Menopause & Driver’s Training Don’t Mix!


I am teaching my 16-year-old daughter how to drive. She’d prefer I don’t speak of our experience with anyone she knows. You’re not acquainted with my daughter, but if she happens to run into you (Don’t worry — I mean like on foot, let’s say in a store or a restaurant!) please immediately state the following, “Hi! I don’t know anything about any smashed-in parking attendant booth.” Thank you in advance for salvaging her privacy.

First, lemme just say I would simply love to meet the lawmaker who decided that someone who still gets acne, oily hair, Drama Queen Awards, collects Hello Kitty stickers, will admit she used to be on “Team Edward” and is prone to fits of giggles when I try to show her the movie, “Terms of Endearments” is the correct age to plunk down in the driver’s seat of my Toyota.

I was thinking of skipping the Driving-Right-of-Passage thing completely and just sending her to college in NYC, hoping she’d eventually get married and settle down blissfully on the subway system.

But somehow, she managed to pass the Online Driver’s Education course with flying colors. Notice I didn’t say with “driving” colors. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath and sent her on her first driving lesson with a paid professional last week. He returned in one hour sharp, asked for $300 dollars, two Tylenols and said he was going to have a root canal in a local bowling alley. Basically, he needed to do something less stressful than driving with my daughter down the quiet side streets of our neighborhood. And he has two steering wheels and passenger brakes in his car.

Before the next lesson, I decided to give her a few of my own tips. You know, those subtle nuances of driving that nobody else can teach you.

Driving Guidelines You Must Learn On Your Own

1. Drive defensively. Assume everyone is an idiot and doesn’t know what they’re doing. Everyone but me.

2. In a left hand-turn lane (without the green arrow to help you know when it’s safe to turn) do not succumb to the pressure of the man behind you who incessantly honks and yells, “Will you go already, you stupid dame!” while checking which way the wind is blowing with his middle finger.

3. Leave one car length between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles-per-hour you’re traveling. A good rule of thumb is if you can finish singing the chorus of, “It’s All About the Bass” before you rear-end the car in front of you, you’re fine.

4. When other drivers let you cut in front of them, be sure and give them “The Hand.” You know, that little gesturing wave that says, “Thank you for not being a jerk like everyone else on the road and letting me in because you’re obviously a mother yourself and can understand what it’s like when you almost miss your exit and are late for your therapy session.”

5. Don’t toot your horn in rhythms that sound suspiciously like Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” or the beginning of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

6. Don’t memorize the eye chart at the DMV
because you think you’ll look old(er!) in glasses.

7. We don’t call it “your blind Spot” anymore. But be careful of your “sight impaired spot,” because you have several!

8. Whenever you have the inclination to make an illegal u-turn, it’s a sign that you have lots of regrets in your life. So just make another appointment with that nice therapist.

9. Keep important documents like proof of insurance and registration in an envelope clearly marked, “These are not fast food coupons, notes for future blogs or super flattering selfies taken at stoplights that don’t show your crow’s feet.”

10. Never answer your cell phone while driving
unless you can tell by the angry, persistent ring that it’s me calling you to pick up toilet paper and Ranch dressing.

11. Using certain interior features costs you more gasoline. No air-conditioning unless it’s the Hot Flash from Hell. Don’t put the heat on unless it’s to blow-dry your hair or defrost the lamb chops you forgot you’re making for dinner.

12. Don’t call AAA auto club, crying about locking your keys in the car more than once a week
. If you do, make up a new last name. We’ve already used up our quota for that particular issue thru the year 2022.

13. Don’t trust the little dashboard gauge that says you can drive five more miles before running out of gas.
I’ve called the Toyota dealer and made them admit a practical joker engineer designed that. Also ignore the funny-looking symbols that light up for no apparent reason at various mysterious times of driving. Those were programmed in by the author of the car manufacturer’s manual in the hopes his “book” would become a best-seller.


(above) The author of the Car Manufacturer’s Manual also loves Exclamation Points!!!!!!!!!

14. Remember the acronym “A COMB AND BRUSH” which stands for, “Always Call On Mom Before Arriving Near Dangerous Boys Rarely Using Safety Harnesses.” If it’s too late for that and you’ve already hit the handsome parking lot attendant, simply remember what McDonalds claims to use in their Fillet-O-Fish. COD. (Call On Dad!)

