I very nearly died on more than one occasion this week while spending time in the high school parking lot, picking up and dropping off for various activities. (I’m prone to exaggeration. Near death was not actually part of my high school parking lot experience this week, but it’s more exciting to speak as if it was.)
Teenagers drive FAST! And they zip around corners with a confidence that is very, very misplaced and quite frightening. I actually yelled at one girl who almost drove into me. She maturely responded by rolling her eyes and laughing. Not 10 years out of high school (yet) and I’m already acting like the middle-agers I made fun of when I was freshly licensed. It’s payback for the sort of teenager I was.
Really though, your perspective changes a great deal when you have one child in the back seat and one in your womb.
But while I carefully maneuvered through the parking lot on one of my excursions, I suddenly found myself smack dab in the middle of a driver’s ed course, the kind where student drivers follow lines in the road to get “real” practice driving.
It’s all a bit creepy, really: six or seven identical cars all in a line, slowly following the painted twists and turns, trying not to make a mistake. I felt like I was in the middle of a zombie movie. The cars were all moving very slowly in their zombie-like trances, and the longer I stayed in that freaky place, the more I realized those headlights were all moving towards ME! All that was missing from this horror movie experience were some creepy moans and groans from the undead.
Every time I turned my car to exit, another student driver car was blocking my way. And each time I turned, I got more and more mixed up until I could no longer figure out how to get out of that bewildering place! And the cars! They just kept inching and inching towards me.
I finally found an opening between two student drivers and drove out, thankfully unscathed. Immediately, I had to slam on my breaks because some 16 year old punk cut into my lane as he drove into the parking lot at full speed.
But I fought the urge to yell at him or shake my fist because I realized that with my psycho-lost behavior just seconds before, I became a contributor in the erratic behavior of the future drivers of America.