by Kaitlyn Garrett/Lion Staff
“We heard that the second he asked for you to parallel park, you threw up all over him,” my friend told me. That was the most comically twisted version of my fib about the results of my drivers test that I had heard yet.
First of all, I truly am sorry for lying about the events that really occured on that infamous, rainy Saturday morning, but I have a good excuse. There was no way in heck that I was about to tell the entire high school about managing to fail a drivers test before actually driving on a road.
Just to clarify, the lie I told to most of my beloved friends was as follows: My anxiety acted up on the morning of the test and when he asked me to perform ‘simple’ parking maneuvers, I calmly opened the door and regurgitated my pancakes.
No, the story was not that I threw up all over the legendary Mr. Milner. I wouldn’t be alive today if that had been so.
On Saturday, February 10th, my father and I walked out of the front door with confidence that when we came back two hours later, our smiles would be twice as wide. Well, we were obviously wrong.
To kick off what would surely be the best day of my entire life, we drove my brand new, navy Audi to Starbucks.
This was our first fatal mistake.
I ordered my typical grande iced coffee with an extra shot of espresso (probably not the best choice for someone who is already the definition of anxious). With time to kill, we practiced my parallel parking and turnabouts while jamming out to Rascal Flatt’s “Life is a Highway.”
Little did we know that I wouldn’t survive my drivers test long enough to even make it onto a road, much less a highway.
Finally, the time of life and death, 8:30 AM, was upon us. I drove up to the Milner Driving School. We parked, shot up a couple of prayers to Sweet Baby Jesus that Mr. Milner would have woken up on the right side of the bed, and finally, we marched right in.
After we filled out the paperwork and permission slips, the grinch himself walked me out to his car which I immediately noticed was a brand new Mercedes.
No pressure, right?
He addressed me as if I was a toddler or an alien trying to learn how to fly a darn space ship, even so far as pointing out where I could find the car horn...
Anyways, he then asked me to turn into a wide back alley and to perform the practical parking maneuvers before we went on the road.
I took a deep breath as I began the first task: backing up 50 feet. Yes, this is an easy task, but when anxiety and large coffees with double shots of espresso mix, your hands have seizures. Nevertheless, I survived my first mission.
Next was my ultimate foe: parallel parking.
I positioned the car with the cones so that all I had to do was back into the space far enough, which of course I somehow couldn’t do. We were so far away from the curb that he looked me in the eye and said, “That was so atrocious I’m going to attempt to forget I ever saw that and let you try again.”
I thanked my angels in heaven for giving me a second chance, I mean this had to be a sign that God wanted me to me a legal driver right? Well, my faith was quickly shot down as my parallel parking failed dramatically once again, sealed with a giant x on Milner’s handy dandy clipboard.
I mean who would have thought that hitting two cones could have automatically failed me on the maneuver. What about partial credit?
Tears started peeping out of the corners of my eyes as he grunted and tried to reassure me that this didn’t guarantee that I would DEFINITELY fail the drivers test. My God, I swear men have absolutely no idea what to do when a woman cries.
I brushed my tears away as I began the turnabout, the maneuver which I think all of us can agree is typically the easiest one, or so I thought.
I turned the wheel like a captain fighting a life threatening storm, and I was so preoccupied with those wretched little orange cones that I forgot about well, the wall behind me. Just a reminder that this car has no censors or alarming sounds, so the only one I heard was a giant bang followed by an open jaw on Milner’s face.
“You just hit the wall,” he said gravely.
“No, I hit the curb,” I denied. I swallowed the thickness in my throat as the tears began to fall down my eyes like the Niagara Falls.
“You think you hit the curb?” he asked me in disbelief. I was too shocked to reply. I had never hit anything in my entire life. Never would I have dreamed I’d fail my driving test by running into a wall.
He re-entered the car shaking his hands while I attempted to control my ugly crying. He prompted me to pull out of the alley and turn into a parking space (which by the way, I did perfectly).
He looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “So, when do you want to take your next test?”
I gulped and the water works erupted like a kiddy pool’s sprinklers. I explained to him that I honestly DID know how to drive and that his brand new wrecked car was the product of caffeine and anxiety. He nodded his head as if he had heard that excuse of a story a million times, probably because he had.
I walked into the classroom as pale as ghost, and I couldn’t even look my father in the eyes. Mr. Milner shortened my soap opera of a failed drivers test. I trudged back to my new car and plopped down in the passenger’s seat.
The ride back home was silent and to add onto my drama I turned on a Beethoven CD and cried my eyes out (my poor fathers ears). I spent the rest of the day being an awful friend, declining all of my friends’ worried calls. When I finally had the courage to tell the world that no, Kaitlyn Garrett was not a licensed driver, I lied.
Sorry not sorry to those of you who were affected, but I understandably wasn’t ready to explain that I failed my drivers test before we made it out of the parking lot.
However there are three different morals to my story.
Number one: never be too confident in your abilities. Number two: don’t mix your naturally anxious personality with coffee. Number three: don’t notify the entire universe about the date of your driver’s test, causing you to eventually have to write an article confessing the true events that took place on your darkest day.
At least I didn’t throw up.