A recent re-watching of Ronin may not have helped what I’m currently writing but it was inspiring nonetheless.
The Goddess gets places quicker than I do. It’s a fact of life that She’s a faster, more aggressive assertive and experienced driver than I. (I have the odd daydream that I can beat Her in an Auckland point-to-point race – except that sweet victory would be tempered with my vehicle being written off by race’s end.)
My driver education was pretty boring compared to The Goddess. I didn’t get my licence until I was in my twenties – I lived in central Wellington which has an integrated, efficient and reliable public transport (unlike, say, Auckland’s). Then my circumstances changed. I had driving lessons. I drove under supervision. And then I got my licence.
The Goddess’s driver education, in contrast, was not so much ‘how to control your vehicle’ but ‘how to wring the best performance and handling out of your car’. This was due to her Mini-Mad Uncle and her Speed-Demon Gran.
At age fifteen, she got behind the wheel of her uncle’s 1969 Mini 850 and was advised to put it in a ‘hard lock left’ and, once in gear, to plant her foot down on the accelerator. I will always envy her very first driving experience of doing what modern-day anti-boy-racer legislators refer to as ‘doughnuts’.
Her grandmother’s orange Austin 1100 was made available for on-road driving experience. The Goddess has never forgotten being confronted with a Big Yellow bus pulling out ahead of her and her gran telling her to “just put your foot down, dear”.
Yep. Hard to beat formative experiences like that.
We may be different in our approach – it’s her canny skills of vehicular control versus my cold application of speed and momentum – but we both enjoy driving.
I’d be lying if I said that The Goddess’s quicker driving doesn’t pinch some small, dark, obdurate corner of my male ego. But at least I know that if I want to get places double-quick and The Goddess is available, not only will there be no question who’ll be behind the wheel, I’ll arrive at my destination on time, fresh and unruffled.