Monday, April 12, 2010

Driving Miss Ditzy

I have a confession to make. I suffer from ADD. That’s right—Attention Deficit Driving. And, it’s inherited.

I’ll never forget the last time I went somewhere with my mother driving. We went to see a movie during the day, and on the way home (the theater was less than ten minutes away) SHE MISSED THE TURN INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD! The same neighborhood we moved into when I was six and she had lived in for thirty five years! When I pointed it out to her, she became very flustered and I thought she was going to make a U-turn on someone’s front lawn. I’ll never forget what she said. “Oh, it’s all your fault.” It’s true, I had been talking to her, but I didn’t know I had to choose between conversing or getting home.

Here’s the really disturbing thing—that face I made when my mother missed the turn—I have seen that on my own children. I hear that same tone in their voices when my daughter tells me I just ran over a cone or I’m entering an exit. But, instead of blaming my children for distracting me, I just pretend “I meant to run over that cone” or “good, now I am already familiar with the exit.” This frightens them even more.

The first time I knew I had a problem was when I was driving a girlfriend back from lunch to our office. We were stopped at a light, and the woman sitting in the car next to us was trying to get our attention. I gave her a smile and a wave while lowering the window. “Oh, I must know her from somewhere!” I told my friend. Eyes bulging, and mouth foaming, that woman let loose with a vicious stream of swear words, and from what I could decipher, she didn’t think I was a very good driver. And, I should rot in hell.

I would love to say that this was an isolated incident, but that would be a lie. Eventually, none of my friends would get in the car with me. And, I developed a complex. I finally figured out the problem one day, when I had driven home from work and could not recall if I had stopped at any of the lights. Here is what I did remember from the eight mile trip home:

The movie I wanted to see was no longer playing at the two dollar theater.

Gas was three cents cheaper at the station on the west side of the road.

Walgreens had Rogaine on sale.

The brick home with the green shutters was finally under contract.

The blonde in the silver convertible needed to touch up her roots.

The radio played the song that sounds like they’re saying “dressed up like a douche.”

The gas light came on several times indicating I should switch cars with my husband.

I used my cell phone to make an appointment for a manicure the next Saturday at eleven.

The Taco Bell reminded me I had a new recipe for an enchilada casserole I wanted to try.

Oh yeah, and a guy in a BMW flipped me off for no reason whatsoever.

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