Passengers cannot control their destination.
I don’t make a good passenger.
When my coworkers go out together for lunch, I almost always drive.
When my friends go away for the weekend together, I drive. One friend is an habitual left-lane cruiser. On one short drive, I think I my blood pressure was up 20 points over that.
When my kids are with me, I generally drive. Sometimes I let them drive when we are going someplace unfamiliar to me and well-known to them.
When I am riding public transportation, such as a taxi, airport shuttle, or bus, I obsessively watch the traffic. I want to be able to take over the driving, or warn the driver if they do something wrong-or stupid. I even have the same urge as an airline passenger. I solve that my taking a benedryl and sleeping.
But even with these very significant control issues, when Merle and I are together, he drives.
He and I have very different driving styles. He has a very long commute each day, and believes that he is the best driver on the road. Everyone else on the road are mere amateurs.
It drives me crazy.
And it drives him crazy to ride with me driving.
So, okay, we both have control issues. But his control issues apparently trump mine, and he drives 90% of the time that we are together.
Lately, I have begun to just shut my eyes and pretend that I am sleeping whenever we drive somewhere. That way, I don’t see the semi truck whose fully loaded trailer bumper is a mere 5 feet ahead of us as we travel in the rain at 80 mph. For some reason, Merle is not able to interpret a sudden loud intake of air. When he hears me make that sound, “Yuh!” he looks at me while yelling, “What???”— rather than intuitively knowing what has startled me.For some reason, this bothers him. Closing my eyes tends to reduce the chances of my startling.
The younger generation doesn’t seem to be nearly so entrenched in gender roles when it comes to driving. My youngest son’s wife is almost always the driver in their family. Of course, the little girls tell me that our car doesn’t drive nearly as fast as momma’s car. Our daughter is the primary driver when they make the eight-hour trip from Nebraska. Her fiance rides in the back seat to keep the dog company. Usually when our oldest son and his girlfriend come to visit, she drives them here in her car. She has an SUV and he has a very small VW.
All of these things have made me wonder about the status modern gender roles. I am part of the first generation of feminists. Both Merle and I believe very strongly in the equal roles of men and women in the family, the workplace, government and society. Yet we maintain the traditional roles when driving.
Our children, seem to have extended sexual equality to driving. Who knows in what direction our grandchildren’s generation will take equality?
You may just want to close your eyes to avoid being startled by what will come next.
No one will be driving.