When I bought my first car, I was a recent college graduate. I wanted a car that was safe, compact, and had great gas mileage. I wanted nothing extra, even manual locks were fine by me.
You taught me –through all of your junk cars over the years– the value in simply being able to “get from Point A to Point B.”
However, you never actually taught me how to drive. Because of your DUI’s and suspensions stemming from your addiction, your license was taken away from you.
And I felt that impact for a decade.
You began to take the bus to work and bummed rides off of Grandpa to get groceries. You made that much work. But for the next ten years, I had to rely on the kindness of friends and spare cash for gas money.
There were the occasional comments that I had to learn to become used to.
“It must suck always being the passenger without your license.”
“Why doesn’t your family have a car?”
“Why am I always driving you around?”
My only saving grace was that I had enough friends to rotate my ride requests. But that didn’t make the sting of those remarks hurt any less.
When I was met with annoyance or even the slightest hint of anger by license-holders, I felt the slow creep of embarrassment and long-standing resentment I have had for you come to the surface.
It simply wasn’t fair.
But I moved forward. The friends who understood me –the friends who I truly consider the best– stuck by me and taught me how to drive. Dave even taught me how to drive stick-shift when we first began dating years ago.
There was an overwhelming amount of anxiety for me in learning how to drive that went beyond transmissions and speed limits and sign translations. Your addiction made me terrified to drive.
But here I am: a licensed driver and car owner.
Now I never want to be without my license. And I never want to make the same mistakes as you.