| ||Hello, my name is AFV, and I'm a Backseat Driver. Admitting this is the first step to recovery.|
I'm not a control freak in any sense of the word; I'm not particular about any of my possessions, I have no qualms about lending out books, clothes, or movies. I don't count calories or fat grams, my notes for class are not meticulously written, nor are they organized very well. I'd venture to say that I'm one of the most laid-back people you'll ever meet, and as a matter of fact, my husband says that's one of the things that attracted him to me; I was different from other girls in that I was able to go-with-the-flow and deal with things by saying, "Eh, oh well."
Flying down the highway at 70 MPH shoves every ounce of calm and rational thinking that I possess right out the window, and ushers in bucketfuls of nerves, tension, and abrasiveness. During every curve we round, I can be found clinging to the side of the car, gripping the safety handles, and triple-checking that my seatbelt is securely in place. If we come within six car lengths of another vehicle my abdomen muscles start to clench, and I begin pushing back into my seat with my heels, silently stepping on an invisible brake in an attempt to get my husband's attention... and oh boy, it works.
Honestly though, he takes my subtle (ha) body movements as a lack of trust in his driving skills, which is entirely untrue. Cliche as this sounds, I really do trust him, but it's the other people on the road I don't trust. I always hated when my mother used that line on me when I was younger.
"Why can't I go to Teen Night at this club in Dallas on a Sunday night?"
"It's not safe."
"Don't you trust me?"
"I trust you, I don't trust everyone else."
I'm sure she did trust me, just like I trust my husband. I just have an irrational fear of dying in a firey car crash on the side of a highway, or falling off an overpass while taking the curve, and my body language is going to reflect those fears of its accord; I am powerless over those actions.
Still, those simple gestures are not what sends my husband over the edge, flipping out about my lack of trust; no, no, the only control issues I have ever possessed are manifested inside the hunk of metal flying down the highway, and I have specific rules as to what is allowed to go on inside.
First of all, music will not be blared, and I'd prefer he not listen to hard rock while driving ont he highway. The arguments that have been spurred on by this rule of mine are countless. My husband is a major Pantera/Bullet For My Valentine/Black Label Society fan, and he does not take kindly to having them turned down to a dull roar in any situation-- as he says, they're meant to be screamed. I'm sorry, but I don't see how you can concentrate on the road with that racket blaring in your ears. It's not safe, and he has never been able to get me to back down from this, no matter how many times he calls me "grandma". I'm one hot looking grandma, I'll tell you that.
I like to have about 10-15 car lengths between us and the cars in front of us, as well as the cars behind us. It takes a little bit of tweaking and work, but you can find a speed where you are the only car within a half of mile, save for the cars that pass you. This is my ideal spot on a highway, and it seems the safest. If I see an accident occurring up ahead, I have plenty of time to take precautionary measures. Husband doesn't have the patience to find this perfect balance, and he finds it to be a waste of time and energy, and this usually results in me turning into a ball of nerves, biting my nails and wringing my hands.
We cannot make long trips in the dark, or in the rain. Before I plan a trip home, I always check the weather forecast and if there is heavy rain due to fall either on the trip there or back, we do not go. I've been known to cancel plans because storms have cropped up, and it doesn't bother me in the least. I'd rather push back a visit than spend months in the hospital in a coma because we hydroplaned and hit an 18-wheeler. On that same note, we do not drive home in the dark. Basically, if I can't see 5 miles ahead of my car, it's not going to happen.
Maybe I am a grandma, and maybe I am being irrational and ridiculous, but as the old adage goes, "It's better to be safe than sorry." Or dead.
See, irrational! I know this about myself, I own this, and I'm not going to change.
After a particularly stressful 250 mile trip home from our parents house, I told Husband that at least he has found a flaw in me, because it was getting awfully hard to continue letting him believe I was perfect. He informed me, with a smile, that ship had sailed a long time ago.
Does driving bother anyone else, or am I the only one who will most likely be done driving at the age of 55 because the stress will be too much to bear?
| ||Posted 4/7/2009 1:11 PM - 1565 Views - 54 eProps - 38 comments|
Give eProps or Post a Comment