Let me start by telling you I don’t actually have a driving licence, not even a provisional one any more. I’ve never done a theory test, let alone the real shebang, an actual driving test. I’m 29 and I can drive, just not legally. I had lessons as a 17 year old but after someone crashed into me I stopped taking them. I started again aged 25 but got bored and gave up again.
You might be thinking “Hang on, what’s a woman who doesn’t drive doing on a motoring blog?” and that would be a valid question. But, you see, as a non-driver I’ve got a real problem with all you drivers out there.
It’s the superiority thing mostly. If I ever try to comment on something car related around my friends and family, their sarcastic laughter seems to echo around the empty hole left in my life by the lack of a little pink card in my purse. People can barely suppress a chuckle as they stutter out the words “But, you can’t even drive!” with a cocked head and a half smile. It seems that without a driving license I’m not allowed to mention the ridiculous fad for putting eyelashes on headlights, the fuel economy of a Passat over a Freelander or the fact that you just don’t see so many red cars any more.
And the pity! I can’t take the pitying looks when I’m at the bus stop in the rain, an hour late getting home because public transport has, once again, broken down. The shrugs from the mum sitting comfortably in her Nissan at the school gates while I battle against the gale-force wind and snow that bites at my face. If only, if only I’d learnt to drive I could be warm and comfortable instead of cold and alone.
But you don’t understand. If I wanted to drive, I would. I could quite easily get my provisional, take some lessons and pass my test. I could even buy a car and get insured for less than my husband pays because, y’know, I’m a woman and I’m old.
So why don’t I? I simply don’t want to. I like people driving me places, I like never having to be the designated driver and I like walking. I can go out to dinner, drink 5 bottles of wine and still get home without being arrested (most of the time). I’ll never get the car wedged on a pillar in a multi-storey, I’ll never drive off with my purse still on the car roof and I’ll never ever put eyelashes on the headlights.
Next time you’re talking to a non-driver just remember, they might have a great sense of depth perception, great reaction times and fantastic parallel parking skills. Maybe they just don’t want to drive.