Part 1 was back when I was 16 years old, so don’t worry that you might have missed a post. I should note that I’m a licensed driver, never had a ticket and only been pulled over once for one of my front lights going out while I was driving. I should also note that Mike is incredibly protective over his vehicles.
Aside from today, only one other time in our 10 year history have I driven one of Mike’s cars. I believe it was about 9 years ago… so it was actually one of Mike’s parent’s cars and it was only because Mike must have fallen asleep at my parent’s house and didn’t feel like putting his contacts back in before we went out to breakfast. I understand that the car fire that I experienced seven years ago left a few eyebrows raised as to my driving abilities, but as I mentioned above, no tickets and no pull-overs for bad driving. Also, Mike can probably count on two hands the amount of times I’ve actually been the driver when we’ve gone somewhere (talk about a passenger-seat driver… me not driving when he’s in the car is as much my decision as it is his haha) so his only gauge of my driving abilities has been while I have a running commentary from the passenger seat (allegedly I’m a distracted driver. I wonder why he’d think that…)
But I digress, back to the topic at hand: the car that I drive is 19 years old and would quite possibly give Luke shaken baby syndrome from riding in it, so needless to say the car seat has never, and will never, get strapped into my old Jeep. Mike on the other hand as a truck and a one-year-old motorcycle. On days when he rides the motorcycle to work (which is most days between April and November) the truck just sits in the driveway, and Luke and I sit in the house (or go for walks). I’ve been bugging Mike to give me the keys to the truck for quite sometime now so Luke and I can run errands and go on fieldtrips, but there was always an excuse – it’s not starting well, I don’t want to drive the Jeep to work and it’s too cold for the motorcycle, etc…
This morning Mike mentioned that our nephew has a soccer game tomorrow and that it might be a nice outing for Luke while he is at work. I point blank asked him how Luke and I were going to get to the soccer game in the neighboring town. After what I can only imagine was some deep soul searching while he was getting ready for work, Mike suggested that when he got home from work this afternoon, perhaps we could go on a driving lesson so that
he’d “we’d both” feel more comfortable with me driving the truck.
As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat Mike pointed out that I should pull up on the bar underneath the seat to move the seat forward and backwards. So that was how this was going to go. I held my tongue and let him show me where the turn signal was, how to turn on the windshield wipers, how to put the car in reverse and turn on the A/C. I will admit, that I didn’t know how to move the steering wheel down to a more comfortable height and how to unlock the steering wheel – so I wasn’t a total know-it-all. I feel like everything else was pretty Driver’s Ed 101. Ah well, I appreciated the thoroughness and if this was going to give him a piece of mind about me driving his truck, then so-be-it, where are the emergency flashers? Oh, it’s that button that’s in the same exact spot as it is in the Jeep, who would have guessed?!
Then we started driving. “Make a right turn here… you took that turn a little wide, now continue going straight but can you make a left at the next street for me?”. Eventually we ended up in a parking lot so I could get a feel for the size of the vehicle in relation to the parking spots (the lesson that I’ll admit I did actually need). When Mike had me pull next to another car, then pull out in the direction of that car and then to turn the wheel… now! I almost had a heart attack that I was going to scratch that car. He assured me that there was at least a foot in between us and that I probably would have hit the cars parked behind me had there been any. This is why the parking lot at the mall has those spots on the outer edges of their property that are always empty, for people like me, so I don’t have to park next to anyone. I suggested that Mike get out of the car and stand where another car would be so I could keep practicing without fear of damaging some unsuspecting person’s vehicle. He didn’t like that idea…
While Mike is still nervous about my knowledge pertaining to how much space on the road that the truck takes up (that only comes with actual driving experience and can’t be taught), at least I’ve got the green light to get out and about when I need to. As I mentioned above, I did appreciate the level of detail and time put into my introduction to driving the truck, I just also got a kick out of the level of detail about common things like where the turn signal was. So if you see a truck out and about driving in the middle of an unlined road, just pull to the side and give me some space 😉