I remember I could not wait to turn 16. I could drive myself to school and I could drive anywhere I wanted with my friends on the weekend. From day one I would consider myself a pretty good driver. My Dad took me out for my very first spin behind the will. We took the car to the high school parking lot and my dad decided to test my reflexes. He told me that whenever he yelled “STOP” OR “LOOK OUT” (yes I am using capitalization for dramatic effect) he wanted to me step on the brake and stop the car. I don’t know if he thought that this would be funny or just effective practice for when animals or small children jumped out in front of me while driving but it scared the bejeezus out of me. The next time I took the car out my Dad let me get on the Freeway (I-15) and drive to my grandparent’s house, also very frightening.
Despite this, my dad was pretty laid back and very helpful as I learned to drive. I remember he would use cones and mark off our parking space on our street and help me practice parallel parking. Getting my hours and driving with my Dad was a lot more calming than driving with my mom. She would either make noises full of terror or say things like “Slow Down”, and “ You’re Too Close To that Car”, all the while she was gripping the handle on her passenger door with white knuckles clenched on for dear life. This even happened in residential areas where the speed limit was 25.
Driver’s Ed was also an interesting experience for me. I did early morning lessons so we were done in time to make it to first period. I believe there were two other students, other than myself, and we would drive all over town. Some days we’d stop, usually at a gas station, and let our instructor out so he could pick up some coffee and doughnuts for breakfast. At times it felt like we were his personal chauffeurs.
But like I mentioned before I was a pretty good driver. My dad will say that I have a lead foot, and has even nicknamed me Crash, and my mom says I drive like a bat out of hell. Don’t believe them. I never got a speeding ticket or even got pulled over until I was 20. The one traumatic accident I have been in was not even my fault.
So my story starts out on a sunny afternoon March 1st 2011. Just like every other enjoyable but unremarkable day, I had just left class and was on my way to work. I was heading North on 5th East in American Fork. I was just passing the D.I, literally two minutes from my work when some young guy pulled out from the DI parking lot. He was trying to turn left into the Suicide Lane so he could head south toward the freeway. He ended up turning out right in front of me. Well as you can probably tell. Our cars met, repelled each other and went crunch. As I pulled to the side of the road I remember I was angry at first. I called my mom, then I called the cops, and then I had to call work to tell them that I was going to be late.
Three cops ended up coming to the scene. I was bawling; I looked like a clown with all of my makeup streaked and running down my face. My PT Cruiser, Bosley, was pretty beat up. I felt horrible. The passenger side light was smashed and the front passenger side tire was blown. The front end was pretty crunched and the two front doors would not open all the way. Luckily my mom showed up to help. She gave me a ride to work and as I got out of the car, this is what she said to me. "Make sure to get to a bathroom to clean your face up so you don't scare the customer's at work." At least she made me smile.
My mom was kind enough to chauffeur me around for about a day until I got my rental car. Until then I never realized how attached I really was to my car. I missed my Bosley. I did finally get word that the insurance people did not total my cruiser and that he would be fixed. Bosley would live again. It took about two weeks but it was a long wait. During those two weeks I remember missing my car so much that I promised as soon as I could drive him again, I was going to take him to the carwash and scrub him out and clean him up and take good care of him. Who knew that you could care so much about an inanimate object.