At the end of this month, DJ gets her license. I’m feeling pretty good about her driving. As I coach her, she often reminds me that she is not stupid. I remind her that I have driven for thirty years and that it is my side of the car that is facing the mac truck she could potentially pull in front of. It goes like this:
"Don't pull out yet."
"There is a huge orange truck coming our way! Do you think I'm stupid?"
"I'm just reminding you. Remember, you don't know the inner beltline from your innie belly button."
"That's directions! That's different!"
She says she hates to drive, but that she can’t wait to get in a car without me. I told her that hurt my feelings. I don’t think she cared.
My concern has moved from unsafe driving to some basics that I think might hold her back.
She cannot, will not, just refuses to remember to turn the lights off when she stops the car at night. The automatic bell rings as a reminder. It does not help.
“DJ, don’t you hear the ringing? It’s not a doorbell! It is a reminder to either take your keys out of the ignition or turn off your lights.”
“When I was a kid, I learned to tune that ding out. It means nothing to me.”
I called Acura, “Is there a way to switch the gentle bell ringing reminder to a nice, loud elephant call?” Apparently there is not.
I told her today as she drove by the second missed turn on our way back to our beach house, “One day I’m gonna send you to the grocery store and you’re going to end up in Ft. Lauderdale.”
“About Georgia I would realized I had missed a turn,” she snipped.
But the end all - be all occurred Monday night when the two of us were driving back from the grocery store at Ocean Isle Beach.
“Can we stop for ice cream dad?”
“Yeah, but don’t tell your sisters.”
As we pulled into the parking place, she quickly opened the door and headed into the parlor. I sat in disbelief. Not only had she forgotten to turn the lights out, not only had she left the keys in the car, she had left them in the ignition. And, the car was still running!”
“Hey DJ," I yelled. "You forgot something.”
“I didn’t hear the bell.”
“There wasn’t one. The MDX thought you were still driving – because you hadn’t turned him off!!”
I can see it now. I’m at home, comfy in my chair watching the evening news. Brrrring, Brrrring –
“Hello? DJ. You’re out of gas? Where did you drive? Just to the mall? It's only five minutes from the house.
What? You’ve been there three hours and you never turned off the car?”
Is it stealing if the keys are still in it and the car is left on? I can hear the thief now.
"Your Honor. I thought she was giving it to me. The key was in the ignition and the car was running. She even left the seat warmer on. Looked like a gift to me."
Good lord above, please help me.