There is something extraordinary that overcomes the people I drive in my car. A kind of fear, mixed with apprehension, and a splash of mistrust. And it is starting to get mildly insulting.
Some people are overly sceptical as a result of my personality and I totally understand that – the crazy splurges I go through interchangeably do not scream: “Give Meg the wheel”. Others are overly sceptical as a result of my having failed my test twice before attaining the license and I guess that is also understandable. However, it is only justifiable until the realization has been reached that the standard driver’s test is by no means a reflection of driving capacity but rather an ability to rope-learn the test.
My parents – no, my whole family – are particularly sceptical of my driving capacity apart from my sister, who I suspect fears my wrath more than our potential to crash into anything. It never ceases to amaze me how truly terrified my mother is when in the car with me and I can’t actually place the exact reason why she has so little faith. Nor can I fathom why my 13 year old brother remains in a consistently hyped state of panic until arriving at his destination or why he continuously announces the nuances of the road as if I am mentally unstable – for instance: “That is a pole”, “That is a speed bump”, “You have to stop at the traffic light” and so on.
I have never done anything in the car to suggest I cannot drive and the plastic card that validates and legalises such remains safely nestled in my purse.
It is thus now, after a heated incident of being abused for a solid half an hour, as the voluntary designated driver, by every member of the family, being instructed on how one accelerates as well as had my attention drawn to every bump, crack or cow in a 100m radius of the car, that I have decided to make a public warning to anyone I drive anywhere.
You may not be driven if you do not agree to these terms and conditions.
1. It is entirely legal for me to be behind the wheel. Please respect that and do not feel the need to comment on anything related to the car’s functioning.
- Laughing when I stall. Sometimes this happens and isn’t even an offense that could fail you your test.
- Informing me of which lane I am in. I am fully aware of what I am doing and though you may feel you know better, you are dealing with some sensitive spots in assuming authority.
- Telling me which gear I should be in. I will change when I am good and ready.
- Asking why I am using the handbrake and not clutch control.
2. Do not gasp. Ever. Not only does it scare the shit out of me, but it will also probably end in a situation worse than whatever you are gasping about.
3. I do not care if you can “smell the engine”.
4. If you arrive at your destination alive, consider the trip a success and never mention the horrors you may or may not have experienced ever again.
Consider yourselves officially and jokingly (kind of… not really) warned.