RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,


*falls over dead* You know what, it took such a freaking long time that I can't even bring myself to care about the fact that I got my license today. 

No wait, that's a lie.  I care just enough to write another great big post about the details, and how after about half a dozen bad omens I was sure it wasn't going to happen.

Actually, it *is* raining on my road test day.  Well, sprinkling.  But threatening to full-on rain, and I don't think that will help my terrible aim in parking much.  Bad omen #1.

Next, I discover - 20 minutes before it's time to leave - that I can't find my paperwork from the last test, which is sort of required.  This involves a desperate and frantic 15 minutes of searching until Mom finds it sitting atop the dresser.  So much for leaving it in plain sight.  Okay!  Dash out the door!

On the drive over, heading in the opposite direction at various intervals are a police cruiser, an ambulance, a fire truck, and another police cruiser.  All with lights flashing and sirens blaring, of course.  Doom and mayhem everywhere!

And finally, there's a dead cat on the road.  Of all the animals it could possibly be...sheesh.

So!  On to the test course.  My instructor begins by launching into a 5-minute lecture about all the things I've apparently been doing wrong on my last two tests, such as how I should know that I made an ILLEGAL TURN, and also I am not attentive enough to blind intersections.  I am quizzed on what to do and semi-rhetorically asked what I think would happen if neither car checked before going through such an intersection.   He emphasizes the importance of defensive driving over and over, adding that people don't get failed for poor parking, but you must practice CONSTANT VIGILANCE! at all times while on the road.  Okay, I may have changed the wording in caps lock a bit, but that was what he meant.

Right!  So!  Off we go.  I'm determined not to go a tick over 20 MPH, and I am so cautious at every intersection that at one point he grouses "Why are you stopping at a green light?"  Am not stopping, am merely paused for half a second because I'm turning, which means one must slow, and as I'm only going at 15 mph, it's hard to go much slower.  Wisely, I kept such thoughts to myself.  I did, however, make perfectly legal turns and lost no points.

Except then we come to a stop sign, and I'm very careful to not pass it, to come to a complete stop, and look both ways.  Good-good.  There's a car leaving the course signaling a turn, so when he pulls forward I start to go, and then the instructor barks at me to WATCH IT because the stupid signaling car changed its mind halfway through and decided to go straight.  Wow, I think a real accident would probably fail me faster than an illegal turn, no?  Luckily I'm so jumpy that I slam on the brake immediately.  I think I would have noticed with another half second, without coming close to hitting them, but that didn't help my nerves.  I was also pretty sure I'd failed at that point.

Then it was time for parking.  Ah, parking.  I did the parallel parking so slowly he started getting annoyed, but I didn't hit any flags and I was within...well, let's say a foot of the curb.  The backing-up parking was much worse, as the wind was blowing the flags all about and making it hard to line up reference points, and I very nearly backed into the first flag.  Beginning to sound annoyed, he says, "Look, these flags are other cars, and you're almost on top of this one.   You're about 2 inches away from it.  What do you think you need to do?"  With much embarassment and poor maneuvering, by the grace of God I pull forward, get yelled at for not pulling forward far enough before I start going in reverse again, and then finally back safely into the space. 

FINALLY.  It's over.  "Well, I'm gonna tell you he passed," he says, and I blink owlishly for a while.  Then he launches into another 5 minute lecture about how I wasn't watching carefully enough when that other car came through, and part of driving was being on CONSTANT VIGILANCE! at all times (sorry, couldn't resist), and also he couldn't understand what was so difficult about parking, because it should just be common sense that if you're near a flag, you pull forward and re-angle and such...and yes, it is common sense.  It's also geometry, which I have to think about for a loooong time to grasp the logic of what has to be done, even if I do 15 identical problems in a row, and therefore do very slowly.

I think I was sort of on the borderline between pass and fail, actually, and he probably would have failed me any other time, but it was my 3rd test and I also had a very good 2nd test to prove that I COULD drive a course fairly well.  But it's over and done with now, THANK GOD.  I have neither the money nor the time to do 6 hours of driving lessons, which is what I would have had to do before taking the test a 4th time.

Bottom line: I CAN LEGALLY DRIVE BY MYSELF.  And my brother finished driver's ed classes a week ago but still hasn't taken his permit test, which rocks because that really was my ultimate goal in the first place: be able to drive by myself before my brother (who is 6 years younger) could start practicing.

[ETA: Blanket thank-you to everyone!  I especially like the balloons.  :)]
Tags: driving, life
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