how not to do things - or the vignette about cars and houses
by amnesiac
(Everything Else, 1394 views) - 2/11/04
(recorded 2/11/04 @ 11:09:36 PM)
“We’re just gonna stop here for a minute ok? I need to get the Francis’ mail and newspaper and put it in the house.”
“Fine.” Not three minutes later I returned to the car to find my almost-fifteen-year-old brother sitting in my seat. The driver’s seat.
“You promised to take me! Remember?” he whined. Yeah, I remembered. I was just hoping he had forgotten.
“Fine. Just be careful.” And we were off. Slowly. Quickly. Abruptly stopping twenty feet before the stop sign. “Signal. Scoot up. Ok, turn.” Then we were off again, quickly and really slowly and a little faster until we were stopped once more.
“Switch with me, please Nicole!”
“Marc, there’s a car behind us. We can’t just get out and move right now. Just turn, here, I’ll help.” I turned the wheel as he applied the appropriate pressure on the gas pedal. He turned with a little more confidence on the next street and one last time onto our street. “You’re doing just fine. Don’t go into the driveway, just stop in front of the house.”
I am sure it was because he was concentrating so hard on what he was doing, but the next move was a right turn into our driveway. “Oh, ok, brake. Brake!” As any new driver knows, it is not quite that simple. The brake is almost like the gas. All we could do is watch as my beautiful Jeep met the front of my stucco house. Marc immediately burst into tears and I burst into laughter. My mom ran outside to see what happened and my dad followed closely behind. They both just kind of took in the situation as my brother got out of the car. I put the car in park, got into the driver’s seat, and removed my car from the wall.
The inevitable question was asked within seconds, “What were you thinking!?”
I calmly replied, “I don’t know,” and proceeded to tell the story. My mother was not satisfied with my explanation, but my father, always the levelheaded of the two, kind of giggled. There was a short discussion about payment plans and insurance. My brother ran straight to his room and I, to mine. I began packing because I really had nothing better to do, although it looked more like I was just trying to get away from the situation. A little while later, my parents came towards our rooms and stood in between the two while they laid on the guilt trip.
The only statement from that conversation that I remember in its entirety is when my dad told me, “You know Nicole, that’s no way to teach someone how to drive. You have to start in an empty parking lot or something.” I know. Start small, work up. I know and knew and decided to let him do it his way. I guess he needed a little more guidance than I provided. Lesson learned.
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