Posted by: chlost | January 11, 2013

Driving Ms. Crazy

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.



  1. I did a whole series of posts from my days as a delivery driver called Driving Miss Crazy. I should have copyrighted that. Oh well. Good post.

    • It is catchy….even with the Ms. Note the comment that there are bumperstickers using the phrase….You could be a millionaire!

      • I have get rich quick schemes every other week… nothing ever happens.

  2. I saw a Driving Miss Crazy bumper sticker the other day.

    My ex almost always drove when we were together, product of the 50’s that he was. He was convinced that he was the better driver, even though he was the one with the accident record. The first time that I drove with the on and off boyfriend of many years, he said I was a good driver and he had always hated it when his ex-wife drove because he thought she wasn’t. I do find that the man generally wants to drive and I don’t mind because it’s work. I prefer to be able to just relax. But not if they are crazy drivers – then I want to be the one behind the wheel.

    • It really is about control, not trust from what I can tell. My husband has had the accident, too….he rear-ended someone on the freeway. I have been rear ended long ago, but not my fault. The whole thing is very interesting to me.

  3. Wish you could have met my wife when you stopped by. You now have something else in common.

    • Maybe she should drive you guys down here and we can get together!

  4. I am a good driver. I’ve never had a ticket, or an accident in the 30+ years I’ve been driving. (Knock wood!) I do, however, like to drive a bit fast.

    My partner is a cautious driver. He drives the normal speed.

    We hate each other’s driving.

    The solution is that I just let him drive everywhere, even though sometimes I get miffed. I have realized I enjoy checking out all the scenery, the other drivers. Gawking is actually much more entertaining than driving.

    • Every couple has to do what works. I wish I could enjoy a little more and just relax.

  5. I too just let them all drive. 🙂

    • It sure makes things easier.

  6. My husband almost always drives, and I love it. I am a big fan of public transportation and love not having to drive.

    • We don’t have much public transportation available near us. But I am such a controlling person I second guess those drivers, too.

  7. My husband generally drives when we are together because he gets very nervous when I’m driving. This is fine with me because I HATE driving. I avoid it when I can and I especially avoid the freeway. He and I don’t believe in traditional gender roles and we split the housework, cooking, etc. But I am happy to leave the driving to him.

    • See, my husband gets nervous when I drive, and that makes me hate to drive with him along. But I am the better driver….really!

  8. I commute sixty miles a day, so when we have to go out in the evenings or the weekends, I’m more than happy to let him drive (even though I do have to “correct” him sometimes :))

    • My husband does all of the commuting, but he still wants to drive so he can be in control.

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