The day before my birthday (which was also the day before my ‘N’ expired) I had driving test number 2. And guess what: I failed it again. If I felt bad about failing the first time, I felt even worse after failing the second time. $100 dollars down the drain PLUS another $75 to renew the expired license. Now if I’m going to spend $175 on something, I’d rather it not be on driving tests and licenses.
I really thought I was going to pass this time. Once again, I wore the shirt I wore bungee jumping (after washing it, of course) in hopes of a courage booster. Once again, it failed me. I’m beginning to think the shirt is bad luck – don’t wear shirts you wore bungee jumping. Anyway, it seems that not even any birthday luck could get me by.
This time my test was in a different city than the first one – a city I had never driven in before. I booked it in this city because it was the only nearby place available and because I was desperate to get my license before it expired (is it completely obvious yet that I have the absolutely wrong motivation?) Honestly though, it seems a common reason for wanting a driver’s license is freedom and independence or something along those lines…and for some reason, it was never a coming-of-age milestone that I looked forward to.
I remember one time I had this big epiphany. I realized that maybe I wasn’t scared of driving…maybe I was scared of living. It suddenly occurred to me that driving was one big metaphor for my life (Yes, I have a thing for metaphors). I was scared of driving the way I was scared to live. I didn’t want be in the driver’s seat. I didn’t trust myself in the driver’s seat – I didn’t know where I was going! (No, but seriously, I have the WORST sense of direction) I didn’t want to have the responsibility of steering my life along a certain path. I didn’t want to have the keys and be accountable for every wrong turn I made. Life was nice and easy cruising along, looking out the window, and enjoying the view – much nicer and easier than having to pay attention to road signs, and other cars anyway.
In any case, the test went a lot better technically…I didn’t try to turn left on a red light, for starters. My left turns were actually pretty good this time- apparently it was my right turns that let me down. “Too wide” or something like that, said the instructor. I proudly turned on the high beam, I got my hand signals correct, I succeeded in changing lanes gracefully (who would have thought!), I drove on the highway (albeit a bit too slow, but he said it was okay) – things were going well. My fatal mistake came when I didn’t realize I had the right of way and so I waited for the other car to go which resulted in the person behind me honking at me. (Yeah, thanks a lot pal!) I guess I forgot I was the captain…
After that, I repeated the mistake of driving too slowly after a school zone. Apparently we don’t all learn from our mistakes. Then the instructor decided to start a conversation and I slowed down even more because apparently multitasking is impossible for me. Finally, I didn’t listen to his instructions properly and went the wrong way but he detoured us back to the parking lot relatively easily. As we pulled into the parking lot, I started to get a little bit excited. But then I heard the horrible sound of failure: “Pull in here, don’t back up.”
My heart sunk deeper than the Titanic. Imagine that. He took out the marking sheet. I sat there half listening to him and half feeling sorry for myself. Then I’m embarrassed to say I started crying. It started with just a few tears in the corners of my eyes which I hastily tried to wipe away with the back of my hand but then they just kept coming, and my lips started to quiver and I had to struggle to compose myself.
My poor instructor. He sat there awkwardly – still trying to explain how to properly do a right turn using this pretty little diagram he had drawn up – and I just sat there wiping my eyes. “You’re not a bad driver,” he told me kindly before getting up to leave. I didn’t bother explaining that I wasn’t crying about being a bad driver…I was crying because now I have to eventually take the test AGAIN and because I kept thinking about the $175 I just wasted…
I called my dad to come back to the car because I didn’t very well feel like marching my tear-stained face into the office to get him. Then I climbed into the passenger’s seat while I waited for him. When he returned, he offered to buy me McDonald’s for lunch but I declined because sometimes in life, there are problems even McDonalds can’t fix. Then I wiped the tears from my eyes and he drove me to work. and that was the end of driving test number 2 .
Third time’s the charm, or so they say…let’s hope they’re right.