“The ice cream’s melting. Hurry.” Those were my dad’s words as we drove home from the grocery store at quarter of nine the other night. We were in his white Golf, driving along the neighborhood streets with a bag of nuts and dried fruits for my dad’s ever-changing home-made energy bars (There’ll be a post on those coming up pretty soon) and a tub of vanilla ice cream, to be had with caramel sauce and crushed pretzels. If you haven’t ever had that before, I highly recommend it. Most importantly, however, and contrary to the usual, I was sitting in the driver’s seat while my dad rode shotgun.
I am fifteen, which means because I have suffered through a full thirty hours of classroom drivers ed and spent six hours behind the wheel of a car painted bright yellow, green, blue and white, I have my learner’s permit. I don’t practice very often since we carpool almost everywhere we go (football practice), so when my dad said he had to go to the store to get some ingredients for his Bars, I jumped at the chance to drive.
Now, heading back home, my dad made sure I was keeping up with traffic by reminding me every couple of minutes to “Hurry, the ice cream’s melting.” Just after we went through a stop light, my dad told me to speed up.
“No, I can’t,” I said.
“Yes you can,” he responded. I could sense the smile in his voice (with my eyes glued to the street in front of me) as he said, “There are two speeds, Emma. As fast as you can go, and as fast as the car in front of you.”
I laughed at his joke as I sped up slightly. Then I said, in a fake tone, “Daddy’s teaching me all of the important rules of the road.”
“Exactly, the CliffsNotes version.”
“The CliffsNotes of driving! Perfect!” We laughed a few seconds before my dad said again, “Hurry, the Ice cream’s melting.”
So far, here are the CliffsNotes of driving, as told by my dad, my mom or my instructor. Some are serious, some are jokes:
- Try to MOVE AWAY FROM THESE PARKED CARS ON THIS SIDE!
- If you are going to go through the intersection at a yellow light, you have to go through quick.
- Don’t hug the yellow line too close. (I know, #1 and #3 contradict each other. I tried telling my parents this, but they didn’t seem to understand it)
- There are only two rules, as Jack Sparrow says: what a man can do and what a man can’t do. This does apply to driving. somehow.
- When making a right turn, don’t pull up straight and then turn at almost a ninety degree angle, start turning along the curb, even before you completely turn. Nobody told me this until I’d been driving a month and a half and my instructor told me after my practice test that I was doing my right turns completely wrong.
- Always merge at the speed of the lane you are entering, especially on the highway.
- there are only two speeds: As fast as you can go and as fast as the car in front of you.
That’s it for now, but I am sure there will be plenty more Notes to add to this list. If you have any that you have learned recently or when you just started driving, let me know, I could use the advice! In the mean time, I am going to just keep on practicing my driving. Watch out!