Baby you can’t drive my car

Image result for 1982 blue buick skylark
Behold, my first car: The 1982 Blue Ick Skylark.

Here’s a short list of the few things in life that scare the crap out of me:

  • spiders
  • flying
  • politics
  • my 15-year-old son taking Driver’s Ed
  • flying spiders

Alas, the time has come. Next week, The Boy Who Can’t Be Named Because He’d Die of Embarrassment, will be driving a 4000-pound car down the road. The same boy who — only yesterday — thought it was perfectly fine to microwave tinfoil.
Because I told him so. (Hey, what can I say? The clueless apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

This is my future. Be scared. Be very scared.

Driving. We all do it every day. Except for my mother, who never got her license, so now I’m forever sentenced to drive her to pick up some emergency Correctol because she’s “buttlogged”. Until you’ve had a heated argument comparing the symptoms of diarrhea to constipation in aisle 2 at the Stop-and-Go, you haven’t truly lived.

Every morning, we all tool down the road in our pathetic Priuses (is the plural for Prius Prii?) in a complete daze…oblivious to the passing scenery, the red lights, the angry honks, the screamed profanities and the travel mug filled with hot coffee bouncing off our car roof into traffic.

Ah, yes, I remember the day I finally got my hot little hands on that driver’s license to pure freedom.

The year: 1987
The catchphrase: “Don’t have a cow, man.”

The beauty trend: All hairspray, all the time.

Why did I look so ecstatic? (And dorky? And oh holy Aqua Net, what the hell is with my hair?) Because I passed my test on the first try, in spite of the fact that I:

A) Hit the curb while parallel parking.
B) Let the car roll backward after setting the parking brake on a steep hill.
C) Failed to yield to a car in an intersection.
D) Giggled like an idiot throughout the entire road test.
E) All of the above.

Answer: E. (there really was never a doubt, was there?)

Hopefully, god willing, (pleaseohpleaseohplease!) my son will be an excellent driver.

Image result for rain man driving

If not, I’ve got other distractions. Like my daughter taking puberty classes this week.

Annnnnd she’s got a crush on a boy at school.

Thankfully, I am a pro at these unsettling mother-daughter convos.

Me: Who is he?
Her: [smirk]
Me: Jaden?*
Her: [double smirk]
Me: Caden?**
Her: [triple smirk]
Me: Braden?***
Her: [smirk times infinity]
Me: Schmaden? It’s Schmaden isn’t it!
Her: [so mortified she’s dying right in front of me]

No matter. I’m only writing this post to beg you all for prayers during this difficult time. Think of me. Soon enough I’ll be waving goodbye to my daughter as Schmaden peels away in his 2024 Mustang with the tinted windows.


*Actual boy in her class.
**Actual boy in her class.
***Actual boy in her class.

So tell me: What was your first car? How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Do you also have a son who is about to drive yet doesn’t know how to make a sandwich?

47 thoughts on “Baby you can’t drive my car

  1. Relax...

    Terrifying, all of it. (Not least of all the Correctol thing.) I’m bleeding from the ears for you! I’d like to say, “It’ll all be alright.” I really would like to. 🙂

      1. Relax...

        LOL, there ARE some plateaus.. but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you your hair is about to be forcibly turned grey. Get some L’Oréal, soon.. 🙂

    1. I’m secretly hoping Elon Musk installs a microwave, then I could just live out of my car the rest of my life. Isn’t “downsizing” a thing now? Tiny houses? Tiny cars? (I have no clue what I’m saying…I’ve had about 3 hours of sleep the past week)

  2. Kim

    Oh, what a fun time! You know that thing that pops up on FB occasionally that says being a mom is letting your heart walk around outside your body? Just wait until your heart drives away that first time. SCARIEST THING EVER! With Carissa, as a toddler, she refused to even drive her Barbie Jeep. She would wait until she had a friend come over and would make them drive while she sat as a passenger. We knew we were either raising a princess (we did) or that we’d have problems when she turned 15/16 (we also did). In Florida, one MUST drive because there is virtually no such thing as public transportation and everywhere you want to go is 30 min away. So we had to force her to drive. It took a while for us to convince her to get her permit, and then 12 months later when she could get her operator’s license, it was suddenly MY fault she waited so long to get the permit in the first place [insert eyeroll here]. As of today, she still hates driving, but she does it. And I’m still just as nervous as the first time. As for the boy issue… I chuckle slightly in your direction as I remember all the ups and downs and drama and wish you lots of luck and strength. 😉

    1. HAHA! YES! Well, Carissa had so much more going for her than driving (congrats to her again on her graduation and future graduation!)

      Julia used to make her brother drive her around our yard in his little souped-up electric Hummer car. I have it on video and it’s hilarious. She is also very much a diva or future princess (I have a secret dream that maybe she’ll marry Prince George one day and the National Enquirer can take photos of me eating a Big Mac)

      As for the boys thing…I am not ready nor will I ever be ready. Jim and I just tell her that she can date when she’s 50 and we’re both dead. 😉

      1. You WILL be ready – because you have to be. You will hold her when her heart breaks first time, you will mercilessly tease her, you will proudly sniffle at her wedding and love your grandkids (which are hopefully far away still!)

