How to be 50: How to Drive

By Charlotte Latvala

The open road beckons. If only you remembered where you put the car keys.

The open road beckons. If only you could remember where you put the car keys.

At your age, you don’t need anyone telling you how to drive. Not your spouse, not your kids, and especially not that crackpot pedestrian who screamed at you this morning when you “almost took her out.” (What was she doing in the middle of the crosswalk, anyway?)

But still. A quick review never hurts. (It’s 35-plus years since you took Driver’s Ed, after all – and you were pretty distracted by that cute junior two rows in front of you.) To stay in tip-top shape behind the wheel:

  • Don’t drink and drive. We’re not talking alcohol. With a 50-year-old bladder, forget water, juice, and soda as well. Frantically looking for a rest area and keeping your legs squeezed together at 70 mph does not make for safe driving.
Even this seemingly innocuous bottle can be a threat to the middle-aged driver.

Even this seemingly innocuous bottle can be a threat to the middle-aged driver.

  • Don’t drive at night. You’ll make people nervous if you say you can’t see well, so use creative excuses, like “Our library just instituted a zero-tolerance return policy, so I need to finish Gone Girl tonight or I’m toast.”
  • To mix things up, set your GPS to locations in Middle-earth.
Grima Wormtongue is the perfect guide to your destination. (As long it's in Rohan.)

Grima Wormtongue is the perfect guide to your destination. (As long as it’s in Rohan.)

  • Barrage the other drivers with sarcastic comments. It’s a time-honored tradition that the older the driver, the sassier the commentary. “Pick a lane, princess!” or “Turn signal, moron!” are ok, but why not ramp up your game with taunts like “Who taught you to drive, a one-armed blind guitarist in a Motley Crue tribute band?
  • On the other hand, road rage is so 2013. Fill yourself with road love instead; toss flower petals at other motorists and shout “Keep smiling!” “You’re the best!” and “I love you! I honestly love you!” to all truck drivers.
Perfect gift for your fellow travelers!

Perfect gift for your fellow travelers!

  • Every now and then, careen erratically down an empty side street to give your passengers that enjoyable “runaway roller coaster” feeling.
  • Buy a classic mid-life crisis car. Any convertible counts, as long as it’s not the old Cozy Coupe collecting cobwebs in the garage.
This baby'll turn some heads.

This baby’ll turn some heads.

  • As you pull out of your driveway, roll the window down and screech, “I CAN’T DRIVE…FIFTY-FIVE!” to your confused teenagers.
  • Pass out deli-style numbers to anyone in the car who wants to lodge a complaint.
  • Refuse to drive your kids anywhere until they say the magic words. Which are: “This tank of gas is on me.”
Fill 'er up.

Fill ‘er up.

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9 Comments

Filed under cars, driving, humor, middle-aged

9 responses to “How to be 50: How to Drive

  1. My dad still tells me how to drive when he’s my passenger. I’ve had a licence for 33 years and driven more miles than I care to think about, so you’d think he could accept that I might know what I’m doing by now.

  2. If you don’t like my driving, then stay off the sidewalk……

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