Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dori Smiles....

I typed this awhile back... but somehow it never got posted...

Dori is getting her actual license today. She passed the test a while back and we had to work through a few minor attitude issues.... but today is the day. I called the insurance company (ouch) discussed concerns with Pepper over finances and logistics and we are heading on our way in about an hour. We are just letting her use one of our cars for the time being. It goes against everything I hold near and dear.... but in a realistic, grown-up way... it makes sense.

Two weeks after I got my license at 16, my parents bought me a car. That is how long my Mom could handle me taking hers all the time. Dad was into cars and wanted it to be a good one. We picked a 1977 Chevy Camaro. It was bright yellow, black leather interior, AM/FM radio with a cassette player and a moon roof. She was pretty and she was fast. All you had to do was think about touching the pedal and that car jumped into action. Being bright yellow, however meant she was easy to spot. Every cop in my home town knew me. I had 3 speeding tickets within 3 months (and I had 'sweet talked' my way out of a lot more!) As a consequence for my third ticket, both of my parents had to appear in court with me. This did not go over very well with my parents, but they both took off work and came along. I was suspended for 6 months... but my Dad got it to be a partial suspension... meaning I could drive to and from work and school, but that was it. That was pretty scary having to go before a judge and tell my parents and pay the court costs and deal with the suspension... I should have learned. But I didn't. I still sped and I still drove when I wasn't supposed to. I actually outran a cop once. (Don't tell my kids!!) It was dark and I was going to fast. I had 3 friends in the car and we were on the highway, almost to my exit. I state trooper flashed his lights, and rather than pull over like a smart person would do.... I floored it. I got off at my exit, turned off my headlights and zoomed around a familiar sub-division. I flew down about 4 streets and whipped into a driveway and killed the engine.... the cop roared right by. My friends and I knew it was stupid, but it sure was a neat story to tell at school the next week!

So, fear of getting in trouble and fear of being stupid and risking killing myself and my friends did not slow me down.... but something did. I was driving home from school and a cat ran out in front of my car. I wasn't going too fast (in my opinion) but it definitely wasn't slow. I saw it coming and it looked like it was in slow motion, but I still couldn't brake fast enough. I hit the cat. I stopped and went back. The cat was still alive. I wrapped it in my sweatshirt and drove to the vet. The vet looked it over and said it was to hurt and there was nothing he could do. It would never survive. He said he needed to put it down. He left the room to go get the medicine he needed to put it to sleep and I waited in the exam room with the cat. I pet the cat gently by its ears and saw all the matted dirt and blood on it. He looked like a stray. His breathing was hard and labored and I started crying because I knew that it was my fault that this animal was suffering. Before the vet came back, the breathing stopped. I was in shock that this could happen. I barely remember the vet saying that they would dispose of the body and that it was nice of me to stop and try to help. I paid the bill... an amount I couldn't recall now if I had to. I went home crying and told my Mom what had happened. She listened and let me cry and feel sorry for myself and then calmly said, "I know how bad you feel about the cat, but be thankful that it wasn't a child." That slowed me down. Within a couple months I decided to trade in the Camaro. This time I picked an Oldsmobile Calais.... I think I had seen an ad for it in my grandfather's AARP magazine. :)

I am very proud of Dori for getting her license and making another step toward adulthood... but kids do grow up so damn fast...

1 comment:

  1. You tell great stories you know. If you live in Iowa, you would just run over cats and not think about it. I'll have to tell you the whole story some day.

    Thanks for meeting me for ice cream. it was fun! :)