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Driving My Parents Crazy

Graphic by Connie Zhou '12

Picture this: Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is blasting from the speakers while my three friends and I shout the lyrics. I’m speeding down I-95 in my mom’s Jeep Wrangler, the wind is blowing through my hair. Life at 80 mph is sublime.

But of course, I wake up from this unrealistic dream, and realize that my mom doesn’t have a Jeep, I don’t have my license, and I don’t even know how to get to I-95.

Why does the road to getting my license have so many speed bumps?

Is getting my license meant to be this difficult? I know how to drive. I don’t run red lights, text, or talk on the phone, yet my parents seem to keep coming up with excuses to come between my golden ticket and me.

Everything would change if I got my license. No more money squandered on Westport Taxi, and no more dreadful hours spent in the car with my parents as backseat passengers. Finally, I’ll get the green light to become a certified, card carrying, state of Connecticut license holder before the year ends. But wait, that’s what I have been telling myself since my birthday.

I have been 16 since June 20. It’s December. I should have had my license for over a month by now. So what’s the hold up? You guessed it… Mom and Dad.

“Dad, let’s go to the DMV now to get my permit,” I said.

“Nicolette, do you know what kind of a responsibility it is to drive a car? We’ll go to get your learner’s permit when I think you’re more ready.”

Four days go by. I follow up.

“So dad, do you think we’re ready to get my permit yet?”

“Well, what car would you even drive? I just don’t see the point. You are definitely not driving my Audi A4. Don’t even begin to think you are getting your own car just yet.”

About a month later, I finally got my permit, and I enrolled in drivers education class. I have already finished one-third of the course, and I am 10 classes away from my license (hallelujah). The date is set to take my road test on Dec. 21, and I’m already picking out a key chain (a beige leather initial “N”) for my duplicate set of keys to one of my family’s cars.

But last night, when my parents picked me up from drivers education, they seemed alarmed at some information they had just learned. Apparently, someone at my mom’s gym spilled the beans that drivers education—in other words, paying $735—isn’t a requirement as long as I wait two extra months to get my license. There goes my drivers education, and two months more behind the wheel with my parents.

Why does the road to getting my license have so many speed bumps? I’m a teenager, yet my parents’ image of me is so 10 years ago, as if I still need to be buckled into a car seat.

Teenagers know what it’s like to drive with parents—you end up driving each other crazy. My mother drives 50 mph down Long Lots Rd, so who is she to judge my driving skills? But all of this is just a passing phase, a detour on the road to getting a license. Perhaps right now they micromanage every single twist and turn of my superb driving.

But, whatever… I’m over it.

I’m pleased to say that I will be in a car by myself no later than my senior year. As for my license, I expect to have that in hand, oh, in approximately 56 days, 11 hours, 27 minutes and 16 seconds. But who’s counting? See ya on I-95.

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