The Backseat Driver

As a student driver, I am used to being shot dirty looks. I have become accustomed to blaring, screeching, and having my attention directed upward by people’s middle finger. Sometimes people in other cars are nasty, too.

I kid! My parents have never gotten that frustrated with me. And even when they are exasperated, I have to acknowledge their superiority, both in skill and experience.

However, I do not feel so forbearing about the orders being barked at me from the backseat.

The closest to driving that my 14-year-old sister has ever come was when we were about 6-years-old and our dad sometimes allowed us to hold the wheel as he slowly drove around the block. So, why is it that when I am driving, I always feel like I am the one who doesn’t know what she’s doing?

My sister has a very strong, commanding personality. She firmly believes that whenever she starts to drive, she will sit behind that wheel like young Beethoven sitting down at a piano stool. And, in no uncertain terms, she lets me know it.

For some reason, she feels that I cannot recognize a stop sign, tree, or closed garage when I see one, (apparently) that Mom’s occasional corrections are insufficient, and my chauffeuring is the equivalent of embarking on a slow, steady spiral of doom. She keeps a mental list of every mistake I have ever made, and when Mom tells her to move to the backseat because I am driving, she will loudly cry in anguish (perhaps stamping her feet and throwing up her hands for a more dramatic effect), “MOM! Last time Ali drove us home from class we almost crashed 3 times!”

Personally, I cannot remember an instance where I placed us in deadly peril thrice, but my sister will beg that I not be allowed to drive as if, indeed, her life does depend upon it.

Mom says that when I have my license, she will be much sweeter, so that I will take her places.

She says that she’ll have her license before I do.

I say good riddance.

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