Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just a few more gray hairs...

Yesterday my bachelor buddy and I took a drive down to the Swedish particle board wonderland that is known as Ikea. Since our neighbor from Sweden is just an hour down the interstate, this seemed the perfect opportunity for 'Computer Boy' to log some driving time... Not to mention the chance to jockey for lane positions with a plethora of 18 wheelers.

It should be noted, the boy had driven on the interstate only once prior to our trip yesterday and that was with his driver's training instructor... So needless to say, this was going to be a first for ME.

Things started off a little rocky when he nearly missed the turn to get to the interstate. A turn our family has taken umty-gajillion times! But I guess if you're a passive passenger like my son, you tend not to notice things like, where the vehicle is taking you at any given time.

I should also mention that our trip TO the interstate had the added joy of being tailed by an irate driver who didn't much like the fact that my son was unwilling to IMMEDIATLY turn right at that red light. Thanks for the horn dude, like this trip wasn't stressful enough already.... Aye Carumba! I made a mental note to, in the future, always try to be tolerant of other drivers.

Anywho, our trip down the interstate was blessedly uneventful but that still didn't manage to allow for relaxing even one muscle in my body... Remember? Control FREAK!

Now the problem with getting to Ikea FROM the interstate, is that one must cross 3 lanes of traffic almost immediately after exiting. How does one teach a new driver how to merge across heavy traffic coming at you from behind? I don't know and I wasn't ready to try. So I had him make a right at the light and then make a U'y.

Once we were in IKEA we sat on a couch for 10 minutes so we could just TRY to relax. Apparently I make him tense... Really? Who knew? After a tour through the labyrinth that is IKEA we ate ourselves some Swedish meatballs and I began to mentally prepare myself for the ride home. Initially he said he was too tired and asked me to drive. I tried not to display any visible signs of relief, but then he changed his mind. So then I tried not to display any visible signs of stress.

I didn't mention this earlier but to get to IKEA, one must drive across the 'Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge', a bridge that spans the Susquenhana River and to anyone who might be a bit squeamish about high bridges, it's a terrifying ordeal to cross. Was I tense going over it southbound? You bet! Was I tense going over it northbound? Well I was pretty much okay when we were in the center lane but when the boy changed lanes... mid-span... for no apparent reason... to the slow lane... the lane right up against the guardrail... which is FAR TOO CLOSE to a certain drop of death to the river below... Well I was Freakin' TERRIFIED!!! Especially since the boy has a habit of riding the right side of a lane marking. Now because I didn't want to make any sudden moves or comments which could result in him losing focus... We're talking CRITICAL focus... I somehow shakily peeped up with, "Could you move to the center of the lane more, puhleeeeeeaaassee!" You know, I think he made that lane change on purpose!

Good news though, I lived to blog about it.

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Blogger lime said...

oh man, i feel your pain all too well. you're brave for even being willing to put yourself and him through that.

1:07 PM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

I was never scared of bridges until that big one over I-35 here in the twin Cities collapsed. Now? Now I either white-knuckle the steering wheel or grab the door handle and hold my breath until we're totally "safe".

A few days after the bridge collapse, we were going over a really HIGH bridge over the Mississippi when traffic came to a dead stop, with us stuck in the middle. Ugh. The poor Mister was worried he'd have to chase after me because he said it looked like I was ready to jump ship and just run the rest of the way.

Even now, a few years later I still get nervous on bridges.

Sorry- this probably didn't help you at ALL.

3:45 PM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger Jon said...

I love driving over that bridge! Thank God it's not made out Swedish particle board...

3:53 PM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

You know Lime, I wish we'd had more time to discuss the best way to deal with new drivers during your visit... You know, form a club or something.

Oh WM, That would SO be me... Apparently the I-35 WAS made out of that Swedish particle board of which Jon speaks.

And Jon, how can we know for sure... Perhaps it's just a thicker ply of particle board than that cheap furniture??? And have you driven over that bridge during a high wind warning? Now that's an E-ticket ride, if ever there was one.

4:11 PM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

YIKES! I can relate to this one wholeheartedly! I let my son drive through some mountains in NM, or AZ I can't remember which..he finally pulled over and asked me to drive...said *I* was making HIM nervous! Ha! Me...the one on the cliff side of the car, was making HIM nervous??? *eye roll*

10:49 PM, July 31, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

The cliff side Stace??? Holy crap! I just pray we survive this stage.

8:12 AM, August 01, 2009  
Blogger santamaker said...

Awwww... the good ole days of xanax and tums! Charlie made Katie drive through downtown I-75 Atlanta rush hour traffic (2nd worst city in the nation for traffic, I might add) and I'm still amazed we survived, to this day! Fun times! :OP

9:48 PM, August 04, 2009  
Blogger lime said...

the best way i have found to deal with it is to have their father be the teacher. he's very patient and level headed when doing so, where as i am white knuckled.

4:20 PM, August 10, 2009  

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