Welcome to year two of our weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).
On the day of my 17th birthday I applied for my Provisional Driving Licence. At least that’s how I remember it. Let’s just say I was eager.
I worked my way through at least two separate driving instructors and 2 driving tests and success still eluded me, much to the entertainment of my unsympathetic sibling.
I can remember returning home after the first attempt to pass my test (there was no ‘theory’ test in those days, of course. … a simple requirement to drive in a straight line, no need to understand the road signs). I collapsed dramatically into my mother’s arms and sobbed like a baby. She took this be an indication that I had not been successful, and comforted me accordingly.
In truth, the driving examination had been a catastrophe. And a travesty to boot. I had been denied my freedom to prowl the city ‘en voiture’ because of a man’s speech impediment. Yes, people. Injustice of the grossest kind.
The tiny little office where you waited with your driving teacher to be called for your examination had been atmospheric with teenage angst. I was as nervous as the rest, and when my name was finally called, a moustached middle-aged man with a solemn face led me to his car. We stopped some distance across the car park, where he asked me “can you r-r-r-ead the number plate please?” I obliged, courtesy of recently acquired 20/20 vision and my National Health specs. All proceeded well until, at the approach to a busy junction on the main road, my stuttering examiner declared that I should “Turn R-R-R-R- LEFT!”
Anticipating that any word that commences with the letter ‘R’, no matter how long it took to actually get to the important bit, must surely be a turn to the RIGHT. Right?
Wrong. By the time I had negotiated my perfectly-executed RIGHT turn, the examiner was in a tail-spin. This maneouvre had clearly thrown the entire route which he had carefully plotted on his little paper map out of whack (no GPS in the 80s kids), and was frankly doing nothing for his stammer.
I was failed with a capital F. Hence the tears. And the injustice. Damn you, stammer man.
It took me a further two tests to get my licence, and apart from a tiny little speeding ticket in the 1990’s, my record has been blemish free ever since.
Can you remember your driving test? Maybe it was the lessons which caused you anxiety? Share your memories by joining our weekly Link-up (new theme each week) with your own blog post, or simply by chatting in the comments section. Everyone is welcome for a dose of sweet nostalgia!
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A selection of other posts from this series:-
Week 2 – Old School Portrait
Week 4 – Bestest Friends
Week 5 – Teenage Crushes
Week 6 – First Movie Memories
Week 19 – Becoming a Parent
Week 25 – Old Boyfriends
Week 39 – My home town