Friday, January 21, 2011

Learn To Drive 101

I just had my very first driving lesson that actually counts for proper and for real.

I paid money to a driving instructor who does it for a living for an hour of white knuckling, nervous giggles, mints and cigarettes, (yes – he actually made me smoke one of his Marlboro reds when we finished). Through this harrowing ordeal I have achieved 1 x hour in my logbook, none of my assigned ‘tasks’ ticked off and a splitting headache.

Yes – I am 28 years old, don’t know how to drive a car and live in ADELAIDE. What’s this you say? How could I possibly find myself in this predicament? No one is really sure... other than excuses, excuses, excuses and just a touch of self-sabotaging. The list runs something like this;

  • Cars are bad mmm’kay - I’d rather ride my bike with all the other hippies. After all if I didn’t cycle people would forget to mistakenly believe I’m a vegetarian.

  •  I failed the test first time I sat it when I was 16 - As a woman of some modest talents I have always been one of those infuriating people who didn’t pursue activities I did not immediately show some promise at. So between ballet, drama, art, tennis, volleyball, gymnastics, ice skating, flute, trampolining, travelling, writing, friends and fashion I didn’t give that pesky driving thing a second thought.

  • No money/ no one to teach me - FAIL

  • My boyfriend will drive me around all the time anyway - FAIL what are you talking about you 'independant woman'. Your life is a LIE

  •  I actually like public transport - This is true! It’s the best for people watching and ‘me time’. It also ensures you plan your day better.

  • You can just sleep (with intermittent navigating) whenever you go on a road trip - SORRY KATH – yes, I love you.

Anyway, I’m sure you get the point. I could probably continue this way for days, so I will spare you the rest of my neurosis

Most of you no doubt are very cool with this whole driving caper, but I am so very uncool. I was actually so nervous, that when we came across a guy in the middle of the road taking his time I forgot my ‘inside voice’. As we swerved and announced loudly “HE’S FAT”! If this post does nothing else but make you realise how wonderfully together and skilled you are, then fantastic! If, on the other hand you too are like me, I say GET TO IT! I GET IT, it's terrifying and life threatening and you'll no doubt damage property and owe people millions of dollars, or mame your face, or other peoples faces, or break your big toe. That's probably just a little dramatic, but I am one of the vaguest, most spatially retarded people ever and if I didn’t crash, I’m guessing you probably won’t either.

I say stuff you to all those self righteous manual drivers who profess "there is no other way", "stick or bust". Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Just learn how to propel your 1 tonne death machine correctly and safely without bumping into me before you worry about engine, performance, street cred, blah, blah, blah.

The sooner the better for everyone considering learning this apparently ‘essential life skill’ even though I rate it somewhere between knowing how to floss your teeth and tap dancing, it’s just embarrassing to be so behind the 8 ball. If there is nothing but ridding myself of the social stigma, it will be worth it.

At last, I’m going to be a real girl! Hooray!


  1. Don't worry Tegan, there are heaps of people older than you who can't drive (yet) - like my husband! I applaud you for taking your fears in hand and learning to do this - even if you choose not to drive all the time, it's a handy skill to have. :-)

  2. Thanks Jordan!
    So far my driving teacher is excellent, so I'm looking forward to having a few more lessons and seeing how we progress. I may just have a really good recommendation for those in need.
    It's so silly how it gets built up into this big thing because we've postponed it for so long!