She Might Be Right

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Short Drive To Confusion

Walter Mitty never finished higher than 10th at the Indianapolis 500.

Sure, he was a real go-getter when it came to fantasy. But put him behind the wheel at the old Brickyard and Mitty would be driving 30 mph with his hazard lights blinking. All the while, A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti would be honking their horns as they passed him saying, "My but he looks an awful lot like Danny Kaye."

This was what I thought about as I made my way to the car.

Not about the best route to get to my destination. Not about the rules of defensive driving.

Nope, I was thinking about Walter Mitty. Your basic picture of a soon-to-be unfocused driver.

Still, there was no question as to who was going to drive.

I always headed for the driver's side. She always made a beeline for the passenger seat. (Some day, I'm going to have to learn how to beeline.)

Why? I don't know.

Take a quick poll of the two of us and you'll find that it's not unanimous as to who has the better driving skills. In fact, I'll usually vote for her and she'll most often cast a ballot for me.

Neither of us has made the AAA Hall of Fame. Nor the Major League Hall of Fame for that matter.

Call it one of the last frontiers of true gender inequity. One of the last few areas that we as humans move in a knee-jerk sexist fashion and don't even question ourselves.

The man drives. The woman is the passenger.

Why, I bet that Marc Antony always took the reigns on the carriage when he and Cleopatra took a spin around old Alexandria. Sure, she could rule one of the most advanced nations of the known world. Sure, she could trace her lineage to divinty.

But this is driving. And driving is the man's job.

(Just a moment while I scratch myself.)

The funny thing is that Cleopatra would have gone along with the notion of her being a passenger.

Do women feel that men drive too often? Or are they just smarter than us and use us as chauffeurs?

So, this is what I was thinking as I waited at a red light. And this is what I was thinking as I waited at a green light.

Until, that is, the guy behind me put his fist through his car horn.

Now, I'm not buying into the school of thought that men know more about engines than women.

One time a friend and I stopped on a long trip to put oil in the car. One of us removed the dipstick and the other poured the oile into that hole.

Nevermind that the oil container didn't come close to fitting. Nevermind that more oil was reaching the ground than the engine.

We were two guys who thought we were able to do the simplest of car maintenance. In reality, we were poster boys for mechanical ignorance.

Ah yes, that tripl. I remember that trip as if it just happened.

In fact, I was remembering that trip as I drove past my exit on teh freeway. And then as I drove past it once again in an attempted double-back.

But it didn't matter how many mistakes I made.

It didn't matter how many points I had or didn't have on my record. Let's call the whole idea of trying to figure out who drives pointless.

How many times have a man and woman both walked up to the driver's door at the same time, stopped and decided to flip a coin to see who would drive? For whatever rationale, the man drives.

I tried to reason why as I drove through a speed trap. Maybe it was those annoying flashing blue lights distracting me, but I couldn't come up with one.


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