April 29, 2005

a road tale

It feels strange to be traveling for pleasure without Rudder. I can understand why he didn't want to go (a whole weekend of hanging out with someone else's coworkers? He knows a lot of them, but still...) I do wish he were going, though, partly because weekends are the time we get to spend together and partly because I'm not thrilled to be driving a strange car late at night in a city I no longer know well. At least I'm not scared to be driving at all, as I was when I first drove in Houston.

This is unknown in this part of the country, but I didn't get my drivers' license until I was 22. Never needed one in Philadelphia, and couldn't afford the insurance. I got my license a week before I moved. Maybe some of you were confident drivers when you first learned how; I wasn't, not for a long time, and Houston is a hard city to drive in anyway. (Not as bad as LA or Boston or New York, all of which I've driven in since.) For my first month there I managed without a car, a thing for which Houston is *not* designed. I was only able to get to the car dealers through the kindness of coworkers - I had moved there not knowing anyone. Just to make it more of a challenge, I bought a stick shift. I'd driven one a few times, thanks to my boyfriend at the time, but anyone who's ridden with a new driver will know it takes more than a few times to learn stick. (Last I heard, he still had the car, so apparently I didn't do too much damage.)

I wasn't fit to be on the roads yet, so I actually got the saleswoman at the car dealer to drive the car home for me, with my coworker giving her a ride back. Then I spent the next morning doing doughnuts in a nearby empty parking lot. Work waws only a couple of blocks away, so I didn't need to drive to commute. I used to take the car out for a spin in the evenings, toward the edge of town, just to get used to driving in a setting where it might be a little fun. I never did get comfortable driving into Houston's downtown, where the traffic is always horrible. (I almost never had to go farther than the nearby airport, so I didn't practice it much.) Ten years and a lot of commuting miles later, it's going to feel odd driving around town tonight and this weekend. It will feel even odder doing it without being nervous.

In other news, I just did something I've never done before, right after I did something I haven't done for years and years. Yes, it's legal and moral. No, I'm not telling.

Posted by dichroic at April 29, 2005 02:07 PM

I've often thought I was the last of the "no driving license" people. Did you read http://l-empress.liscious.net/older/005292.html

Posted by: l-empress at April 29, 2005 02:53 PM

I didn't get my license until 22 either. Didn't need one in Portland, and Morgan just drove everywhere once I got here. But then I got a job that required driving, so.

Posted by: Melissa at April 30, 2005 10:14 AM
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