Fully Licensed

I had my G driving test on Tuesday, and I’m still recovering. The anxiety, the fear of failure, the whiplash from checking mirrors every five seconds. For those of you who are not from Ontario, a G license is the last step in securing your full license. And I’ve been putting it off for about, oh, five years.

Back in August, I got a letter in the mail from the government, which I assumed would be a big fat cheque of 60 dollars. So I rip into it, excited that I can feel secure in getting a meal at Tim Hortons. But instead, it’s a letter alerting me that my G2 license is expiring in March. Which means, if I don’t take the G test before that date (and pass), then I will have to start at the very beginning: driving with my mom in the car, which I have very fond memories of (“SLOW DOWN! You are 18 feet away from that car, not 35 feet! Don’t follow him so closely!”). So, as you can see, it was crucial that I pass this test. And because I am the grade A procrastinator that I am, I decided to take the test in January.

The night before the test, I begged my dad to practice parallel parking with me. I was feeling good, like how hard could parallel parking be? People just exaggerate about how tough it is. Cut to three hours later, in our SUV in which I have discarded my sweater, jacket, scarf, and am now in a thin white t-shirt, furiously turning the wheel this way and that way. My Dad is staring at me, bewildered, in the passenger seat. I’m mumbling that it’s too warm.  I’m pulling my hair away from my neck and turning on the air conditioning, while he silently sits, looking like he’s ready for an arctic expedition. I probably parallel parked 30 times that night and was successful with a grand total of two of those parking jobs. My confidence was completely depleted, and I drove home in my t-shirt with the window cracked.

On the day of my test, I drove down to the drive test center with my older sister, Brittany, knowing she was probably the least likely to make me feel bad when I failed. I clumsily backed into a parking space, hoping that the instructor would be blown away by my skills, and just call it a day. Instead, a couple waiting in their car two spots down, watches as I back in. And then re-try. And then back in. And re-try. And then I hop out, assess what I’m dealing with. And re-try.

Finally, the instructor hops into the car and starts going through what I’ll be tested on. I nod occasionally, barely paying attention, hoping that he’s hungry and wants to get through this quickly so he can have his lunch break. I drive, whipping my head back and forth, occasionally glancing at him, suggesting with my eyes that I am in control of this motor vehicle. We go onto the highway and the heat is still on full blast from when my sister and I had tried to stay warm, while we waited for the test. I quickly turn off my seat warmer, to which he says, “Are you a little warm?” I quickly wipe the sweat dripping down my face and say, “Oh no! I’m good!”.

After the highway, he has me do a three-point turn (which, if I do say so myself, was some of my best work), and then says, “Okay, lets do an emergency roadside stop”. In my head I think, oh child’s play, I’ve got this. I signal, check blindspots (neck is sore), and put the car in park. He jots something down and says, “Okay, next”. I have no idea where it came from, but I simultaneously yelled “WAIT” and smacked the four-way flashers on. He looks a little startled by my outburst but relaxes when he realizes I’m not getting aggressive towards him and checks something.

As I’m driving back to the center, he goes, “Well, I don’t think we’ll have time for the parallel park today” (could have sworn I heard his stomach grumble) and I have the urge to be like, “ugh, I was so looking forward to that”. He has me back into a parking space and then park the car. He told me I passed and continued on to tell me what I had done wrong. It was ridiculously stressful. I can hardly drive my friends anywhere without being nervous that they were secretly critiquing my driving, this time I had a man sitting in my car, legitimately critiquing my driving.

I passed, and I won’t have to worry about another test until I’m 80 and senile. Hallelujah!

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