Thursday, September 14, 2006

Flailing & Failing

I don't fail much of anything. Never have. If I set my mind to doing something I generally achieve it or even, overachieve. This is basically because:

  1. I am s-m-r-t.
  2. I am a total keener. And a geek.
  3. I will only attempt to do something I am fully prepared for. Sometimes I can fake this because of number 1.
  4. I can remember tons of useless information. Well... I used to be able to.
  5. Most importantly, if there is a chance that I will fail I'll avoid the situation like the plague.

For me, failure is basically not an option because I do not handle it well. (Understatement of the year?)

In order for us former Ontario folk to drive in Washington State we must both take our driver's license tests again. Written & driven. No problem right? Plus for me it was a good thing because I never actually took the G whatever exit exam in the graduated licensing format. I had planned to do it when I was about 8 months pregnant so if I happened to make a little error I might just get a little pity or the benefit of hormonal doubt. By the time I was 8 months knocked up I was running out of energy & working quite a bit so I made excuses to put the test off. Here there is no graduated licensing so all I have to take is one driving test. Woo hoo! But first I have to do the written. Again, no problem right?

Wrong! One of the problems with never failing much of anything can be a sense of cockiness. How hard can a written driver's test be? I did the practice test online & made only 1 mistake. I scanned the book & thought "ok I may not have read the whole book, but I've been driving for a few years now & am confident in my abilities (except for the dreaded parallel park)". So on Wednesday morning we got in our new car (yay Subaru!) & drove to the DMV in Redmond. I planned to read the book again in the car on the way there but was defeated by the screams of my precious crazy Doodles the entire way there. She's not the type of baby who will cry & eventually settle down but the extreme opposite wherein the cries build & build until she is out of her freaking mind & can barely breathe. It's all I can do to keep myself from unbuckling the car seat straps & picking her up to comfort her. Needless to say I didn't get any studying in before getting to the testing office.

Oh ya & the DMV? As a foreigner you hear the stories & the comedians & the skits about the horrors of these places & while it wasn't as bad as some people make it out to be, it was still pretty bad. The wait was ridiculously long & frustrating & many of the staff appeared to be really grumpy. Especially the woman who was in charge of the driving tests & was behind in her appointments. You did not want to get in her way or some shit was gonna fly. Anyway, after waiting about 45 minutes I took the eye test & went to the computer to do the written exam with the baby crying in the background. Even though the tests are randomized I think the guy who sent me over must have thought I was a drunk cyclist because I swear half of the questions revolved around these topics. Seriously it was weird & sort of stupid. I mean come on, everyone knows it's really dumb to drink & drive, it's fairly well known that .08 is the legal limit, but really, what difference is it going to make in my driving ability & knowledge of rules of the road to remember exactly how many days you have to stay in jail or lose your license for if you get caught drinking & driving? I know not to drink & drive, I know if you get caught it's bad, really bad, isn't that enough? Why do I need the exact amount of days? For various offences? Why? Also why as a driver of a motor vehicle do I need to know how many feet a bicycle light should shine ahead into traffic? Isn't this the responsibility of the cyclist, not the car driver person? Things like this... I just don't get why I should fail a test because of these types of questions.

Ya I failed. And then I cried because it was just so fucking stupid. And then my baby wouldn't stop crying & screaming & clawing at me. And life just sucked. And then, upset, Calvin dropped me off at the gym so I could do a Baby Robics class (she goes in the Bjorn). She continued to scream & I continued to try & stifle my tears. I could barely get dressed because she wouldn't let go of me. I nursed her & put her down so I could get my shoes on & still she screeched. There was no holding back the tears anymore & I just about lost it in the changing room of the gym I'd only been to once before. Suddenly two sweet, sweet woman came & asked if everything was ok & made everything better again. I don't know their names, only that they'd been there (as in with screaming infant) before & I can't thank them enough for being so sweet to the crazy lady in the family change room. Whoever you two are, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The kindness of strangers is just about the nicest sort of kindness you can find.

Stupid Giraffe or proof that I am a bad mother. : ) Posted by Picasa


Mumsy said...

I feel a protest coming on. What kind of craziness these questions be!?

It's not so much that you don't handle failure...that may be the case but...the frustration of dealing with and being subjected to bureaucratic stupidity is enormous.

Try again. You'll show them.

Jenn said...

You NOT a bad mother.......and your not a bad driver either. It IS a totally stupid test. I passed, but I also just came out of a highschool class that's sole purpose for months was to teach me all that useless CRAP! If I had to take it now, I'd totally fail without studying!