Nothing or nobody can make you feel more incompetent as a driver, than a fifteen year old that has attended his first driver’s education class. They know it all…and just after one session. It’s mind boggling!
When my son, Michael’s first class was finished he jumped in the passenger seat of my car and we were off. As we came to the first of many traffic lights. While I waited, I picked up my phone and checked my messages.
Michael said, “The driving teacher said that you should never text and drive.” Technically, I wasn’t driving. However, I didn’t want to set a bad example so I set my phone back down.
I replied, “Yes, that’s very good advice.” The light turned green and we were off again.
Over the next four miles, Michael is regaling his entire one day’s worth of driving
knowledge and correcting every aspect of my driving. I was driving to close to the car in front, I was going 5 mph over the speed limit, I didn’t put my blinker on quick enough. Well, you get the idea.
I’ll be the first to admit, that after thirty-one years of driving, that I have gained a few bad habits or quirks. One of them is driving with my left foot on the dashboard. It’s comfortable and it works for me.
Michael says in a singsong voice, “You knowwwww, you really should be sitting correctly in your seat with both hands on the steering wheel.”
I said, “I do have both hands on the steering wheel.” He said, “I’m talking about your foot on the dash…its wrong.” Humph!
So here we are. I’m driving with both my hands on the steering wheel and both my feet on the floorboards. I’m completely cut off from the outside world, because I’m no longer allowed to use my cell phone at traffic lights. We come to the next set of lights, and I reach over for my travel mug full of coffee. Not just any coffee…my Dunkin Donuts coffee. I see his face light up at the prospect of correcting me again, but he wasn’t quick enough.
Before we could head home, I had one quick errand that needed to be done. I pulled into a parking space at the store. When no advice was forthcoming from the “teenage peanut gallery”, I was elated. I obviously still had a bit of driving skills left. I was gone all of five minutes into the store, jumped back in the car and proceeded to back out of my parking spot.
Then I heard it.
“You knowwww…you’re supposed to have your right hand on the back of the passenger’s seat headrest, with your head turned over your right shoulder as you back out.” With my lips twisted, I placed my hand onto the headrest, as he suggested. There was smug little grin on his face, as he continued to look out the front window. I have no idea how it happened, but my right hand slipped off the headrest and slapped the back of his big head.
Michael yelled. “Ow!”
I gave him an apologetic smile and said, “Oops! I’m sorry my hand slipped.”