My husband has decided that this is the summer I’m going to learn to drive. Actually, he decided I was going to learn to drive last summer but I came up with plenty of excuses. I managed to go a whole year without every picking up that DMV manual.
This year, my husband got smart about it. Just after our arrival in Los Angeles, where my husband is interning at a local synagogue, he dragged me out of bed and over to the DMV to take the test for a learner’s permit. The first time, I failed by one question. I stomped out of the DMV with a mysterious dark cloud floating above me. Oh wait, that was just my hair.
The next time, I took the test, the DMV clerk looked it over and then blinked up at me after several moments. “You passed.” I stared him. “Gee, I was hoping I’d get a response.” I stared at him some more. It was 2pm and I’d only been awake an hour.
My husband was so excited he decided to take me out driving that afternoon. I took the opportunity to negotiate for a “You Passed Your Learner’s Permit Test” present. I was hoping for either a date to see the new Sandra Bullock movie, “The Proposal” or $15 to spend at Itunes on Michael Jackson classics. I was also hoping instead of driving, I could crawl back into bed, prepare for my writing class, work on my book, you know anything but driving.
But My husband was insistent. So, at his parent’s place, we traded our stick-shift Saturn for an ugly black Maxima and we hit the road. I managed to drive around the neighborhood without hitting any parked cars while riding the breaks most of the way. I decided driving wasn’t so bad after all. My husband was super enthusiastic about my driving. Clearly I was an idiot savant! He decided I was going to drive us the .09 miles from his parent’s place to our apartment.
It should have taken us 5 minutes but with my foot mostly on the break, it was more like 15. I made it all the way home without taking out any parked cars, little old ladies or mailboxes. At one point, I was driving so slow the neighborhood security stopped to talk to us.
Finally, we made it to our duplex and all I had to do was round the corner and park on an empty street. My husband got distracted by the two Hispanic guys staring at our car as I angled it around the corner. He cracked a joke I can’t even remember but I must have gotten distracted too because the next thing I knew, the Hispanic guys were running out of the way as I hit the gas pedal instead of the breaks, jumped the curb, hit the parking sign and blew out a tire. Luckily, the parking sign broke my “fall,” otherwise, Bubbe’s duplex would have a big, fat hole in it.
The moral of this story? My husband shouldn’t tell jokes. Especially, when I’m driving.