  3. I’ve never pushed out a human being from my womb, but all my fur-babies have, miraculously never expressed an urge to drive a 4,000 pound hunk of steel down a public roadway. I thank my stars each and every day for that.
    I passed my test first time at 16.
    At 24 I got in a wreck out in Indiana (I am from Mass.) and when I went to show my license to the copper, I forgot I’d gotten a new one, and showed him my old (expired) one. I wrote me up and ordered me to court. Went to court to plead my stupidity and was ordered to take an on-the-road AND a written Hoosier driver’s test (farm country, different rules) and I just barely passed the written and I flunked the on-the-road by hitting the curb whilst parallel parking at the very end! I had to schedule another test after a few weeks! That one I did pass and it was just horrid.
    Many months/years (?) later when I was cleaning out my wallet (who does that anyway???) I found my “new” license that I should have showed the copper – which would have avoided all of the above!
    I still have a black-and-blue-butt where I spent the next year and a half kicking myself!

    1. Oh my! That sounds like something that would happen to me. But I would never be able to pass the exam.

      This reminds me of the only time I ever got a speeding ticket. It was my actual birthday (yes I swear on my father’s grave) and I was in Montana. I had just driven about 14 hours straight, heading to Olympia, Washington for college from Maine. I was 21 and my younger brother was in the passenger seat and couldn’t drive as he just lost his license for six months due to a speeding ticket he got in Maine at a young age (I know!)

      Anyway, the cop pulled me over, it was around 3 am, we were on a desolate highway, nothing but dark barren mountains on either side. There was a crazy lightning storm, something I had never seen before, the lightning was red and spiraling in circles. I was going 90 mph. I said to him, “Sorry, I thought Montana didn’t have a speed limit?” The cop looked at my license and said, “Well, happy birthday, my gift to you is a ticket.”

  4. lol my kids have 4 legs and so will never drive – yea!

    I did pass my test on the first try, at age 21 (where we lived until I went to college had city buses. No need to drive. Then I was in college and had friends with cars. Then I came home to a new house and no new friends and we lived in the woods. I got my license.) The test guy gave me my license but suggested I practice more before venturing out on my own. Dad and I stopped on the way home and I bought a car (a 77 Nova). I practiced like mad by driving anywhere I could think of, many long road trips in that car while I was practicing. 🙂 All involved survived relatively unscathed.

  5. First off, you have my condolences. My first car was a used 1980 Chevy Citation. I went in on it with a boyfriend I was living with in college because his car died and we needed wheels to get to school. What I learned from that car: never buy a car from a body shop, no matter how pretty it is. Never let your boyfriend’s father, who would never drive faster than 35 mph (because the car will wear out faster – I shit you not) pick out your car. When I left him and the car, and he refused to give me any $ for the car, instead of arguing, I figure I got the better part of the deal by leaving him with the pile of crap. I passed my drivers test on the first try, but my first boat Captain’s license test took 3 tries.

    My son should be in driver’s ed by now, but anxiety is trying to derail a big chunk of his life. Turns out he hasn’t outgrown it as he’s gotten older. It’s multiplied. (Working on finding him some meds that work for hm). That said, he could drive a stick around our property when he was 11.

    1. First off, I am in awe you have your Captain’s license. I bow down to you! Also, my Blu-Ick was also a POS. It had this unique feature, in order to change the radio station, you had to pound the dashboard with your fist. After a few years of this, there was a very lovely crack. But hey, it worked!

      Sorry anxiety is affecting your son again. Meds are such a delicate thing to figure out. The side effects can be worse than the actual disorder sometimes. As a person who has suffered from anxiety most of her life, I feel for him and you.

      1. Thanks. I’m blogging a bit about the anxiety piece of our journey. But it’s slow going, so not too much to say yet. Still working on getting him up to an effective dose of meds.

  6. Yeah, that’s more like it. Fresh humor. Not recycled. Don’t let me shame you into posting again. Because so help me God I’ll DO IT.

    How do you still have your first license? That’s a fantastic pic. It’s time for that’d hair jive to make a comeback and you’re the one to start it.

    My daughter has her learner’s permit. It’s a study in abject terror.

    My brother failed his first diving test because he hit a cat. True story.

    My first car was a ’66 Ford Fairlaine. The Bondo Beauty. Guess how many chicks I picked up with that car? ZERO.

  7. I had lessons on and off for many years but it wasn’t till I was expecting my second daughter that I got around to getting my licence. I passed on my second attempt

    I have taught a number of teenagers how to drive but when my eldest daughter started to learn to drive she scared me silly so much her dad had to go out with her and she also had 8 professional lessons before I was comfortable going out with her.

  8. Take heart, Darla, my son, who is a few decades older than yours, drives for Uber and still doesn’t know how to make a bed. He does, however, make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There was a point to this somewhere. Maybe I’ll just stick with the prayers.

  9. I took my test at 18 (Germany, there you could not take the test before 18), then drove around in a Fiat 126 – a polski Fiat, as we called it. I gave away my last car to my niece who lives in the neck of the woods I used to live when I got my license – there you needed a car. Now I live in a huge town and can use public transport.

