After driving for four hours by myself without stopping, I decided that Melissa could drive us home. One of the benefits of picking her up in her car. I am not sure if she is covered under my insurance to drive mine.
We are driving along just fine, when all of a sudden, the cars in front of us were slowing down and stopping. My daughter wasn't. I screamed BRAKES!!!!!! MELISSA BRAKES!!!! My daughter with all of her vast driving experience (she got her license in January) decided that she had a much better plan. Instead of slowing down or stopping, she would simply weave in between the cars. Which she managed to do successfully without getting us killed (obviously). Then there were no more cars to weave around because everyone was stopped. She WAS NOT slowing down. I screamed again, "DAD GUMMIT MELISSA........ BBBRRRAAAAKKKKKEEEESSSS!!!!".
We barely escaped with our lives. She says I am being dramatic, but I beg to differ. She did managed to get stopped with nothing worse than a spilled soda all in the floorboard. My heart was pounding, I felt nauseated, and my knees were weak. I am not one who is prone to being fearful, but I am telling you, my entire life flashed before my eyes. I have NO IDEA how she managed to weave through those cars or get us stopped without us having an accident. I don't even think she checked her blind spots. It turns out a pickup truck lost a mattress from the back of the truck. From what I could tell, it hadn't been tied down. The mattress landed right in the middle of the lane.
I had to allow about thirty minutes before I felt calm enough to talk to her about what happened. It took that long for my heart to stop pounding. It took that long for the weak feeling in my knees to subside. I am not sure if I have ever been that scared in my entire life. Of course Melissa is young and probably doesn't see it the way I do. I used to be so cool. I remember being a teenager of 18 and taking off on a long road trip in a piece of junk car all by myself. As a matter of fact, I remember one trip that took place where I left out at 10 at night and drove all night long. In the dark. By myself. I didn't worry that the car wouldn't make it. I didn't worry that if I did break down, that I could be kidnapped and mutilated before anyone even realized I was missing. I didn't worry that my young face would be plastered all over news with headlines such as, "Girl driving piece-of-crap car never arrives at her destination. Details at 11".
Now I carefully plan my trips so that I arrive before it gets dark. I am always mindful of the condition of the car that I am driving. I am always mindful of the speed limit because
A few years ago, I may have been able to laugh at what happened today. (Which I guess it is sort of funny, if you like nearly being killed by your own daughter) That girl is gone. In her place is a worried, cautious, extremely anal woman/mother. Of course this does reinforce my belief that Melissa is too young to travel on her own. I wonder if she would have stopped if I hadn't been there to
I have composed a short list of considerations for taking trips where you may contemplate letting your teenager drive.
1. DON'T DO IT!!!! PLEASE, I BEG YOU. IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.
2. If you decide to disregard consideration #1, be sure to have valium, or a nice bottle of tequila under the seat. I promise you, it WILL be needed.
3. If you decide to forgo consideration #1 but are contemplating consideration # 2, you may need to take along a barf bag. This barf bag will be multi-functional. You can use if you have to barf because of the teenage driving, or if you drink too much of the tequila.
4. Never leave home without the lime or salt. Personally that's the only way I can stomach tequila.
OK, OK, that last one really doesn't help much, but tequila is some yucky stuff. At any rate, due to my trauma today, I am putting off my plans for world domination. I feel that if I can't stand teenage driving, I might need to reconsider my qualifications as a person who could dominate the world. I'm only being realistic.