Tantrum Warehouse
Tact Free Since 2003

In the Driver's Seat

I grew up in a semi-sexist household. By semi-sexist I mean that my dad is terribly sexist and that my mother does pretty much whatever he wants. But, at the same time, they didn't really want to raise my sister and I that way. Imagine their dismay when they realized that they actually did want us to be subserviant--at least to them and to our future husbands--only to discover that it was too late. We had learned to think for ourselves.


An example of this is the car. My dad always drove. Always. My mother is a great driver, has been in one accident in forty years (while driving) which was not her fault. She has never gotten a ticket.

My dad is also a good driver. He has gotten a ticket and once passed out at the wheel (from hypoglycemia not alcohol) and crashed into a tree. He has wrecked two or three cars. Still not bad for forty years.

But he always drives.

When we would go on trips my dad always got to decide everything. What radio station or tape we were listening to. When to stop to go to the bathroom. Where we ate lunch. If we got ice cream. Who got to sit in the way-back (that seat in the back off the station wagon that faced backwards--always a bone of contention between my sister and I). When we asked my mom why he always got to decide she didn't want to tell us the truth. The truth was that she has always (and continues to do so) done pretty much whatever my dad wants. So she said, "the driver always gets to choose."

Well that sealed it for me. Since then I have always wanted to drive.

Now I am not my dad. I try to choose music that everyone in the car will enjoy. If some one has to pee (even if they did not when you left the house ten minutes ago) I will pull over and find a place instead of making them risk a bladder infection trying to hold it.

But the power. I do crave it.

Now I don't judge my mom for giving my dad his way (in every damn little way), every marriage works differently and honestly they have been married for 35 years so something is working. But my marriage doesn't work that way.

My parents did not raise me right I guess. Because J would pass out from shock if I cowtowed to his whims. He would probably enjoy it, for about ten minutes. The truth is that he and I rely on each other for honest opinions and advice. It's hard to be honest with some one that you have to agree with.

But I do do one annoyingly girly thing. I let my husband drive. Even though I would rather drive. Even though I know I am a good driver. I will agree with him that I am a bad driver. But I am really not.

I don't know why I do this. It makes me hate myself. Honestly, I am a better driver than him. Because I pay more attention. I do speed, but not at crazy levels. I have never been in an accident that was my fault. I got one ticket. For speeding (yes very fast in another state EXCUSE ME).

My big driving flaw? I can't parallel park. Big deal. It's called parking, not driving.

But what started as a joke has become a thing where now he honestly thinks I am a bad driver.

I just had a scary thought. Maybe I more like my mother than I thought.

But I still want to drive.

6:43 a.m. :: comment ::
prev :: next