes on the highway now without activating my fight or flight response. I am becoming a normal person.


MICHELLE
I wouldn't say it's enjoyable, but driving is becoming...satisfying. You know, like any other repetitive, habituated behavior.

JOE
(Brightly)
Like pooping!

(Long pause)

MICHELLE
No...not like pooping.


I used to not even be able to hold a conversation while I was driving (truth be told--I still don't like to talk when I'm driving somewhere that I'm not familiar) but at least with my commute to and from work, I recently progressed to being able to listen to the radio--the soft rock station only at first, until it started to drive my slowly insane--and now I am comfortable enough that I can listen to my podcasts* again. I can actually listen to other people having a conversation, concentrate on the conversation, and not veer off the road. Do you know what a big deal this is? It is. It is a very big deal.

I AM THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD AND I JUST GOT MY FIRST DRIVER'S LICENSE.

So anyway, I can drive now is all I have to say. And I drove my kids around (twice!) when Joe wasn't around and we had to get somewhere and I had no other choice, and we all lived! Even though I had to tell Cal don't talk to Mommy while she's driving the car


CAL
Why?

MICHELLE
Because I have to concentrate.

CAL
What's "concentrate" mean?

MICHELLE
Concentrate means when you have to think hard about something.

CAL
Why do you have to think hard?

MICHELLE
Because...shh. Shhh. I just do, just...shhh.

CAL
Mom, why did you say "Shh?"

MICHELLE
Cal, don't talk to Mommy while she's driving!

CAL
But Mom, you're not driving.

MICHELLE
Well, I'm in the car, sitting behind the steering wheel.

CAL
(Pityingly)
But it's a red light.

MICHELLE
That's it, no more talking forever.


Um...Happy Thanksgiving!


* I used to only have the "This American Life" podcast to fall back on, but as of late I am in love with "Jordan Jesse Go!" because it is funny and I don't want to be depressed about the war in Afghanistan or teenage runaway heroin addicts first thing in the morning. If you can suggest any other similar funny podcasts, please advise. (I am trying to get the comments section back online but it has been disabled for so long that I kind of don't know how to do it. Bear with me.)

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