Tuesday, January 20, 2009

flashback: a glimpse of lauren at sixteen.

Last month my mom was driving us along twisting, winding roads lined with magnificent oak trees and lovely Victorian homes (one of which Harriet Beecher Stowe supposedly inhabited for awhile). As we turned onto a little street called County Dock Lane, I suddenly had a flashback.

Twelve years ago, when I was a new driver, Mom and I were both in the car on that same little road.  Except that time, I was driving.  My mom had a great deal of trouble adjusting to the passengers' seat, and I did drive too fast.  We often fought in this situation, and that day it all came to a head right in the middle of County Dock Lane. She criticized and threatened one too many times, and my response was to slam on the brakes, throw the gear into park, fling open the door, and jump out of the car.  Right in the middle of the road. 

I yelled something about how she was never happy with what I did, how I could never please her, etc.  Or maybe I screamed something about how she was a control freak but she couldn't control me.  I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure it was one of the two (my repertoire was not large, but the selections were always performed with great dramatic flair).

I ran around the car and dove into the back seat.  Life was so horrifically unfair.  Being sweet 16 was not as lovely or fun I had hoped (read: miserably awkward social misfit), and my mom was always nagging me about stupid, meaningless things like picking up after myself, being ready to leave on time, practicing, and now, driving too fast.  I was determined to ignore her senile rants.

Eventually, we settled on her never, ever riding in the car with me driving.  And about a year later, I left home and spent most of the next 10 years in places where I didn't drive anyway (London, New York, Moscow).

FYI, I am a somewhat more cautious driver now, although sometimes I speed because I never did completely master the whole being ready to leave on time thing.  I am happy to report, however, that my home is generally quite tidy and I voluntarily practice for hours on end. And in case you're wondering, Mom really tries to relax when I'm driving now (and I try to slow down).  But the occasions upon which I am the driver and she the passenger are indeed rare. It just works out best for everyone that way.

So a few days ago when we were on County Dock Road, I laughed and reminded her of the incident.  She said she didn't remember it. She rolled her eyes, shook her head and said, "I blocked all that stuff."


Beth said...

Dramatic flair? You? I don't believe it.

connie said...

Hahahaha. This sounds like it would be in the preview if your life story is ever made into a movie (which it should, mostly for comedic effect) :)

Anonymous said...

Whatever you screamed, I'm sure it was nuanced, powerful, and poignant.