Like any driver on the road, i have some small, insignificant weaknesses behind the wheel. vulnerabilities, shall we say. They’ve changed over the years. When i first learned to drive, i had a bad habit of running into the back of cars while they were idling at a stop light. Let’s just say that between 1992-1994, my car insurance was higher than my dad, brother, and sister…..combined. i had a small attention problem. it’s being treated now…i’m much better.
Now that i’ve gotten older, its become more of a problem with gageing distances between my wheels in relation to the curbs. When my husband went to replace our tires last year, the young gentleman working at the Costco tire center checked out the tread and said, “dang, who drive dis car?” My husband, said “My wife,” as if it were a complete sentence. The service tech then asked, “ummmm….is she blind?”
Having trouble with spatial challenges can creep up almost anywhere on the road. For instance, i tend to break out in cold sweats when i’m waved into the holding bay area for an oil change. You have to get your front and back left wheel in between these two small tire railings. It’s like threading a needle with your mini van.
But today, i had the pleasure of discovering a new driving inadequacy as we were heading onto the Isle of Palms in south carolina. I was driving the last leg of our trip because my husband who drives like miss daisy had gotten tired and needed a break. I was doing fine…great even until, i saw the demonic roller coaster arch in the distance. It was actually my oldest who alerted me by saying, “uh oh. That bridge is SO high.” and then proceeded to bury her face and not look.
That was a great idea. I thought about trying it too, afterall there were no stop lights on the bridge, so that increased my chances of not running into someone by a factor of 2o. i took a deep breath as we coasted up higher and higher. i’m not really sure what i was afraid of honestly. But it had lots to do with falling off the side, into the water below. I was terrified to the point that i was going to stop the van. i mean, not pull over to the side of the bridge and stop…i’m not crazy. But then, i heard my youngest ask her father…”daddy, is that where Puddleglum lives?” I looked at her in the rear view mirror and her face was pressed up against the window as she peered out into the marshes.
Puddleglum is one of my husband’s favorite characters in the Chronicles of Narnia. He is a Marsh Wiggle(hence, lives in the marshes) and is refered to as a ‘wet blanket’ because of his winning disposition. Soon a discussion began in the van. A discussion so real about a world and characters that are make believe.
i settled into joining the imaginary world we were discussing. except in my personal corner, I imagined that i was not driving high up in the air. I pretended that i was not afraid the bridge would collapse. i imagined that if we fell to the water, i would know if the window was supposed to be rolled up or down ensuring our escape. of course, i guess that i needed to also pretend that my window was fully functioning. it has chronic PMS and is very moody and selective about when it wants to work.
and before i knew it, we were back on level ground. back into a reality which consisted of me not driving on a concrete rainbow, and i was happily back to clipping curbs. oh, and almost running into a mailbox. did i mention the mailboxes?
Puddleglum, the marsh wiggle