Flashback OT: The Humiliation of 1990

This week, a friend’s son got his driver’s license – on the second try. Hearing that he didn’t pass the first time brought me back to an afternoon in 1990 that I will never forget. My stomach still turns a little when I think about it. It, of course, if you haven’t guessed, was the afternoon that my 16.5-year-old self didn’t pass my own driver’s exam.

I drove with the examiner through our sleepy Indiana town. Since we lived outside the city limits, I wasn’t familiar with the route that I’m sure 95% of my friends drove during their rite of passage. I wasn’t familiar with the side streets, or the fact that there were stop signs at the end of every blessed block. My recollection was that there was a little road construction on a particular street, and as I was careful to drive past it with caution, I missed the stop sign at the end of the zone.

He didn’t say anything until we got back to the license branch – it was then that he casually said that I’d failed and that I’d missed one stop sign.

Oh the flailing and wailing that followed. I had to wait about six weeks to take the test again, which of course, seemed to be the longest six weeks EVER.

How did your first driver’s test go, Persephoneers? What major injustice was served to you at the tender age of 16? You can tell me! Or, as always, feel free to hijack this Open Thread for your own purposes.

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181 Comments Flashback OT: The Humiliation of 1990

  1. Avatar of theotherwomantheotherwoman

    My state doesn’t require a driving test with a certain amount of drivers ed and a learners permit, but when I was 19 I took my then boyfriend to the dmv for his first try at the exam (he was a late bloomer, you guys). He passed, but afterwards as he drove us home I had a very surreal mom moment when he rolled through a stop sign and didn’t check his rearview mirror often enough. I may have used the phrase “you might have your license now, but as long as you’re driving my car, etc.”

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