In sharing life stories on this blog, I've often delved into the darkest moments of my life. I've posted about almost being attacked by a creep, the biggest upset in history, some car trouble, and even the passing of my beloved pet. This following story is one of the darkest moments of all, capturing a day of my life that I will never forget. I have rarely known such terror as I did on this day... The day of...
My driving test.
I should have anticipated the horror that awaited me. As some of my older friends began getting their licenses, they would warn me, "When you go to take the road test, make sure you don't get the mean lady!" Everyone who took the test told me this, even people who didn't actually have to perform for "the mean lady." Whether they had a personal experience with her or not, everyone knew her and knew she was awful, kind of like "Born This Way."
So I go in for my test, pull up to the little station, and out comes the mean lady. I knew it was her immediately by the way she scowled as she climbed into the passenger seat. At first, she didn't seem that mean, so I was temporarily optimistic.
The start of the test wasn't bad. I just drove around in circles while she barked questions at me: "How long have you been driving?!" "When's the last time you practiced?!" "Do you know where the center of the road is?!?!" She wasn't super pleasant, but she didn't make me cry yet, so I was sure everything would be fine.
Then I got to parallel parking.
Now, living in Lambertville for a year has made me a pretty great parallel parker. But back in the day, I wasn't so great at is (who is at 16 years old?). I didn't hit the cone, but I did brush the curb. I heard that that's not a huge deal, so I asked the mean lady if I could go again. Finally, some of her nastiness came out.
I successfully completed my second attempt at parallel parking and then did my k-turn. (Seriously, why is a k-turn on the test? Who can't do a k-turn?!) I started going toward the exit, hoping that I would pass despite my brief contact with the curb. But this is where things got really bad.
To leave the little driving test track, you have to turn left at the end of the track. You can also go right, but that just leads to more random test track, and I was done with my test! So I put on my blinker to go left, began to make the turn, and then...
The mean lady started screaming at me to turn so loud, that I assumed I was going the wrong way and made a very sharp right turn, back onto the test track. Only I was now going against traffic.
Luckily, there was no one else on the track. Still, the mean lady was not happy with this latest development. Unfortunately, I decided this would be a good moment to talk back to her.
I remember her words exactly. Jerky? How was I the jerk?! She was the one yelling at me and made me go the wrong way! She was not pleased at all that I talked back to her, and I didn't want to make her even angrier, so I just shut my mouth and sped around the track to get back to the exit. I approached the practice STOP sign and decided to stop a little too late, after I had already passed the white line. This made her pretty livid.
Again, I spoke back to her, but this time, I think it helped me. I said, "I didn't stop because I thought the test was over! Now I'm just gonna drive back to the station!!" She didn't say anything at all, so I drove back to the station and she got out.
I looked back at Mike, who brought me to the test and let me use his car, and made a grim face. I had friends who failed their first road test and I went into the test determined to not follow in their footsteps. Now I had blown it.
The mean lady came over to my window and glowered at me until I rolled the window down. She didn't even bend down when she spoke, but she said, "I don't know... It must be your lucky day. Take this and show it to the people inside to get your license." Somehow, I'd passed! I got away from her as fast as possible and got my license, on my first try!
So what's the moral of this story? I guess to never give up, even when you're sure you've already lost. Or maybe it has an even simpler moral: when you go to take the road test, make sure you don't get the mean lady!