Over the last few months I’ve been teaching my boyfriend to drive. Life got in his way and he never got around to getting it. I’ve learnt to accept this excuse as an ingrained narrative of how his life has played out thus far. Relationships I’ve learnt, for the most part are a lot about letting things slide. I’m good like that.
The first thing you’ll realise when teaching a lover as opposed to a child to drive is that deep down you still have a need for them to not leave you and to like you, really like you. You also have to make sure their self-esteem is propped up at all times, regardless of your own personal safety and reassure them that everyone nearly runs over a pedestrian from to time.
Also as you’re not a parent to your lover, well hopefully you’re not, you can’t say the following:
‘You nearly killed someone’
‘You nearly killed that whole school bus’
‘Stop being an idiot’
‘What do you mean you don’t know how to reverse park/ do a 3 point term/ merge…’
‘Get out of my car’
‘Fine! Walk home!’
‘You wanna drive an automatic? And I guess you wanna get your legs waxed after we finish?’
‘This car is worth more than it was to raise you, remember that.’
‘For the love of god stop!!!!’
‘Shit we’re going to die’
‘Merge…merge, merge, merge, MERGE!!!!’
‘Have you put your seat bell on?’
‘Hand brake! Hand brake!’
‘Do that again and you’re grounded!’
‘There’s still so much I want to do with my life!’
When you’re teaching a lover to drive it’s all about wanting to say those things and finding other ways to say it.
‘Hey babe, maybe the cars not turning on because you haven’t put the key in the ignition? Must have been a really tough day at work. Here, let me turn the car on for you. Love you.’
‘Hey babe, I know technically you’re in the right and that pedestrian shouldn’t have j-walked but remember regardless that you’re in a car and as such you have to be the more responsible one. Yes, they were definitely in the wrong. Yes, I reckon they got quite the fright. Yes, you were right and they were wrong. Love you.’
‘Hey babe due to a traffic incident happening right now we’re about 10 seconds away from impending death if you don’t stop right this minute…or whatever makes you comfortable. Love you.’
‘Hey babe there’s a park…there’s one there and there and there and there…that’s ok, we’ll find another…there’s one…and there’s one and another one, and another one…nup you’re right, let’s circle the block and see if we have any luck next time.’
‘You look very handsome today, have you done something with your hair? No? Oh you’re sitting in the drivers seat, that’s what it is. Makes you look all sexy and full of authority. Wanna drop me at work? Sure you’ll have to leave the car there and catch a tram home but I’ve got a real hankering to be your passenger, sexy driving man.’
‘No babe, I only grab the door like that when we get really close to trucks going 110 on the Hume Hwy because I’m working through my own stuff right now. Love you.’
‘Indicators are cars ways of expressing their feelings and intentions to each other and sometimes even when they don’t feel like talking to each other, they have to.’
‘Hey babe, you’ve got to understand that sometimes when I tell you do something, it’s not as your girlfriend beating her man down, but as a woman who has over 16 years of driving experience and a responsibility to other people on the roads telling you not to do something. Love you.’
Teaching your partner to drive can either cement your relationship or tear it apart limb by limb, leaving a rotting carcass by the road side with nothing but a smear of blood; your only reminder that once you deeply cared for each other.
At the time of writing this blog we’re still together.