My first memories of learning to drive are this:
taking my mother’s car down to the cul-de-sac at the end of our street , trying to turn the steering wheel with no power steering
and instead mounting the gutter
breaking just in time to miss hitting a jacaranda tree.
My mother’s hands grasping the sides of her seat so tightly
that her knuckles were white.
Driving to the local community centre car park when nobody was awake
and circling round and around until I aced corners
reversing from our driveway at home
into a ute
on a hot Summer’s day.
No air conditioning, windows down.
The neighbours all suddenly needing to water their gardens
as my father raced out onto our patio and screamed…
“Bloody hell Tiffany! You couldn’t drive a stick in hot sh*t!”
and yet I think that it was far easier to learn to drive a car
than it is to attempt to teach your teenager to do it
or in my case, three teenagers.
They are all very different and adapting to each ‘style’ has been…
lets say challenging
because that is a diplomatic descriptive word.
The word I really want to write is terrifying.
Sorry, kids, it’s not you, it’s me (okay, maybe it is you a little).
Not naming any names
but for the love of all things holy -
please slow down when I ask you to slow down.
Speeding up, especially around corners is not good
and while I’m on corners, when I say hug the curb
I mean it.
I don’t mean swing out wide onto the other side of the road.
Also; accelerate up the hill means go faster to maintain your speed.
Keep your momentum going, kids.
It doesn’t mean slow down as we go up the hill and then accelerate at the top so that we hurtle down the other side faster than a speeding bullet.
Doing that will illicit swear words.
Some of which I have never uttered until now and some of which are, yes, I admit it, made up.
I apologise in advance for the next time I scream that we are all going to die.
Of course I don’t mean it. (disclaimer; never uttered, just used for dramatic embellishment purposes)
When we come to a round-a-bout and we are giving way to the people to our right
and I tell you that you are safe to go (because you’ve asked for my guidance and help, remember)
Go right then,
not in ten seconds
and when I tell you that you can’t go now, because in those ten seconds another car has entered the round a bout and it has become unsafe -
please, please, please
don’t floor it.
Here are a few basics;
‘stay to your left’ doesn’t mean drive in the middle of the road,
hitting trees with the car’s passenger side is not a good thing – especially when I am the passenger,
screaming that you are ‘a killer’ as you hurtle downhill and telling me that you get ten points for every bird you swerve at, does not instill confidence
and screaming at me that the worst thing about learning to drive is me doesn’t help either.
Also, just for the record, turn right doesn’t mean you should turn left.
I come from a long long line of women who maintain their hair colour
and grey later in life.
Since I have become a ‘driving instructor ‘ I have found the need to dye my hair twice over
because of the little silver weeds that keep springing from my scalp.
With 120 hours of driving to accrue each
please take your mother’s hair (and her nerves) into consideration when you put those darn yellow ‘L’ plates on my bus.
Yes, another disclaimer. Please, friends, take this with your tongue firmly placed inside your cheek. No teenagers were harmed in the making of this post.