Saturday, October 19, 2013

The I-95 Flag Great Adventure

Today I conquered my last remaining learning-to-drive task. Unless we're counting parallel parking in a tiny city spot in busy traffic, which we're not, because that's a) avoidable, and b) something lots of the driving-since-16 sorts can't do, either. What I'm saying is, I drove on the highway! Alone! And am typing from my apartment, which means I made it back!

I could give excuses-excuses reasons for why it took so long - that nowhere around here requires a highway, and longer trips are more fun not to take alone anyway - but who am I kidding, I was terrified. But then this morning, I first drove my husband to the train station, then my dog to the dog run, and on the second of those trips, I started noticing that the big road to the run is basically like a highway - there's merging and a speed limit of 50, which in NJ-driver terms means highway speeds. (Of course, highway speed limits are similarly deceptive.) I thought, if I can do this like it's second nature, the highway can't possibly be so dire. That, and I was having one of those home-alone-on-the-weekend moments when I suddenly realized that I was browsing the Wikipedia pages of the cast members of "Frasier." An activity begun with some kind of Further Thoughts on "Frasier" in mind, but at a certain point, my eyes were glazing over, over the fact that Daphne was not only Marla the Virgin on "Seinfeld," but also a dancer in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life." I had to get out of the house.

So, highway driving. It's still not second-nature to me how to merge or change lanes above 60mph, or how to anticipate when someone else is about to do so, given that people don't always signal. But it's doable. Far more difficult is parking once you get to the place. Lambertville was better than, say, Philadelphia might have been, but still somewhat challenging. Also difficult: finding where to get onto the highway on the way back. It's supposed to be the first left, but is really the second - the first puts you back on the same road. That I've been on the same trip probably a dozen times, as a passenger and driver, ought to have made this not so confusing, but no. Still, all told, a success.

1 comment:

Petey said...


As Dan Savage sez, it gets better...