Just Shoot Me Now
I’ve begun riding shotgun, but not by choice. My daughter Tory is in the driver’s seat of her little yellow VW Beetle, whom (yes. It is a ‘whom,’ not a ‘what.’) she’s named ‘Sunny.’ She finished her required six hours of professional (paid, as required by the great state of NJ) on-the-road driving instruction on Monday. Now my husband Mike and I have to sit in the passenger seat while she drives us around. We have to do this for the next year. Until she turns 17 or I die of fright, whichever comes first.
Having been in a couple of auto accidents (not my fault, I might add) and living in NJ, where rules and laws are rarely followed, has made me a very nervous passenger, even when someone who is really competent is driving. I mean, my Mag 7 friend Ginger is a great driver. She hardly ever does anything that makes me clutch the armrest or stomp my foot onto an imaginary brake on my side of her shiny red Jeep. And with its kick-butt hemi she has always, always, always been able to outrun a swerving idiot who is texting down the road. So, okay, I will get in the passenger seat sometimes. But never by choice with a new driver, not even my daughter.
Tory has to learn to drive, and drive well, and I know I have to help her as I’ve helped her learn a myriad of other skills, but my asthma kicks in every single time I’ve gotten into Sunny and she’s already in the driver’s seat. Oh, don’t get me wrong.
She buckles up, turns the radio to low, adjusts her mirrors, releases the hand brake and all that just fine. Really.
She hasn’t ruined another boxwood as she’s discovered she can pretty much idle backwards and forwards to get out of the driveway.
She’s careful as she s l o w l y idles around corners and straightens the wheel so we haven’t hit the curbs toward which she always seems to be heading.
She never takes her eyes off the road as she zooms up to the rear end of a stopped car, hits the brake then eases up just enough on it so Sunny begins to idle toward the bumper in front of us.
She doesn’t act like driving an extremely steep, curvy road is an Xbox game challenge as Sunny weaves from side to side and sometimes over the solid yellow line into oncoming traffic.
Tory tries really hard to do everything just right. And she’s getting better every day. It’s just that she’s a new driver. And I’m a bad passenger. Maybe this weekend my husband Mike will let her drive him around.