Husband is an excellent driver. He can back a trailer with the greatest of maneuverability skills and has never been in an accident. Actually, he taught me to drive and I’d like to think I’m a decent driver, as well. Still, I’m a woman and sexism is alive and well when it comes to driving.
Last night, we went bowling with Sister and Sister’s Fiance, who will be known as D in this post. In order to sit in the back and watch some ridiculous video about farting, they wanted me to drive. On a side note, this video involved women sniffing each other’s farts and they used my auxiliary port to connect the phone to my car’s speakers. It made for an amusing drive, especially since I only had the audio side of it. Sorry to those of you who have a maturity level higher than that of a 10-year-old.
Anyway, I get stupidly self-conscious when I’m the driver and the boys are in the car. Both of them are critical of Sister’s and my driving skills and I always feel like they’re analyzing every move I make. This isn’t in my head. When we went over a set of railroad tracks a little faster than I meant, I saw the look they shared in my rearview mirror. You know, the one that says, “Only penises should be behind the wheel.” Sometimes they even make comments out loud. “Yeah, that’s why I installed the premium brake pads,” Husband remarked to D when I made a turn. Sister and I just roll our eyes and ignore the comments. There is some truth to what they’re saying and we know it. After all, I may never have caused a wreck, but I did pull the bumper off my old car by backing into a friend’s flower pot in their driveway.
This morning, Husband was driving and started to make a right turn to park on the side of the street. As he turned, I thought, He’s turning awfully sharp. But I didn’t say anything. A few seconds later, there was a loud thump as the right side of the car lurched onto the curb and back down. We pulled over to park and I stared at him in disbelief. He NEVER does anything like that.
“What the hell? Did you really just drive on the curb?”
“Whoops…” was all he said in reply.
“I never want to hear you mock my driving again,” I retorted.
“Oh, well. I’m sure it’s fine. I hit it on the flat part. There’s no way it did anything.”
I opened the passenger door and heard an unmistakable sound.
The look of horror and embarrassment on his face was completely worth any trouble the flat tire would cause. We got out and inspected the damage. Somehow, the curb had put a hole in the side wall.
Fortunately, Husband is extremely handy (he’s actually a mechanic) and was able to change the tire with no issues. When we got home, he looked up the price of a new tire and told me, “Well, I guess tomorrow when I get off work, I’ll take your car in to get two new tires.”
“Damn right you will,” I said. “You’re the one who broke it, after all.”
When we had those crazy windy storms a couple weeks ago, we lost our trash can. It was my fault because I left it outside and forgot it was out there until I saw it flying away as I watched through the window. Husband has been teasing me mercilessly since then, insisting that I owe him a trash can and I need to save my pennies until I can replace it.
He now says that we’re even. An eye for an eye, a trash can for a tire.
Hey you. Yes, you. Driver from Ohio. It’s time for us to have a little chat.
You see, for quite a while I’ve been meaning to write about this particular frustration of mine and I’m finally feeling inspired, so get ready. For some reason, approximately 50% of Ohio drivers have no clue how to work these things we call automobiles.
Let’s start with turn signals. The purpose of a turn signal, in case you aren’t aware, is to give the other drivers some notice that you’re going to slow down. Putting on your signal as you’re halfway through your turn DOES NOT HELP ME. I don’t give two flying geese whether you’re going left or right. Actuate that bugger about 200 feet before you have to turn so I don’t plow into your backside. I think we’d both appreciate that. While I have your attention, non-turn-signal-user, let’s talk about lane changes. Use it. Just do it. If flipping the turn signal lever is so exhausting to you, we have bigger problems to discuss than this. What if I’m getting into the middle lane and I don’t know that you’re going to do the same thing? I promise that I will punch you in the back of your head if you hit me for that reason.
Our next lesson involves an Ohio law that for some reason, many of you struggle with. Are we all aware that it is law to have your lights on when you have your wipers on? Driving in the rain with no lights on is about as intelligent as brushing your teeth with battery acid. Part of that same law requires you to get in the other lane when a tow truck or police officer is on the side of the road. Seriously. You don’t need to pass me on the right just because I won’t go 75 mph. I’m trying to avoid going to jail because I ran over a cop, you nincompoop.
Okay. Speed. There is no reason that you need to go 80mph unless someone in your car is about to give birth. When both lanes are moving at 65 during rush hour, driving .75″ from my bumper is not going to magically give me the ability to make the semi in front of me disappear. What’s your freaking hurry, anyway? Are you not happy with your current fuel mileage? You need to go 80 so you get even less for your money? Weaving back and forth between people is not getting you there any faster, either. Most of the time when I follow someone who’s doing that, we end up about 2 cars apart at the exit ramp. I’m so glad that you risked your life and everyone’s around you so you could get to your destination 10 seconds earlier. You get a cookie and a gold star.
STOP. TEXTING. If you kill me, I will haunt you forever by singing the Song That Never Ends. And it will never end.
Here is how merging (during rush hour when we’re barely moving) is supposed to work: just like in kindergarten, we take turns. We let someone from the ramp in, then we go and so on. Semi trucks are big. They need room to get in. Don’t be a dick. Leave some space and let them in. I guarantee if that dude loses his cool, his truck will run right over your SUV. You will lose. The main point is that people need to quit being rude and try being courteous on the road for once. We’re all adults. Try to act like it.
Rain does not equal temporary amnesia of driving skills. Every time it rains, there are about 5 wrecks in our area. Slow down, don’t be an idiot, turn on your lights as mentioned before, and leave some space in front of you. Not difficult. Go on with life.
On a similar note, you can NOT drive the same way in snow as you can on dry roads, in case you hadn’t noticed. Freaking out because you’re sliding on that black ice doesn’t do any good, nor does slamming on your brakes and turning the wheel. Every year, the freeways look like the Winter Olympics bobsled competition. Most of the people chilling in the ditches are there because of stupidity.
So, to sum it up:
1) Use your signal.
2) Quit being an impatient jerk.
3) Don’t be an idiot.