Brett Buckner: Driving Miss Diva
Mar 17, 2013 | 2309 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As hard as it was to wrap our heads around the fact that The Diva was turning 16, we’re now being confronted by an even more sobering reality.

The Diva has no desire to drive.

It’s been three months and she’s no closer to getting her license than when she blew out the candles of her frog-themed birthday cake back in December. When she turned 15, there was this sense of urgency and excitement. You’d have thought we were the cruelest parents ever, waiting less than a week to get her down to the DMV to get her learner’s permit. Granted, that was easier, just requiring sitting in those hard plastic chairs and watching Fox News until she was called back to take the test.

Then 16 came and went and … nothing. The requirements have increased — 80 hours of supervised driving and numerous online courses, and that’s before they’re even allowed to take the test — but The Diva’s shown little interest. Rather there’s just this sense of nagging dread — we nag her and she dreads the subject.

I just don’t get it. I couldn’t wait to drive. And my Dear, Sweet Mother was worried about me driving (though she’d deny it now). We’d ride around town with her shouting, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” as I slammed on brakes at every stop sign.

I took and passed my test the day I turned 16. If memory serves, it was close — not like I really studied ‘cause it was all pretty much common sense. But it’s not like the driver’s ed book taught you the important stuff like:

• How to steer with your knee while digging through your CD collection.

• How to keep an eye out for cops so they won’t notice your illegal window tent.

• How to perfectly time your arrival at school with the bell tolling on AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” so that your 18-inch Redline speakers would rattle the glass in the front hall trophy case.

• How to find the perfect creepy/haunted road to take and freak out girls (Pirates Cove, how I miss thee).

Next to the birth of Jellybean and getting to be in the mosh pit when Iron Maiden played Madison Square Garden, turning 16 was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I got my first car (a cool Nissan 300 SX hatchback) and my first dirty movie (“On Golden Blonde”) on the same freakin’ day.

Sadly, both were taken away soon thereafter. The Nissan was parked for several months after I got caught going 85 in 55 and “On Golden Blonde” when I accidentally recorded over it with a ladder match between the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and the Midnight Express.

But the memories remain.

When The Diva turned 16, My Lovely Wife gave her all kinds of frog-themed car stuff (in case you hadn’t figured it out, The Diva’s something of a frog nut). She got car seat covers and something to dangle from the rearview mirror. And it’s all still sitting somewhere in the sinkhole of her bedroom.

Granted, given the cost of gas, The Diva likely wouldn’t be spending her weekends cruising the strip and turning around in the Putt-Putt parking lot like I did back in the mullet days of my youth, but still …

You’d think she’d want to taste that freedom, that joy of driving herself to school, of running errands, of getting a job just to drive your deadbeat friends around and of racing out to Walmart at 9:45 at night in a panic after realizing she was out of espresso-colored eyeliner.

I know it’s why I wanted my license … come to think of it, she’s probably smart to wait.
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