Thursday, July 23, 2009

Excuses, excuses

Can I just say, it pisses the hell out of me that my daughter pretty much refuses to learn to drive. After constantly whining and complaining that I just had to get her into private driver's ed lessons in June of 2007 because she didn't have a gym class and couldn't take it at school, I finally gave in and did so. That "education" has basically amounted to paying $480 for the luxury of what has so far turned out to be little more than reading the Rules of the Road booklet I can get from the Secretary of State for FREE! Why so much for so little? Because she still has never taken the behind the wheel portion of the class. She has not been willing to get in the car with the instructor for the remaining required hours in order to complete the course!

There is a bevy of different excuses for why she won't get behind the wheel with the instructor yet. "I haven't had any practice driving in traffic." "I'll freak out if the instructor has to use his controls for any reason, like to brake." "I don't feel comfortable driving with people I don't know." Blah, blah, blah. That last one is my particular favorite. She won't even drive with the people she does know, how can she claim it makes her uncomfortable to drive with a stranger in the car when she's never even done it? It's just a load of fucking bullshit and I call her bluff on it every time she tries to use that lame ass excuse.

When I try to get her to practice and to get her to drive in traffic, she has a different line of excuses she resorts to using, a lot tied into the fact that my car has a manual transmission. Her favorite? "I can't drive stick shift cuz I don't have any hand/eye coordination." Okay, so if you have no hand/eye, how did you learn to play the violin and guitar? How do you plan to learn to play the piano? How did you become so proficient at video games like fucking Guitar Hero, where the whole fucking game is based on great hand/eye coordination?!?!?

The fact that she tries to make so many excuses for everything aggravates me to no end because that is SO the behaviour of her sperm donor. At times it takes every ounce of energy I have to refrain from yelling at her to stop being like her fucking father with all the fucking excuses! As much as I'd love to let those words loose, I refuse to ever say them to her because I know that for her, that would be the biggest insult I could ever lay upon her.

I, of all people, understand anxiety and fear. I know she doesn't yet feel comfortable driving and that it does take more to learn to drive stick than a car with an automatic transmission. I get that. But if she never practices, she's never going to learn to be more comfortable. I didn't mind at all when she was too young to get her license and I had to drive her everywhere. But now that she is old enough and I've seemingly wasted the money for her to get her license, yet she still refuses and expects me or her boyfriend's mom to drive everywhere? (Yeah, her boyfriend doesn't have his license either, but for legitimate reasons.)

Today this really has me pissed off because we'd talked yesterday about going out and practicing this morning or afternoon. After she was done in the shower, I got up and started to get myself ready, expecting we'd be leaving soon. As I'm getting dressed I hear the doorbell ring and she leaves to go to her boyfriend's house without ever saying a word.

If she thinks she's off the hook, she's not. I'm going to force her to practice either tonight when she texts me to come pick her up or I'll make her drive twice as long as we normally do tomorrow. I'm not backing down on this. It's not only that I'm tired of playing chauffeur. I think she needs the level of independence that driving will provide her, plus I'd rather she drove herself around during the times when I'm in the hospital. I do not want her getting into the car with my father because he's an unsafe driver. That's the only thing she ever complains about when I am in the hospital, that grandpa almost got her killed because he did this, this and this while driving her from school. You'd think that alone would be enough inspiration to get her to drive.


Blogger Anonymous Drifter said...

I'm having the same issue with my oldest son. He's very apprehensive about getting his license. My middle son who'll be turning 16 next year is eagerly anticipating the experience though. Like you say, it's for their own independence.

9:31 AM, July 24, 2009  

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