Yesterday was quite something. I’d like to erase it from my memory. Delete the file forever.
Several years ago, our provincial government instituted a law. If you were born in a certain year or later, you have to retake a (slightly modified) driver’s test two years after receiving your permit. Well, it’s supposed to be two years. Many people leave it much longer than that, mainly because of the cost. It’s $100, not the kind of money I have readily available. Hello, student loan that will taunt me for years to come.
I don’t know a lot of people my age and younger who have taken the test. The rule isn’t enforced very well … there isn’t much of a penalty for not taking the test. You just never have that on your record. In my opinion, it’s not a huge deal.
I’ve had my license for almost six years. I attemped to take the modified “two years down the road” exam a year ago. I failed. Buh bye, $100. Just like that. Gone. And I’m a good driver! It’s a total cash grab for the government. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a Bitter Betsy.
I swore I WOULD NEVER TAKE THE TEST AGAIN. I refused to give up the money for something that wasn’t (and isn’t) enforced very well.
That was until a few months ago. My current employer informed me that I needed to have this test on my record. I didn’t know that when I accepted the job almost a year ago … or I would have mentally prepared myself for the news. I kept telling my boss “I don’t have the extra $100 for this @#$% test, I’m sorry”. Finally this week I was told if I didn’t pass it by June 1st, I wouldn’t be allowed to drive a company car. Kind of a big deal. I need a company vehicle to do my job. I could use my own … but, that sucks.
So, I went to take the test yesterday. I was so nervous.
On the way there, my car stalled in the middle of the road. Great omen, right? I haven’t been having car problems. It just … died. That was awesome. I got it restarted and got to the testing facility. Whew.
Once inside, I handed them my registration and insurance. I was informed my insurance slip was outdated. Now, I’m an incredibly organized (and law abiding!) person. I’m so anal about having the proper pink slips in my car. I don’t know how that happened. So I had to get on the phone with my insurance company and get them to confirm that my car was insured. Whew. Problem fixed.
Finally, we started the test. I felt good. He complimented me on my merging (thanks, sir!). He seemed relaxed. I relaxed. I felt good.
The test finished. I parked the car, switched off the ignition. He turned to me, and proceeded to tell me I FAILED. I know I’m a good driver. But apparently I have developed enough habits over the course of the last six years. The little things added up. I failed.
He left the car. I cried. I called my dad and bawled. I was so embarrassed. Who fails a driver’s test at 21?!
I needed to get back to work (the LAST thing I wanted to do). But I needed to cool down and go to Starbucks first. I had cried all my makeup off, the least I could do was buy myself an iced green tea to try and calm down my splotchy skin/racing heart/pounding, tear-induced headache.
On the way to Starbucks, my car started making a clicking sound and the engine light came on. I yelled, “I LOVE THIS CAR AND YOU NEVER HAVE PROBLEMS, WHY ARE YOU CHOOSING TODAY?!”. But I managed to grab my tea and make it back to work alive. I don’t know about the car yet. I may need to book it a doctor’s appointment. I need to see what it does today.
The moral of this incredibly long and pictureless story is that yesterday was not the best day. I left the office angry, frustrated, embarassed, less $100, without any makeup left on my face, and late enough that I was going to miss spin class.
Then I remembered about an event happening in my community last night. A sporting event, paying tribute to two young athletes who were tragically killed last winter. They were my age. They were so young, and had a lot of promise in the sports they both played. They left behind mourning families, grieving friends, and a devastated community.
Who cares if I failed my test? Who cares?
I have my health. I have a loving family. I have wonderful friends. There’s food in my fridge. I really enjoy my life. I’m happy.
So, yes, I’ll have to take the stupid test again. And I guess I’ll try really hard to shoulder check when making right turns in a residential area.
But that’s okay. There are far worse things.