I Am Not A Race Car Driver


My Facebook news feed is always interesting.  I have friends from high school (mostly VERY conservative – think tea party), friends from college (think very liberal), family members (throughout the spectrum), family friends (see high school comment), former cohorts (see high school comment), and a smattering of other people who fit in between those major groups.  So, on any given day, my Facebook news feed can be a mix of people comparing Obama to the anti-Christ, people preaching about being more service oriented in their giving, people with pictures of their kids, people bitching about work, people reposting everything from everyone, and anecdotes.  The anecdotes are always my favorite.

Today, a former cohort of mine who I worked with for 10 years, posted her weekend in summary which included the fact she got her car up to 148 MPH.

Immediately, someone commented “you’re mom is going to have something to say about that”.

I should mention this cohort is at least 55 years old if not closer to 60.  Her mom is 80.  My former cohort has kids in their early 20s.  She is not a kid – far from it.

And someone threatened her with her mom’s reaction.

Later, she commented on her status – so it once again showed up in my Facebook news feed.  “Yes, Mom, tires are on the list of things to replace.  I was safe – I do value my life.”

Yes, her mom had commented a few times on that status update and it was what you would expect.

I chuckled thinking of my own experience with my mom and my driving.  My dad taught me how to drive after he declared her attempt a failure.  So, if I grabbed the keys first, she was subjected to my driving her places.  She had a zippy little car at the time – and It was fun zipping her from place to place in our small town.  One day, she got annoyed at what she thought was my being unsafe in my driving – so she yelled:


I was at a stop sign at this point – getting ready to go acrossed a busy avenue in our hometown – an avenue where the speed limit was still 45 before it dropped to 25.  So you needed to pick your chance and “be zippy” to get safely across and not trapped in the middle of said avenue.

My mom is the ultimate backseat driver encouraging more aggressiveness than she had when driving – an irony coming from her.  She was “helping” me by saying “go – there’s a spot – go!”

So I cautiously pulled away from the stop sign.

“GO!” she demanded as she thought I was going too slow.

I didn’t respond with acceleration, so she shouted “GO, what are you doing – GO faster!”

“I am not a race car driver – I am not a race car driver – I am not a race car driver” I started chanting as I cautiously pulled across the avenue.


“But I am not a race car driver, I am not a race car driver, I’m not a ….” I continued.


Even at 17 years old, I knew I could go slowly across the traffic and get us there safely.  And being a smart ass to a mother who liked to overreact to things, well, I was going to go slowly across traffic.  If she was going to micromanage my driving – I’d give her what she wanted.

We got to the other side of the avenue without issue.  My mom was hyperventilating at this point.   She started talking again as I pulled up in front of the house – grabbed groceries – and went into the house.

Immediately she laid into me in front of my dad – not driving fast enough to get across the avenue.

“But, Mom, you got upset when I was driving fast – so I simply followed your instructions – because I am NOT a race car driver.”

She cussed – my dad laughed.  And rarely did she do it again.

I’m really lucky my mom was how she was when I was growing up because, well, I’d have been in deep trouble as a teen had she not been.

Yeah, this is the shit I’ll pay for as a parent.  I know it.

What do you think?

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