Me: OK, that’s it. What do you think?

Daughter: Don’t worry, Mom. When we’re done with me, I can save my allowance and we’ll get you some driving lessons too.

You might be asking why I’m rushing this process. After all, many kids don’t get their license until they’re closer to 17 or 18. It’s because teaching her to drive has aged me far more than any menopausal symptom ever has, and I’ll be needing someone to drop me off at the Senior Citizen Home next week.



48 thoughts on “Menopause & Driver’s Training Don’t Mix!

  1. Pingback: Confusion! Is This a Public Blog or My Personal Diary? | Once Upon Your Prime

  2. Love your story and do have to agree with all of it….who in the world decided 16 was the age when it was fine to put parents through this?


  3. Hmmm. For some reason I’m now inspired to post about my first few weeks with a drivers’ license. I *should* not have been allowed to drive. Now I’m quite fine at it though.


      • I just love they way you put things… but still think there is lots of wisdom behind it all… This one time…work made us take a course on how to be better driver (for safety reasons) and the heart of the course was your first point (“Drive defensively & Assume EVERYONE is an idiot…”). True. 🙂


  4. Hysterical and so true! Instead of Happy Birthday, I was taught to chant ‘Only a fool breaks the two-second rule’, which has served me well. I then chant it very loud and very aggressively when the car behind, driven by a man with, of course, a very small willy, comes too close.


  5. Gushing like Yosemite! I struck gold when I found your blog!

    Yeah. When I found out that I passed my road test, I wondered why. How the heck could they let someone like me drive, especially alone! They must have been out of their minds! Then, I totaled my car within a few months. (It’s OK. No one else was hurt.)

    Maybe I should have taken flying lessons, like your daughter. I flew right past police cars several times…and they tracked me down.

    Root canal at a bowling alley? That’s bad.

    That left turn pressure guy hangs around behind me a lot.

    I like how you use your car’s heater. So, I don’t need to replace my blow dryer after all?

    Maybe you and I could petition AAA to provide unlimited lockout service.

    So, it’s not just my car mechanic who laughs when I bring my car in because one of those lights lit up?

    May I request a word count at the top of your posts? Like time remaining in football games, I need to know how much time to set aside, including time outs for catching my breath.

    When your daughter gives you rides, make sure she gives you a Senior Citizen discount.

    Love your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How do you keep coming up with stuff to be funny about? I don’t know if people realize how difficult it is to 1) be funny throughout an entire post and 2) do it post after post after post. Brava!

    My fav was #9 and this “it’s me calling you to pick up toilet paper and Ranch dressing. You know how your brother won’t eat carrots without dipping them.” Are you sure your son doesn’t moonlight as my 11-yr old daughter? She absolutely refuses to eat carrots any other way.

    Great post! That’s a list to live by.



    • Okay, we share a kid now too!! (cars, kids, doctors) Your first paragraph really means so much to me. I feel lots of nervousness that I’m not really funny, and soon the jig will be up and it will be determined that I have been fraudulently blogging as a humorist when really I’m just a boring women who got lucky once or twice with her choice of topics. Thank you – – I’m thrilled and honored (and lucky) that you came out to comment on my Mean Girl post that fateful day a few weeks ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anyone who’s funny this consistently is definitely not relying on luck! I’m really glad I found your blog, too. And that you like my blog as well. This is SO much better than therapy, I tell ya!



  7. I hope you’re a cool mom. You know, one of those who a drunk teenager would rather call for a ride instead of getting behind the wheel…

    Rule 16 might be “Constantly remind the forgetful wrinkly people (a.k.a. parents) to not embarrass the teenager on the internet after she screws up.”


  8. I’d like to comment with a quote ‘Thy one-liners are as good as thy tricks. Thou art indeed an all-round family entertainer.’ Though I have no driving experience myself and don’t think it would be wise ever to be driving one of those death mobiles, but it seems like you’re a great teacher. You’re daughter should feel very lucky to have a mum like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So very funny. Especially for those who have taught teens to drive. This piece is a winner. I am wondering when they will come out with a teen car which has deployable air bags for the OUTSIDE of the car. When I was driving I told the yet to be driver making the left hand turn to be sure and turn into the lane closest to us as there are two left hand turn lanes. The nightmare began when we ended up in on coming traffic. Quickly correcting, “closest lane on OUR side of the road.”

    Liked by 2 people

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