    1. I wish to God Maine had the same law you have to be 18. There is just something so wrong about letting a 15-year-old drive a car.
      I grew up in Freeport, Maine, which is a tourist trap (L.L. Bean etc). I didn’t need a car, I just walked everywhere, it was heaven.

  10. Funny you should post this as I was going through my son’s driving record for Insurance. The number of infractions is high, but the crimes small. He has a Subaru Forester.

    Your son will do well. Just close your eyes when you ride with him.

    I learned to drive in a 1968 Dodge Dart Swinger, and a humongous ‘50s poop brown station wagon with duck and fish decals on each door. I’m still embarrassed.

    My test, however, was a breeze. It was pouring rain, but I passed with flying colors. The tester had gone to high school with my dad, and the man regaled me with stories of the pranks my father had played on his classmates. I could have taken out a school bus and still passed.

    1. ooh, my dad had a lovely wood-paneled station wagon once! Thank god I didn’t have to drive it. I did, however, learn how to drive with his Subaru and it was a damned stick. Talk about grinding gears, I was terrible.

      I really think I only passed my exam because I was giggling and playing dumb (although I didn’t have to pretend much….) and he felt bad for me.

  11. Love the Rainman reference… hardly anybody remembers him anymore. I don’t have a Prius (yet) but occasionally have a travel mug filled with hot coffee bouncing off my car roof into traffic. Here in nit-picky Ohio, you would have failed your driver’s test for any of those infractions. Maybe Maine is different, since Moms don’t drive and might need a young minion to pick up Correctol at Stop-n-Go. I remember the Aqua-Net days, when I would paralyze my hair into the desired shape, hoping the giant beehive would attract the attention of some Jaden-Caden-Braden who didn’t even know I was alive. Being childless is sometimes a blessing, like, whenever I read a post like this. The first car I ever drove was whatever the driving school had in their fleet. Here is the scary story my early driving experiences: Your son will do fine, and there’s an added bonus: you can send him to Stop-n-Go for your Correctol or feminine products. Or some eggs to swing around and smash against the house. 🙂

  12. What, no Hayden?!

    My first car was a 1996 Saturn SL2. I passed on the first time, only because there was an issue getting to where they do the parallel parking portion. I’d be license-less to this day, otherwise.

    1. I was really surprised there was no Hayden, either. Has the world gone mad?!

      I used to drive a Saturn! It was my baby, dark blue/black with a sunroof. And you were lucky there was no parallel parking test. By the way, I have never ever parallel parked once in my life since the day of my driver’s test.

  13. Let’s see… it took me four tries to get my license (I swear the first three times they failed me for the tiniest mistakes and then just took pity on me and gave me a super easy test the fourth time). To be fair, I was kind of a nervous wreck when I first started learning and it took a LONG time for me to really get comfortable behind the wheel. Now I can drive anything, in any weather, any distance. 🙂
    My first car was a 1986 Renault Super 5 (used to be my grandfather’s). Kind of dinky but okay as first cars go. I finally upgraded to something a little newer 2 years ago (the lack of air conditioning was getting to be an issue, plus a tiny tin can is not ideal for long trips). Now Gus-Gus is my dad’s car. I swear he’s going to hang onto it as long as he can keep it running.

    1. I was also nervous driving at first. I have really bad depth perception, so I could never tell if the car was in the lane completely or if I was in the breakdown lane. Thankfully, I’ve only had one serious car accident and that was totally the moose’s fault.

  14. Girl, my advice to you is to get very, very, very friendly with a colorist. Box color from your local supermarket will no longer cover the level of gray hair you’re about to endure. It takes a professional to handle puberty & driving missiles. All the best on this Chapter I like to call “Hell, it’s only the beginning.”

    1. haha! Yes, true dat. I do have much more gray hairs now. I’ve got a kid in puberty, a kid about to drive, a mother who is losing her mind…and I’m not far behind. oh growing old just sucks, doesn’t it??

  15. Oh Darla! Lots of goings-on in your house at the moment. GOOD LUCK to you and your son, we have a few years to go before we hit that milestone! But the puberty classes started this week at our school too. Oh happy day.

    The day I got my license, I rolled the car window down just like your son, so my mom could take a picture. And I held my license up just like he is — but then it slipped and fell into the window slit and got stuck in the door. And that began a series of car-related mishaps and the accidental demise of a mailbox.

    But I’m sure your son is going to be great! And your own driver’s license photo (how do you still have that? I’m impressed!) made this post perfect.

    1. heehee! I would totally drop my license down the window slit. Stuff like that always happens to me for some reason. I kept that license in a little box, along with my first concert tickets. I might have to drag all those out next and write a post about all the concerts I’ve been to now!
      Good to “see” you back around, Melissa! Good luck with your new business!

  16. I’m saved all of these (except for flying spiders, and most of those land on my head) as I don’t drive and haven’t any kids. But I do have partial-charge of several pheasants, a blackbird named Hooligan and a couple of party partridges. Yeah, I know: go me. 😉
    How are you, Darla? I haven’t read your blog in ages. Well, actually I have. I’ve popped in now and then.

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