DD failed her driving test today (w/semi-apologetic edit*)

…and I feel guilty as hell. Oh yeah, it's all mom's fault. Or, maybe not. Maybe failure is a good thing once in awhile. (Thanks to Sweetney.com for the heads-up on this article.)

DD turned 16 two summers ago, and got her learner's permit a few days later. She practiced driving with us all summer (turns out she's a really good driver! focused, conscious, and (wow!) actually listened to me as I instructed her – go her!) but, due to a lack of confluence between money and time, was never able to get the MA-required 30 hours of driver's ed plus 12 hours actual driving time with a certified instructor. She returned to school (in India – no driver's ed there!)

Fast forward to last summer: she's still driving with us, gaining experience, still doing a good job. Still can't pull the time/money together for driver's ed thing. Returns to India for last year of school. Comes home this year, turns 18 yesterday. Now she's an "adult" (for driving purposes 🙂 ) so she can take the test without the driver’s ed; we schedule the test for today – she's leaving for New Mexico tomorrow for six weeks and wants to DRIVE!!!

But she fails 😦 😦 😦

I actually think the road test guy, who turned out to be a total jerk, held the driver's ed thing against her. Plus, he gets into the car with DD and DH (who took her) and, when DD politely asks him to buckle up, tells her "I don't have to." >gasp< WTF????? A, yes you do (until about two weeks ago, it was a law here in MA – that's a whole other rant); B, where's the idea of being an appropriate example????; C, what are you, a whiny kid??? and D, the damn car WILL keep dinging at you until you buckle up, fool. Which it proceeded to do. Until he finally gave in. (*semi-apologetic edit below)

I’m definitely going to look into registering a complaint against him. Not that it makes any difference now to DD. But maybe he won’t act such an idiot with other kids.

All downhill from there, unfortunately. She actually did well (according to DH) but the guy failed her on a couple of rinky-dink things – she didn’t, apparently, properly signal her intentions for a three-point turn (how do you signal for that anyway? right-hand, for pulling over to the side of the road in preparation for the turn? left-hand, because you’re about to pull across the road? Both? 37+ years of driving for me, and I couldn’t tell you!) Plus, she didn’t back up in a perfectly straight line (even though she never left the lane) in the back-up-50-feet part of the test.

Sigh. One broken-hearted teenager.

But, she’s resilient (maybe the whole point of the above article). After a bucket of tears, she’s resigned to the fact that she’ll have to start the whole process over again in July when she gets home. Because her learner’s permit expires in a few days. And when they tried to renew it after the road test failure, the RMV wants FOUR forms of ID. Because she’s now over 18. What teenager, I ask you, carries FOUR forms of ID??? DH already took the morning off work to do this, couldn’t take her home to pick up a bank statement (this is ID????) and her SS card to add to her passport and existing permit, to go back and do this.

So no driving in NM. Oh well.

Oh, and why is this all my fault? Because I failed to make sure the driver’s ed thing happened, summer before last – she could have taken her road test last summer and this would all be over now. And I failed again to make sure it happened last summer. So. DH says stop guilt-tripping myself. Maybe it's all for the best. Maybe she's avoiding a horrific accident in NM since she can't drive there.

I am aware that perhaps even as soon as the end of this summer she'll be able to look back at all this and laugh, but, it hurts now. Her and me both.

Thank goodness for Psychology Today. 🙂

*The edit: I saw a good train friend this evening on the commuter rail, who had what turns out to be an actually reasonable explanation for the no-seat-belt thing. The cop who tested his younger son told him the reason the tester does not belt up is in case of emergency and he has to lean heavily across the driver to grab the wheel/try to brake/whatever. Now, why couldn't Mr. Jerk Tester have just said that??? It wouldn't have stopped the stupid car from dinging though. But at least everyone would understand what was going on. Sigh. OK, so I guess I won't call up and complain about him.

I'd like to have seen him try the leaping-across thing in our Subaru though (huge center console, you're like strapped into the space capsule sitting in the front of that thing).


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