I missed my twentieth high school reunion this summer. I was driving. In a car. To International Falls, MN. And I was sad. Because we had some good times in high school. Dave, and Denny, and Doug, and Eric, and Bobby, and Boozie. Twenty years is a long time ago but I remember a few things I learned back then.
I remember in 9th grade I learned how to make an omelet. It's one of the most important things I learned how to do in high school. I mean seriously, it's the one thing besides typing that I use almost every day. And speaking of typing it definitely is the single most useful thing I learned. We had an old school typing teacher back then and she would walk up and down the rows, her nylons swish swish swishing, and her beady eyes looking condescendingly over your type writer to make sure you weren't looking at the keys. I've never ever regretted learning to type so quickly.
I also had to learn how to sew. I made a lined canvas tote bag that I gave to my grandmother Mary. She used it to keep her crosswords in. After she died I got it back and now I use it to hold my knitting needles. I also acquired her old Singer sewing machine. I used it to make these Halloween costumes a few years ago:
I mean seriously, how professional is that?
Okay, so I haven't tried to sew anything nearly as sophisticated as this since.
But my skillz came in handy.
I remember calculus and AP History with Juice and Mr. Hutter's English class. And I definitely remember German class with Frau Crocker. Well, I don't use any of the crap I learned in those classes anymore- I mean, I don't remember any of that crap. But the thing that I learned in high school that I use every day, many hours (sometimes) a day, is how to drive a vehicle.
Now, being that we live where we live it takes us a good half hour to get anywhere good. Half hour to work, half hour to hockey, half hour to dinner out in Burlington, half hour to friends, half hour to life off the mountain. So, I'm in my car A LOT. And I like my car. And I don't mind driving.
I learned to drive a VW Rabbit. And I've been a good driver in my life as a driver. One small speeding ticket RIGHT after I got my license, but it was a total speed trap and it wasn't my fault. But in college my teammates and I drove my little Honda Civic to Steamboat, CO and New Orleans for spring break. NO issues. I drove across the country with Paul Bunyan. NO issues. I drove all over Philly for three years. NO issues. And then. And then I got this car:
It's my beautiful silver tank of a mini van. I had no qualms about getting and/or driving a mini van. It's a wonderful wonderful thing- the mini van is. It's a total swagger wagon. And you could never understand this until you drive one, so don't knock it. Well, not too long after we bought the swagger wagon in 2005 I came around this corner a little too hard and hit the mail boxes at the bottom of our hill.
This scratch was the result.
Not too long after that I dented my bumper fairly significantly by backing into this:
which I've done more than once.
I've shut the garage door on my opened back gate. I've backed into the Tundra, denting that detrimentally.
In June, Paul parked the car right between the yellow power lines to the left and the wooden posts on the right so essentially what happened when I pulled out of the spot was his fault.
Because who parks in a spot like that? I mean how was I supposed to see the posts on my right? Seriously.
In our little town it's common courtesy to pull to the side and stop to let the person approaching this bridge first go across on his/her own. There are no signs saying you must do this. It's just common knowledge. You WAIT for the other person to cross the bridge before going. So that is exactly what I did. I pulled over to the right (very close to the guard rail) and waited....just like I'm supposed to do.
It wasn't until I pulled away that I realized I was a little too close to the guard rail.
I've stopped getting upset over all this. I mean, it's a car. And I'm not hitting anyone else's car. Which, you know, we should all be thankful for. I probably should revisit some of the rules of backing up that I learned in high school. You know, like, looking behind you and around you. Who knows, this all may be a factor of me being IN my car more than I ever have in my life. It may be the factor that I'm usually late for wherever I'm going and that I probably should just slow down. It may be that it's hard driving such a big vehicle and that when I don't need the mini van anymore, I'll be back to my good old ways. Oh wait, I did back that VW rabbit into my mom's jetta in the driveway. It's been so long, I forgot that story too.
Well, here's how I look at it: by the time Claire gets the van we won't worry if she beats the shit out of it. She just better not back into my brand new Golf TDI.