How to Know If Your Marriage is Sound

I can count on one hand the number of times I've let my wife drive the car.

OK, that's not quite true. She has driven probably a thousand times in the (relatively) short time that she's had her license (this was in the States where any monkey can push the accelerator and keep the car on a straight path with the aid of power steering)– but not while I was in the car. I am a very bad passenger when it comes to female drivers. Perhaps this surprises you because I'm such a tolerant, understanding, sensitive human being but, alas, I do have my faults.

I have never and won't ever believe any statistic that claims women drivers are safer drivers. Nor will I ever believe that old people are safer drivers either. My theory is that both demographics drive in such a controlled, law-abiding manner as to render the "good" drivers, i.e. young men, helpless in everyday driving situations and such driving forces the good drivers to crash into small children and garbage trucks. And when I say "young men" I, of course, mean men of my exact age that drive exactly as I do.

Men are aggressive and we see the road as an enemy to conquer and you do not conquer enemies by greeting them politely and obeying the rules set out by them. You have to power over them, flatten them, embarrass them, take names and kick ass on them. And then sometimes, we like to casually take our time with the enemy, giving them a false sense of security before we downshift and scream up a hill at 90 +. (At this point, I'm reminded of an article by P.J. O'Rourke called 'How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink.' I don't think it had anything to do with what I'm talking about but I seem to remember it was a good article.)

However, this is neither here nor there. The point is, today, after one whole year of living back in her native land, I finally let my wife drive us about 15 miles. And I have to say, she did just peachy.

Because the UK is so incredibly anal about handing out driving licenses, we both felt it was prudent that she take lessons and learn how to drive a manual transmission from somebody that didn't have a stake in our marriage (she's only ever driven an automatic. In the States. Where the roads are straight. And any monkey can drive.). I'm sure I could have taught her but the 25 pounds per lesson she pays is a hell of a lot less than the cost of a divorce lawyer we would have inevitably needed after one too many, "Christ! Slow down! You're too close to the edge!!! Stop riding the clutch!" escaping my lips.

So after a couple of hundred quid worth of lessons, I'm pretty sure my wife is capable of driving our car.

As long as I'm not with her or I'm unconscious after falling on my head or too drunk to know the difference.

Well done, sweetie!


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