This is a bit of a different post than my usual, but I decided to participate in a Wicked Wednesday prompt, which this week is Driving Lessons. This is not going to be a sexy story, as I just want to share a bit about my life in this.
I learned how to drive in Canada. I didn’t even live in Canada when I started my lessons. I sat the written test and gave my (then) boyrfriend’s address as my own. After I passed the written test, I was allowed to drive, as long as I had an experienced driver in the car who could teach me.
My boyfriend had passed his driver’s test years before, so he decided to teach me. He was (and still is) a very good driver, but very critical of people who are not equally good. Driving with him made me very nervous and skittish, as I was terrified of doing something wrong. Not so much because he had a go at me if I did do something wrong, but more because all his criticisms of people out on the road stuck in my brain and I felt judged the whole time.
After a while, my boyfriend and I got married and I moved to Canada. I continued with my lessons and proceded to take my exam. Sadly, I failed. My hubby had taught me to drive too aggressively, so the examiner thought I should be more careful and scared on the road. I wasn’t careless in my driving, just confident, but the examiner didn’t think so. The next time I sat the test, I drove much more timidly and passed.
In Canada you have to take two practical exams, so once I had sat the first exam I was allowed to drive, but there were some restrictions. I can’t remember exactly what all the restrictions were, but one of them was that you couldn’t drive after 9pm. One night we were on ou way home from a wedding in Cape Cod and it was late. After midnight easily. We had wanted to drive straight through to Toronto, so we took turns driving and sleeping. When it was my turn to drive, a deer ran out in the road in front of me and despite my efforts to brake and swerve, I hit him. Hubby was asleep, so he woke up disoriented. Because I wasn’t allowed to drive after 9pm, I pulled over and we quickly switched seats. We called highway patrol to come and take the deer away, all the while stressed about what they would ask. They were not interested in who was driving or what had happened, merely asked if we were okay and took the poor dead deer away.
That incident still sticks in my mind. I since passed my second driving test and have been driving for years now, but I am still nervous if I have to drive at night on narrow country roads. The fear of hitting another deer is strong. I have also learned not to drive when tired. Better to pull over and have a nap than push yourself.
Some people love driving. My husband absolutely loves it. I hate it. I will drive if I have to, but I will avoid it wherever I can. I don’t know if it’s because my husband’s criticism of other drivers still sticks with me or whether the incident with the deer has messed me up for life, but I’d much rather bike, walk or even take public transit than drive.
Come to think about it, I find driving a very unproductive way of transporting yourself. When I walk or bike, I am at least exercising and when I take public transit I can either read or write, thereby making productive use of my time.
None of that takes away the fact that I am happy I did pass my driving test, as being able to drive does make life a bit easier.
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