Guess who got her license?! THIS GIRL!!!! I could say that this success was the result of the months of driving practice I put in, but I’m pretty sure it was the 2 hours I spent before the exam frantically googling St. Christopher and where I could purchase one of his pendants to hang on my rear view mirror, that sealed the deal for me. I fantasied about saying “It’s just you and me now, Chris” immediately before my exam, and him metaphorically hoisting me upon his shoulders while we rode our way to victory together, but instead I called my dad to ask him a few last minute questions about lane changes (because learning the rules of the road is very important before you get your license), and ol’ St. Chris took the backseat.
I thought the most humiliating thing I could do during my road test was fail, but I was so, so wrong. I mean, I did a couple of embarrassing things during the test, like I drove off without releasing my emergency brake (I’d like to blame nerves, but I really am just that forgetful). I parked on someone’s lawn (and I didn’t even realize I had until we were going over my test results). I let out a high pitched “reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally?!” when the instructor (do you call them instructors? Test Lady?) told me I passed (although, in my defence, I was pretty sure I failed and was just out-of–my-mind excited that I didn’t have to hide any tears or do the walk of shame back into the Ministry of Transportation). All of those examples are the kind of low grade embarrassing experiences I’m used to on a daily basis.
My real “Miranda Moment” came after I’d left the vehicle. Tester Lady, who was very nice (I was hoping for a kindly grandmother figure, but she was a firm but fair type), asked me if I went to the local public high school. Only, I was thinking about how happy I was not to have to tell people that I failed the test, and I missed the first part of her question. I thought she asked if I currently go to the high school (because it’s perfectly reasonable that someone would mistake my 35-year-old, mother-of-2, baby-boosters-in-the-rear-seat-of-my-car, broke ass for a 16 year old, right?!), so I replied, almost condescendingly (because I’m a dick, apparently), “I went to St. Joe’s, but I’m much, much too old for high school.” Tester Lady was like “uh… yeah. I know. My daughter is your age and I was just wondering if you knew her.” I realized then that my G1 license had been attached to her clipboard THE ENTIRE TIME, and OF COURSE she knew how old I was. Mortified, guys. I was mortified.
And then I had another Miranda Moment when I got home. I thought, rather than call my parents and tell them I’d passed the driving test (my dad spent an entire afternoon teaching me to parallel park 2 days before the exam), I’d show up at their house and tell them in person. So I drove, by myself (!), to their place. I was so proud of myself for not getting into an accident on the way, I got all cocky and thought “I’m going to parallel park behind dad’s car right now!” Welllllllllllllllllllllllll, I hit the curb during my attempt. I don’t know why, but I always get stuck trying to straighten out when I’ve hit the sidewalk; I have a mental block when it comes to anything related to how my wheels are turned, particularly in reverse. I’m just a total mess. Normally, my being stuck wouldn’t be a problem because my parents live on a really quiet street and I have a lot of space – and privacy! – to do my thing, except today, for some reason, (payback for poking fun at Jesus all the time?), SOMEONE PULLED UP BEHIND ME. Not just like, behind me, but RIGHT behind me. He obviously thought I was a competent driver and expected me to straighten my car out like a normal person with the adequate amount of space he left for me. Instead, I looked him up and down – because who parks on that street, anyway? – and then pulled out of my parking space, narrowly missing my father’s car. THEN, I thought, “maybe my car is small enough to fit in the driveway behind my mom’s vehicle.” I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it didn’t. It was while I was backing out of my parents’ driveway when I noticed that the dude who was in the car behind me was WALKING UP TO MY PARENT’S DOOR.
Instead of just cutting and running, like I should have done, I parked down the street in front of the neighbour’s car (waaaay in front of it). I didn’t parallel park this time, BUT I did take two actual literal minutes to straighten out and make sure I was close enough to the curb (WHY DID THEY GIVE ME A LICENSE?!). Let me tell you, two minutes is an eternity when someone is watching you in silent judgement while you are all too aware that your life has become a real life episode of Mr. Bean.
When I finally got up to the house, I immediately started laughing nervously and telling this stranger about what a terrible driver I am. The guy turned to me and said “that was you?!” Not, like, joking or anything. It was worse than when I assumed I could pull off a sweet 16 with the Drive Test lady. Thankfully, I didn’t have a lot of time to process because the stranger and my dad were headed out and I didn’t have to face him for long. I was left to stew in my shame in private. Thank God for small miracles.
And, to wrap this up, thank St. Christopher for my license! We did it, Chrissy! I mean, we probably shouldn’t have, but WE DID IT!!