Car Stories

I have never yet driven in Europe. We moved to Italy when our daughter was 15 months old. During a trip around the US when she was 3 or 4, we talked about what we would do on the next leg of the trip, when we got to California:

“We’ll rent a car at the airport and I’ll drive us to where we’re staying,” I said.

“You can’t drive,” retorted Ross.

“Yes, I certainly can drive.”

“No, women don’t drive.”

This apparently logical conclusion was drawn from the fact that she had never seen me drive. However, she made this statement while in a car which my friend Sue was driving! Confronted with the fact that Sue was driving and was indubitably female, Ross had to revise her ideas.

When we arrived in California and picked up the rental car, I sat in the parking lot, carefully doing all the things you’re supposed to do when you first get into a new car: check the mirrors, adjust the seat, etc. After several minutes of watching me fiddling around, Ross burst out: “You’re so dumb you don’t even know how to drive a car!”

Thanks, kid – just what I needed to hear when I was in fact feeling a bit nervous, not having driven for a while. But a few days later she graciously told me: “You drive pretty well.”

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