Driving Drama


I’m driving somewhere, and for some reason my mom took a picture. (Sophia Chen)

Sophia Chen, Managing Reporter

From the moment I got my permit, driving has been a trainwreck. Thanks to my dreadful driving, my dad has high blood pressure. I had so many near death experiences in my first 6 months of driving I have lost count. During the daytime and nighttime, I would brood about my bad driving, and I feared that a close call would turn into a real call. I was the type that would be inches away from crashing into a car after cutting them off. I was the person that got honked at, at least six times a week. One time, smoke was dancing in the distance and I was captivated. I ended up going through a red light without even noticing. It was really scary because my mom screamed, which made me scream.

To top it all off, I had a horrendously, abhorrent habit where I wouldn’t check my mirrors when I changed lanes. As a result, I would try to switch lanes when there was a car right next to me. When I twisted to check my blind spot and there turned out to be a car beside me, I would freak out, shriek, and jerk the car. Incredibly, after about 57.5 of these lane-changing disasters, I learned to check my mirrors. Now, my lane-changing is mostly acceptable.

Despite this, I still suck at everything else. For example, I usually don’t notice  pedestrians until I’m a foot or two away from them. They are miniscule bugs that I don’t see until I’m about to step on them. Each and every day, I’m trying to keep my eyes alert because hitting someone would be sad. Last year, one of my radical friends, Reece, delivered me to school every day. He always found a sublime parking spot and we always made it to school on time. I miss him deeply, and now, I’ve been forced to drive myself. Not only does gas cost gallons and gallons of money, but also, parking gives me wads and wads of anxiety. First of all, I can’t really parallel park, and second of all, I can’t even park in general.

I’m not going to lie, most of my dramatic doozies happen on 9th street. Indeed, this incident was on 9th street, where the most recent doozy happened. There was an immaculate parking spot where I could easily pull in. No parallel parking was needed, and I knew that I had just secured the package. Once I got in the spot, I realized that my perception was wack. My car was behind the blue sign by an inch, so I vigorously tried to pull out of the parking spot, but cars were swerving around the sharp corner every three milliseconds, and getting hit was not an option.

Luckily, after three minutes of great patience, I pulled out unscathed. At this point, I searched deliriously for other spots, but to my dismay, I couldn’t find a single one. Returning dejectedly back to the spot I had found before, I realized that it still wasn’t taken. I was so desperate that I didn’t care if I was going to get a ticket. I pulled in, but this time my car was at a 45-degree angle to the curb. Worse, my tire was stuck in a huge divot next to the curb. For three minutes, I tried to get the car parallel to the curb, but I couldn’t. Then my buddy comes striding by, and I rolled down my window and ask her for assistance. Funny enough, the dudes in the car in front of me tell my buddy that she stinks at parking. In reality, it was me all along. In the end, my car was still perpendicular to the curb, but at least I didn’t get a ticket.

Though I suck at driving, I’m growing like the trees from the Lorax. I parallel parked for the first time recently, and even though it took me four tries to get into the spot, I persisted. This just shows why it’s important to never give up.