I have to confess: I’m one of those half-adults that never learnt to drive. Cue shock, horror and possible unsubscription.
When I was growing up in Jamaica, learning to drive wasn’t the right of passage it is for many teens in developed countries. Not many families had cars and, even if they did, you often had to bribe officials to get your licence. When my mum’s Australian licence expired, she refused to bribe anyone to get new one but she still drove around so we ended up just lived in fear of getting pulled over by the police and her getting in trouble. And most likely having to pay a bigger bribe to get out of said trouble. I learnt to drive in the back streets of the rural area where we lived (inc. reversing up a long, steep driveway) but never drove on any main roads. Actually I lie. Once I ended up accidentally having to drive on a main road for about 5 seconds – it was fucking terrifying!
Anyway, it seems I haven’t lost my talent for digression. When I moved to Sydney, I was the right age to get my licence but I lived with my grandparents. I knew if I learnt to drive I would end up becoming my grandpa’s chauffeur and I didn’t like my grandpa so I refused to get my licence. Yep, I refused to learn to drive out of spite and, honestly, I regret nothing. Fast forward sixteen years and here I am. On my third round of L plates, wondering if I really and truly need to learn to drive.
See, I’ve sat the computer test three times but never actually taken my driving test. The first time, Jared had a manual car, the lessons were hard and then the guy was a creep so I gave up and my Ls expired. Eventually, I sat the computer test again, can’t remember why I didn’t bother learning properly that time but, either way, my licence expired again. This time, I’ve sat the computer test and done lessons with an instructor, Jared and my mum and I’ve got the test booked in for 2 weeks’ time and I’m fucking freaking out.
You see, in Australian teen drivers have to keep a logbook and have 100 (or is it 120?) hours of driving time before they can sit their test. When you’re over 25, you don’t need a log book and the hour limit doesn’t apply to you. You can basically sit your test whenever you’re ready. And I don’t feel ready. The thought that I might be loose on the streets behind the wheel of a moving vehicle is a terrifying thought. I don’t think I’m an intentionally unsafe driver but I’m definitely not super confident. And driving on the road and seeing how other people – supposedly qualified drivers – drive is definitely not making me feel any safer.
It’s scary out there! People don’t follow the rules and driving takes so much concentration. I find it hard to stay focused when something is really monotonous so I’m worried I’m going to zone out on a long stretch of road, go through a red light and… let’s just end this nightmare right here. Gah! I live in the city. Why do I need to drive?! Also, I have a husband who is an excellent chauffeur. Then again, he has said I can get a Mini Cooper if I get my licence… so there’s that little incentive. But then again, it means I have to learn to drive. Ahhhhh… being a grown up is full of tough decisions, you guys.
I suppose I can get my licence and keep driving with supervision until I feel more confident. But – PLOT TWIST!! – I can’t drive Jared’s car if/when I move up to a provisional licence because his car is on a forbidden list for P Platers (i.e. it’s too powerful). So I suppose I’ll just have to get that Mini Cooper then… 😉