Driving The Parents

Saturday, my parents and I ran errands before the receptions. My parents driving is deteriorating to the point where I can no longer be a passenger while one is driving.  I created a situation where we had to take my car.  It was such a stupid excuse, but it worked.

My mom somehow ended up being navigator in the front seat.  Why, I have no idea.  My dad is usually the one who wants to be upfront. 

I can find my way around that area fairly well. I don’t know all of the short cuts, but I am actually good at finding places I am unfamiliar. But, of course, I was expected to learn and take all of the short cuts.

Whatever. I was at least the driver which was more important to me.

But, here is the problem with my mom being navigator.  She is HORRIBLE at giving directions.

For example, I needed to mail some things.  Instead of saying, get on this highway going south – the post office is next to the tire place.  She gives me a 10 minute description of where it is located – which included it being next to places it truly is not next to.  The drive from their house to the post office? Less than 5 minutes.

The other problem with her directions? She would not say left or right – instead she would point.  Except – she was pointing down by her lap not up where I could see her and still safely drive.  So, she would say “go that way”.  I would have to say, “Left or right?”  Her response: “THAT way!” To which I would have to say “LEFT OR RIGHT?? I can’t see where you are pointing!!” 

Another problem: she can’t just say – go left at the stoplight.  She will say “go to where you see the sign with the bear on it and turn left”.  What I found each time: it was a controlled intersection – a stop sign or a stop light.  And the thing that icon she used to describe the intersection was always obscure.  So while I’m looking for the bear on the sign, I was going by the intersection she was talking about. 

And, while I’m struggling with my mom and her directions, I have my dad in the backseat asking my mom where she is taking us. After about the 5th time he said this, I asked him why he wasn’t giving me directions.  Finally he started serving as translator for me mom giving me the directions that were actually helpful.

We finally got the errands done and head back to the house.  Thankfully, I knew where we were and how to get there.  I headed back, and my mom started clutching the door’s arm rest – in a manner that gave me flashbacks to when I was a 17.

“Mom, why are you clutching the door like I’m going to kill you?”

My dad started chuckling while my mom got instantly defensive.  She started giving some BS about it being more comfortable to sit like that, etc. 

We finally got back to their house, and I threw them out of my car.  And, vowed to never let them ride with me. In fact, later, instead of carpooling with them, I drove myself.  I have decided it is in everyone’s best interest that I do that.  Later when talking with my sister-in-law, I found I am not alone in this decision. She won’t do it either.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Hubman says:

    Apparently your mother and my wife give directions the same way! “Turn here”, “Go that way”, it drives me nuts. No pun intended 🙂

    I’m gonna get a little soapbox I got on with my mom (remember that my stepdad is 86 and still driving)- I think it’s our responsibility as kids to intervene when they should no longer be driving. There’s been a big debate in MA about driving tests for elderly drivers, esp after one drives through a convenience store window (down the street from Veronica’s office) or through the front of a liquor store (near my office), but all that could be avoided if we said “no more, you’re done driving”

    Perhaps a bit off topic, but I was reminded of that and wanted to get it off my chest.

    Have a good day!

  2. My mum does that ‘clutching the door’ thing when I’m driving! Like it would even help if I was to crash! To be fair, I am a terrible driver compared to my mum, but I’ve only just passed in my defence!

    —Amy xxxx

  3. Secretia says:

    It’s real hard to drive with someone telling you every which way to go.

  4. Topaz says:

    My mom mashes fake brakes on the passenger side! And she’ll sometimes gasp mid-sentence. I completely relate to this, as it seems many of us do!

  5. My dear departed grandma, bless her heart, had a fit because the DMV revoked her license at 78 because she hit someone in a parking lot and then DROVE off! A camera in the lot caught her and they tracked her down. The gentlemen wasn’t injured, thankfully. But she had no gratitude that they didn’t charge her with a felony, she was just angry that big brother caught her. I got an earful every weekend when I took her shopping let me tell you.

  6. Joker_SATX says:

    No offense, but this is why I have ejector seats installed in my car….

    …Oh yeah, James Bond isn’t the only guy with the toys….

  7. I love this post. I definetly understand this.

    I agree – drive seperate. Your parents will probably breath a sigh of relief too

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.