Yesterday was my drive test, take two.
You better believe I was nervous. But this time, I wanted to do it right.
The night before at church, my friends and I got together and prayed. I got hugs. A “Good Luck” sign, a fake ring made out of string (long story), and a lot of encouragement. So the next morning, I woke up at a decent hour, devoed, tried to eat an orange but it was disgusting so I tried to eat cereal instead, got dressed, and I even did my hair and makeup.
I had decided that before, I didn’t treat the test as well. My mindset on Monday was “just don’t acknowledge it was happening”, that way, I could stay calm and not even feel like I was on a test. Obviously, that didn’t work. So yesterday, I treated it like I was going out with friends. I told myself we were thrift shopping, or going on an adventure, or a church event or something. NOT a test.
We got to the DMV way too soon for my tastes. I keep forgetting that our “new” house (we moved here last November) is so close to civilization. We used to live on a ranch which was about thirty minutes or more from anything. (Bet you didn’t know that about me.)This time, we were smart and didn’t wait in the useless line and went straight to Window 1 like we were supposed to. There were kids and parents standing awkwardly like normal (for the DMV), arms folded, permits and car registration in their hands, looking about like they’re expecting or hoping Superman to swing down from the ceiling and make their day more exciting.
I knew I looked a little different from Monday, with my face done and hair down and all. I feel like I looked prettier. But I was wondering if anyone would recognize me. The loser who failed two days ago. I don’t know if the man behind the desk did, but it wasn’t until he asked me the same question he asked me Monday, that he acknowledged he remembered. “Do you still live on River–Riviera?” He kind of hesitated. It’s because Monday, we corrected him of the same thing and said how that little ‘i’ is hard to spot some times. “I remember that from the other day,” he said calmly with his little drawl. He didn’t make any reference to the fact that I was back. Which was pretty considerate of him. He basically just said how I should know the drill by now, pull my car into the driveway marked DRIVE TEST. So we did.
I kept humming to myself all day. It was a pretty good song called “I Believe In You”, I don’t know the artist. It helps me calm down. I think it’s because most of my high-nerve situations happen right before I get on stage to sing, but I always feel better when I sing, no matter what kind of mood I’m in.
So I sat there in the drivers seat, picking at the steering wheel, listening to my mom and little brother talk (he came this time), played with my fake ring, and hummed. And hoped to God Almighty that I wouldn’t get that same lady who failed me Monday.
Let me tell you, I by near had a heart attack when I saw her hauling herself out of a car, clipboard in hand, and trudging across the parking lot to the drive test lane. I saw her look at me and stared straight down at the steering wheel, while my mom elbowed my little brother, “look, it’s Rebekah’s best friend!”
The woman started immediately on the girl in the car in front of me, while I watched. The girl messed up her hand signals, then the woman did the same thing she did to me, walked around and even though it was a higher-up Jeep-type car (I know. A girl’s description), she reached down and pushed the seat all the way back before climbing in. I wished that girl “good luck, girlfriend” as they drove away.
It was so God-sent, because not soon after they had left, the man who I had actually said I wanted Monday, because he seemed nice, finished registering a vehicle in the other lane and came to mine, introduced himself as my instructor Charles, and had me start showing him all the buttons on my car.
My Mom and little brother had left to position themselves on some benches outside the DMV, by my request. To avoid a repeat performance of when I came barging angrily into the building to announce to the public “I failed” (I forgot to tell you that part in my last post. I was beyond angry that I couldn’t find my mom, I was on the verge of tears, and I also couldn’t get into the friggin’ building! Hence, they were not allowed inside until they knew whether I passed or failed).
“Turn on your right blinker?” Charles said, moving to the front of my car to check them there. “Left blinker?” Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. . It was spazzing. I could hear it significantly faster from just inside the car. He stared at it where he was, then backed a long ways away, still watching it. Oh Lord. Please Lord, make it work, make it work. . I was crossing my fingers and praying. And probably biting my bottom lip. Finally, Charles came back, said how the fast blinking means I’ll need a new bulb soon, then walked around and got in the car. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I think I relaxed even more when he told me, in his regular voice, that he’ll give me instructions on where to go, and otherwise follow the road and road signs. It wasn’t by-the-book serial killer status voice.
I started praying from right then. We weren’t even out of the parking lot. I remembered the ring on my finger and all the people praying for me and who had my back the night before. And I kept taking long breathes, exhaling shakily and slow out of my mouth. I didn’t care it made me look nervous. I was.
Actually, I was trembling. TREMBLING. Not shaking. I lifted my hand from the steering wheel for whatever reason and my fingers were flipping all about. I quickly put it back on the steering wheel and decided never to let go. At one point, we were stopped at a light and I had my toes on the brake at such an angle that my entire LEG was wobbling uncontrollably up and down.
PRAISE God that he took me on a different route. I did pray for that. A different instructor, a different route. A whole new experience. After the first two stops, I had this momentary clearness of “hey, I haven’t failed yet!” It was the longest I’ve ever taken the test, haha.
He had me drive through a neighborhood with smooth twisty roads, and by the corner of my eye, I saw him resting his arm on the window, all calm-like, almost like he was enjoying this little ride. That made me feel a whole lot better. Soon, we were on a street I had actually practiced driving on. I went left, and felt proud of myself that I stayed in my inner lane and didn’t follow the truck in front of me that turned left to the outer. By then, I had my bearings and new that in two more lefts, we’d have made full circle and will be heading back to the DMV.
There were all sorts of hazards awaiting me. I’d be going down the street at speed limit and have to slow down because some car in front of me was just cruising along. All over the place, people were refusing to put their blinkers on to tell me where they were going. When he had me change lanes, I did so and immediately had to slow down (that was God) because two cars where horizontal across the street. Dunno what was going on there. I think one was coming out and one was going in the parking lot and they decided to stop and get each other’s phone numbers or something.
At my final light, I started getting the most nervous. I knew I was almost done. I knew I just had to avoid catastrophe in order to pass. But the light was red FOREVER. Finally, it changed, but two pedestrians were crossing the street. The car in front of me waited for the woman to pass, then went. But – hilariously stereotypical – there was a person in a wheelchair still crossing. My mom had told me, “don’t go until they make it to the OTHER sidewalk. You wait.” *shrug* I waited. My motto this time was “just wait”. I learned my lesson.
Some jerk behind me was honking his horn, but I was still watching the wheelchair. It wasn’t until toes were just inches from the curb did I go. And the jerk guy didn’t waste any time speeding up and passing me. (Haha, I just had a funny thought. What if he was the same one I cut off on Monday? X->)
I pulled into the parking lot, magically got myself decently into a spot (my parking needs work), and Charles exhaled and looked at his marked sheet. He said I got four marks, but the biggest words I heard were “you passed.”
No joke. I felt like hugging him then and there. He went on to explain my four marks. Stopping over the limit line, not scanning enough, didn’t look over my shoulder once, and the other one was not scanning again, I think. When he was done I had this whole speech of “thank you so much. You were so calm and helped me!” But he just nodded and got out of the car. Maybe he gets that a lot. I saw my mom and brother sitting outside and tried to give them a thumbs up through the tinted glass. My mom jump to her feet, but she was still looking at me, concerned. So I got out of the car and fist-pumped, then my mom jumped in the air and fist-pumped too. Haha, must run in the family. She came and hugged me and I had to let go quickly before I cried, I was still shaking. Then we were back inside for my temporary license, and I was still going on about “we need to bake that guy Charles cookies or something!”
. . I never want to take a drive test ever again.