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Driver’s Test

Yesterday was my driver’s test.

I was a nervous wreck the night before. I couldn’t sleep. I worried that I would fail and disappoint not only myself, but everyone else who believed I could do this. At the same time I was like, “I’m gonna pass this! Fuck you, Anxiety!” I freshened my blue hair with the idea that it wouldn’t look like faded garbage when I took the black and white photo for my driver’s license.

Everything seemed to be going okay. I went over a video that morning with pointers on how to pass a driver’s test. My husband found a blank copy of the test that would be used and we both were confident that I could pass most of what the test required. We went out driving an hour before the test so I’d be more relaxed about driving the car by the time I took the test. When I got to the DMV, there was a young man who was taking the test before me and he passed so I figured “If a teenager can do it, surely a 34 year old can do it!” The tester was super nice and assured me that nervousness was normal and that it was going to be okay. The instructions she gave were clear and I thought I was performing them correctly…

…until she tallied the things I had done incorrectly and had 30 points on a test where 25 or more points means failure.

“But the good news is it’s mostly stuff that’s easily fixable!” she cheerfully said.

I had cut through the parking spaces as we pulled out of the lot like an idiot and didn’t realize the mistake I made until she was going through everything. I forgot to shift the gear into reverse before performing the second half of my Y turn. I didn’t slow down enough at an uncontrolled intersection. But the majority of it was not checking all my blind spots.

“You were really good at checking your left when you pulled out here, but forgot to check the right.” In my anxiety, I wasn’t checking both ways—I was only checking the traffic in the direction I was headed. “Then when you pulled up to the curb to do your Y-turn and park on a hill, you didn’t check your right blind spot. Since it is a residential area, there are often kids that ride up on their bikes and they would have slammed into you.” No one ever actually taught me to check my right blind spot when approaching a curb to park.

I felt so stupid. I had to have my husband drive home because I was holding back tears I knew were going to burst out of my eyeballs the moment we left the parking lot that I had cut through 20 minutes before. We had planned on a celebratory lunch at the restaurant he had proposed to me years earlier, but not it was just a sad date I didn’t feel like I deserved. I sat through lunch as blue as my freshly dyed hair.

We were told I’d have to wait a week before I could re-take the test so we rescheduled another test for next week. Will I fail and disappoint everyone again?

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