Mama needs wheels…no, not her wheelchair.

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I need my license. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll know that I have had my driving license from Country A for 16 years. Almost 17. And that license? Non-transferable to Country B.

Country A’s attitude to driving, at least when I learned, was literally two driving lessons (with admonishments to keep up with the flow of traffic, even if that meant speeding), no practical test, and a theory/written test that featured questions like:

If a group of blind children are crossing the road, should you:

a) Speed up and scream out the window at them to get the hell out of the way.

b) Maintain your speed, but repeatedly flash your lights to let them know you are coming.

c) Slow and prepare to stop, making sure you don’t kill any kids.

Country B is a little more stick-up-the-butt. It requires a theory test (which is fairly hardcore), as well as a practical test that includes: knowing where shit is in the engine, being able to memorize a series of directions in a strange area and get to your destination, special maneuvers, and normal driving (with gears! GEARS.) Fine.

But maybe you bitches would like to put signs up with the speed limit every now and then. Just a suggestion. Otherwise hardened drivers like myself (who admittedly hasn’t driven in the ten years I’ve lived here) will speed the tiniest bit (multiple times) and ONE TIME not change gears when she should….thereby failing the test. And develop a phobia of ever trying again.

Hell, I’m getting chest pain just typing this.

Talking about it aloud literally makes me run for the toilet. If I want to avoid brown soup poop dripping down my legs, anyway.

Yeah, I get that everyone I’ve ever met failed the test at least once. Most people about three times. Fine. But I didn’t grow up with the attitude that failure was an expected and helpful way of life.  Magazines here mercilessly rip celebs apart (how DARE they try to make something of themselves! Uppity whores! They will be destroyed by their own pride soon!), while magazines in Country A are like, ‘Come on!! You are better than the celebs. You should BE a celeb. Get off your ass and make your dreams happen, or stop fucking whining!!!’

All of this contributing to my heart wrenching three hour out-of-control sobfest when I failed my test. I rescheduled. The second test was snowed out (.5 of an inch on the grass, occasional icy bits. Did I mention I grew up driving in two feet of snow? I had the homecourt advantage!). I rescheduled. The third test was a week after I was run over at six weeks pregnant.

Yeah.

I didn’t bother to reschedule because I was paranoid the stress would cause pregnancy problems. And the universe clearly didn’t want my ass driving.

Turns out it would be nice to be a grown up again. As life stands, I can only go places within a five to ten minute walking radius – on a good day. We’re pretty effectively locked into a life that is beginning to drive me crazy. Don’t get me wrong – there are very few places I would go alone with 20 month (as of yesterday) toddlers, but there are some.

Plus we could do normal things like get the fuck out of the house, go to doctor’s appointments, walk around air conditioned stores, etc.

This weekend I thought I saw Chunk, my driving instructor, on the side of the road walking a dog. I pointed him out and TMD said, ‘It’s a sign. Call him. Get your fucking license.’ (Sounding like a Country A magazine a bit.) She then pointed out we were driving behind two learner drivers.

Yesterday a twin mama (they are grown up now and my EXACT age) from freecycle came by to drop off a little plastic table and chairs for the babies. She started talking about how she couldn’t drive when her twins were little and it was horrific, so ten years later when she had  her next two kids (at my EXACT age), she decided to learn to drive because otherwise life was hell.

So she got her license at 33. I turn 33 in September. I’d like to have that fucker by then.

But either way, the universe probably won’t have any snow soon. And I’m unlikely to get run over because I never walk anywhere, and if I do I am now pretty conscientious about looking both ways before I cross the road (and am pounding that into Snort and Coconut).

So I emailed Chunk yesterday. Not heard back yet. I did get a call from an unknown number on my phone yesterday, but have been to puke scared to check if it was him and if he left a message. Come ON, though, I did suggest the best way to reach me was by text or email.

Maybe my driving phobia will evolve into social phobia as well. Ha. <— An attempt to be jovial, even as I will probably make Aussie check my voicemail for me today.

So. Operation Get A Life is in effect.I’m trying not to beat myself up with how I should have got the license before now, because summer would be an awesome time to already be driving. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I want Snort to start a football club soon, and Coconut gymnastics/dance. (Yes, gender stereotyping. Both will be doing both classes, but likewise Snort has a true love and freaky skill with ball-related sports, while Coconut has learned to climb a big soft block and summersalt off it!) Likewise I want to be able to get to home education meet ups, especially the group that meets in a different park or woodland each time.

Wish me luck.

Share stories of your horror driving tests and how you failed a million times and now it is all a distant memory. Please.

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5 Responses to “Mama needs wheels…no, not her wheelchair.”

  1. Jem Says:

    Meh, I put off driving for ages too. I’m 25 now, had about 28 lessons (but no opportunity for private practice in between unfortunately) and will hopefully be taking my test in the next month or so.

    I’m not sure people want me on the road though.

    Good luck 😀

  2. Reade Wrighter Says:

    I failed my driving test the first time I took one, in Canada.
    But I passed the hell out of the one I took in Michigan, where all I had to do pretty much was show up and not run over the tester. Thankfully it WAS transferable, and I never had to actually prove to anyone that I am a competent driver.

    I totally understand getting someone else to check your voicemail. All I can say is thank Christ I have a sister. The first week I was on leave, my boss called, I saw the call display and did not answer. I was in fits about what she might have been calling about. My sister checked it for me – she wanted me to pick up insurance papers to make a disability claim, so it wasn’t a bad call, but the fear was insurmountable.

  3. Violetsouffle Says:

    I’m afraid I can’t help much. I always am very good at avoiding things thy make menanxious, and so, in the past 3yrs I’ve driven, oh, maybe 10-15times. city driving is so fast-paced&crowded&idont know how to get anywhere, so if I can’t walk&partber won’t drive us, I don’t go! Good luck, existere. I KnOW you can do it, but you have to jump in the water before you start swimming.

  4. jenmum Says:

    You can do it!!!! You have a big advantage with your experience, even if the testing wasn’t very tough. I failed five times before passing and it was rubbish but I did it in the end. My partner passed just a month ago after one fail. And boy did he hate that fail too, really pissed him off. But he booked another and after a massive wait got his test and passed. You’ll be great I’m sure!

  5. Lauren Says:

    I failed my first test quite spectaculary. The instructer/tester had to tell me to stop the car THREE TIMES (as in, stop because what you are doing is dangerous). I have never even heard of that happening to someone once. It was awful. And after the first time he had to tell me to stop, I knew I couldn’t possibly have passed but still had to go through with the rest of the test. Awful.

    But I passed second time!

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