Tuesday, 10 January 2012

In 2012, I will drive my family into a wall.

Is it 2012? *checks Busy Mum Calendar with laminated pockets, cutesy font and the inevitable bird on it*. Yes, it is. In that case, my new year's resolutions are as follows:

1. Be the best I can be. At eating.
2. Get more sleep.
3. Write a novel.
4. Learn to drive.
5. Learn basic Romanian in order to converse with husband's family
6. Become a rock star, finally.

Although learning basic Romanian will not be easy (Este ca o rapita in buzunar sau esti multumit doar sa ma vada?*) the thing that scares me most on this list is learning to drive. I'm 40 this year and my inability to drive is becoming more and more shameful. If I'm going to be a fully functioning mother, then surely I have to be able to command a large vehicle and park it on the ziggzaggy bit outside school, narrowly avoiding the shins of the lollipop lady. I'm going to have to drive to the houses of my son's friends to pick him up after an evening of looking at www.bigjugz.com. And I need to take my tank to the supermarket, load it up with huge packs of toilet roll and crates of wine, then crash it into a bollard. To be a grown up mum - a proper capable mum - I need to know how to drive. I will also require two bumper stickers - one with 'Mum's Taxi' on it, and the other bearing the legend: 'MY OTHER CAR IS A BROOMSTICK'. Isn't that the idea?

But the whole thing gives me sweaty palms and a mouth like furry dice. By learning to drive, I believe that I'm technically signing up to murder my family in the grizzliest manner possible. I have no spatial awareness and I get my jumper caught on door handles. I've never had any sense of left and right. And I'm very easily distracted. To sign my name on a provisional licence may be akin to signing my own death sentence.

Then again, you see some major eejits driving cars - people who need a lie down after choosing their lottery numbers. That should make me feel better, but it only makes it all worse. Even if I'm the best driver in the world, the Jensen Button of Sainsbury's car park, I still might bump into a four wheeled lunatic. This seems like too much of a risk to take, especially as I will be one of those drivers who has to switch off Ken Bruce's Popmaster in case a particularly tricky question about ELO sends me careening into the central reservation.

The other thing I've failed to tell my husband, who is ever hopeful that I'll drive his sorry arse home after a night on the booze, is that I have absolutely no interest in it. I would rather learn how tripe is made, or visit a factory that makes paperclips. Hell, I would rather learn Romanian. And as they say in the motherland, 'Nu ti-a pus lingura intr-un cazan care nu se fierbe ai.'**

* Is that a turnip in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
** do not put your spoon into the pot which does not boil for you


  1. If it makes you feel the slightest bit better about it - I can't drive either and I'm 47! Never wanted too, I likewise feel sick at the very thought, and as the years have gone by, I just never experienced the "I've got to do it" moment. We have 3 kids and manage perfectly well with walking, public transport, occasional taxis, and accepting lifts when offered!
    Stick with the Romanian, buy some leather trousers and a guitar, and feel smug about how green you are!
    Love Curtise x

  2. YES! Leather trousers, speaking Romanian. That's my new look. x

  3. Get the novel written - pencil it in for National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) in November and I'll see you over there.

    Surely learning to drive will be easier than Romanian? And I think we need to hear more about Mr Romania generally......

    I didn't learn to drive until I was in my thirties. Courage mon brave!!!

    Ali x

  4. I'm 46 with a 14 year old and I don't drive, dyspraxic and with a habit of noticing the thousands of accidents that almost happen every day means I'm just not brave enough. My son is embracing the joys of public transport (which I'm sure means he'll be learning to drive as soon as possible), online grocery shopping for bulky stuff and supporting local stores for small stuff - not driving is environmentally friendly. So take the moral high ground, claim you're not doing it for the planet.

  5. glad I'm not the only one simultaneously petrified and guilty about not driving...here ...in surrey...where the Ugg boot SuperLovelyPerfectMum posse park metal Behemoths in the street to collect their small people. Can you imagine being sued by one of these uber-rich slick-lined lizzardettes (think David Ike) for flattening one of their whiny dribblers! EEEEk!
    Yours sincerely
    Hopelessly Paralysed with the Driving FEAR

    1. I'm glad you're all pussies too. I really don't want to. x

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