|I am way better than this.|
I cried for 45 minutes and made my mother take me to Dairy Queen for a sundae before going back to school for the rest of the day. I still feel like this was a perfectly reasonable response.
I passed on my second try a few months later, drove around Martha's Vineyard for two years, then took a 15-year hiatus upon moving to Boston. Believe it or not, public transportation around here used to be pretty reliable. But between the fare hikes, the busses on the schedule that don't exist in real life, and Baby Razor's short temper, I realized it was finally time for me to get back behind the wheel.
Fun fact: If you've kept up your license, you can just get in the car and go, even if Bill Clinton was president the last time you started an engine.
The thing that surprised me the most was how comfortable I felt, even with Baby Razor in the backseat yelling, "Why you sitting in Daddy's seat? Don't sit in Daddy's seat!" (Another good reason to drive: gender equity.) I was like, "I thought this was hard? Why?" Well, between my undiagnosed-at-the-time anxiety disorder and Martha's Vineyard's complete lack of signage and traffic lights, 16-year-old me thinks 34-year-old me can suck it.
Plus I always had the crippling fear that I was the worst driver on the road, which is a nightmare for a perfectionist like me. Boston has cured that fear. I am nowhere near the worst driver on the road. I don't talk on the phone or text, my eyesight is fine, I use turn signals, and I don't treat a double yellow line like a slalom course.
What I've learned so far is that most of my Driver's Education was totally useless. In the real world, no one cares if your turn is 3-point or 5-point. You never have to back up 50 yards. And joggers have sidewalks in the city. Also: people only remember how to parallel park until the moment they're given their license, at which point everyone reverts to being horrible at it and avoiding parallel parking spaces at all costs.
There is really only one rule: Don't Hit Anything. My visual-spacial skills are sketchy at best, so I was worried about this, but age, wisdom, and a healthy sense of "This car is expensive so don't fuck it up" have served me well so far. Okay, I've jumped two curbs, but I think that was just a bad morning.