hit the ditch - just not at the DOT

He had spoken to so many prospective drivers before, his speech came out in one long blurb. I smiled; I think...then we walked out. Besides locking my tester outside the car, I was feeling pretty confident. He was way more talkative than any driving instructor I had ever driven with - so this was going to be a breeze.


I think he purposely planned to take me on every random side street imaginable...45 degree turns, weird intersections practically in the middle of train-tracks, and rec trails every five inches.

And yes, I did the lamest y-turn ever next to Kwik Trip. It was pretty pathetic.

Straight line backing was next. It also happened to be one of my worst skills. For all my cautious looking and 3 mph backing - I promptly ran into the curb.

Somewhere in my inner brain thought process - I seemed to recall the forboding voice of my driving instructor telling me that if you hit the curb, you fail. (just like if you forget to wash your hands during a CNA test, you fail...except I did forget but didn't fail...so my theory was wrong...continuing on...)

I was already flustered and hoped my skill was done. I really honestly didn't think I'd have to you know what.

I mean - parallel park.

Well, naturally, my last skill was parallel parking. The sinking feeling in my stomach was worse than the flu.

Don't get me wrong - I've never failed at parallel parking before. It's normally a breeze(ish). So I kicked aside any fear rumbling in my stomach and pulled alongside a green Jeep.

Something went wrong. Either that, or the street curb began producing gravity - pulling my car into it. Let's just say, I missed a step and I was stuck between the curb and the road. No amount of turning the wheel or backing up was going to do anything. This was probably the stupidest situation I could've dreamed of.

"Well..." I croaked, totally embarrassed, "do want me to start over? Because I honestly have no idea what to do next."

I was laughing hysterically/nervously/mentally sobbing my heart open. My situation must've caused sympathy - or maybe I just charm instructors because he whispered back:

"Bethany - your best bet is just parking the car and saying you're done. That way you won't lose anymore points."

Anymore points? That bad, huh? So I "parallel parked" diagonally in the street. It was a humbling moment, I'll tell you that.

The whole silent ride back to the DOT, I was mentally crying and laughing because it was all so ridiculous. I couldn't believe I had just failed my test because of a curb.

We walked in and I saw my mother smiling (thank heavens, my mother!!!) Do they give free five-minute sessions for sobbing teenagers so that they can give a ten-minute hug to their mother? Of course not. Instead we had a five-minute session of him going through what I did wrong, using my driving license as a "car" to show how I backed up into the curb (the clipboard). Yes, thank you - I know how I backed into the curb, and I'd rather not relive it.

"In conclusion," he mustered moving to that terrible "fail" check-box, "you passed."

And he checked off the "pass" check-box. Talk about hysterical. I couldn't believe it at all - I seriously thought I failed! 13 points off - but hey...I got my license. That way I could drive myself to the doctor for treatment, considering I was on the verge of a mental breakdown - or shock. Maybe both.

Look at the face of pure relief and exhaustion. I'm telling you - the things teenagers have to put up with!


  1. HUZZAH! Three cheers for Bethany (as I cry from surprise and hilarity). Congratulations, love! I can't wait to go cruisin' with you. ;)

  2. Congratulations, Bethany!

    I know how you feel. I was SO nervous until he finally said I had passed.

    I don't know how many points "off" I had, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty...Now that you've been brave enough to admit how many were off of yours, I MIGHT be brave enough to own up to mine. (I wouldn't let anyone look at the paper - lol:)

    Thanks ;)

  3. ECSTATIC SCREAMING !!!!!!!!!! We are going shopping now :) Good job, girlie...

  4. !!! Congratulations, Bethany! :)

    :) Loved the story!

  5. you crack me up. I love your dramatic style of writing. and congrats!!


© Everyday Memoirs
Maira Gall